Why This Matters
Having easy access to text to speech directly within the Android operating system can empower everyone with and without a disability.
Google is rolling out Assistant’s screen-reading feature now, according to The Verge. The feature was announced in January 2020 at CES and on YouTube, and should include support for 42 languages upon launch.
How does it work: Since it’s built right in to the Android OS, you can just say, “Hey Google, read it” and Google Assistant will read whatever’s on your screen out loud. Tapping the screen will move the page forward, too. The Verge notes that you can also speed up Assistant’s reading pace, if that’s something that works for you.
The screen will also highlight the text as it’s read, something that helps people with learning disabilities boost their reading comprehension and will help the rest of us
What about iOS? iPhones have a similar feature in iOS, called Speak Screen, but it’s buried in the Accessibility settings, which means you have to turn it on, then swipe down from the top of your iPhone screen to activate it. Android will allow anyone with a voice to activate the reading, which could come in handy while driving.
When: The Verge says the feature is rolling out now, so if your phone doesn’t have it yet, it should soon.