Alright, tech enthusiasts and casual web surfers alike, gather around! Are you missing the days when Google Assistant would read web articles to you like a dedicated librarian? Mourn no more! It seems like Google Assistant has been skipping its vitamins lately, dropping useful features faster than a clumsy juggler. Among the casualties is the beloved ‘Read aloud’ function, which, after a recent update, became about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
But don’t despair! In the vast Google universe, there’s a shining star ready to rescue us from the tedium of screen-staring: Google’s own Reading Mode app. This gem, first launched in November 2022, is like a superhero for anyone craving the old Read aloud feature.
Why the Reading Mode App is Your New Best Friend
Imagine this: You’re lounging on your sofa, ready to consume the latest web articles without moving a muscle (except for the ones in your fingers, of course). Google’s Reading Mode app is not just for folks with low vision, blindness, or dyslexia – it’s a godsend for anyone who loved the old Read aloud feature. It’s like finding an unexpected extra fry at the bottom of your takeout bag!
Set Up and Swipe for Literary Bliss
Getting this app up and running is easier than teaching a cat to ignore a laser pointer. Once installed, you can add it to your quick settings tiles for easy access. But here’s the real kicker: Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii, channeling his inner tech wizard, found a snazzier way to summon Reading Mode. During setup, choose a two-finger swipe gesture from the bottom of your screen instead of the usual accessibility shortcuts. It’s like having a secret handshake with your phone!
Experience Reading Mode in All Its Glory
Once you’ve mastered the swiping, prepare to enter a world of clearer, larger fonts and a nifty audio player. Reading Mode doesn’t just read to you; it shows you where you are in the text with colored highlights. Want to jump to a different section? Just tap the text like a digital ninja. Plus, it supports background playback. While you can’t summon it with your voice like the old Assistant, it’s as close as you can get to having a personal narrator in your pocket.
Google Assistant’s Read Aloud: The Comeback Kid?
Now, let’s not completely write off Google Assistant’s Read aloud feature. According to Android expert AssembleDebug, who’s been snooping around X (formerly Twitter), there are whispers of a comeback. Screenshots hint at returning capabilities like syncing text for visual following and even changing reading voices on the fly. But, as of now, background playback remains a mystery.
So, what’s the verdict? While Google Assistant is getting its act together, the Reading Mode app is your go-to alternative for hands-free reading. It’s like the trusty sidekick stepping up while the hero is on a coffee break.