You can already find apps, movies, TV shows, music, periodicals, and eBooks at the Google Play Store. Soon you may be able to purchased audiobooks as well.
Android Police took a look at some of the code in the latest version of the Play Store app for Android, and found evidence of a new book category labeled Audiobooks.
It’s unclear at this point how Google expects you to listen though: the company’s Play Music and Play Books apps aren’t really well designed for listening to long-form content.
Personally, I’m hoping Google’s audiobooks are available as DRM-free MP3s, since that means I’d be able to use them with Smart AudioBook Player, an app that I’ve been using to listen to audiobooks, audio dramas, and pre-release versions of the podcasts I produce (sometimes it’s nice to know how an episode will sound if you’re listening on cheap headphones while walking city streets).
Smart AudioBook Player lets you add bookmarks, manage a library of audiobooks, boost volume on titles with low volumes, set a sleep timer, and adjust playback speed, among other things.
Hopefully if Google adds official audiobook support to one of its existing apps, it’ll include at least some of those features.
Other changes in Play Store version 8.4 for Android seem to include support for displaying notifications about apps and games within the app itself and an option for applying automatic updates only for system apps, letting you install them right away while choosing to update third-party apps manually.
It looks like I may also be turning off automatic updates in the near future, because Android Police reports that soon you won’t have the option of having them download only over WiFi. Instead, the Play Store will download updates using whatever internet connection is available, bandwidth caps be damned.
Good news, then Google will probably FINALLY also update the Google Play Music app with buttons/swipes to skip forward/back a number of seconds in tracks. Like in the Youtube app. It is pretty darn annoying to listen to a 2 hour podcast in it and try to pull the slider only a tiny, tiny bit.
If they disable WiFi-only updates it will be a HUGE mistake. Phone owners will suddenly find themselves with larger phone bills, and Google will have a couple dozen lawsuits within the first month. Don’t do it, Google!
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