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Google Play Books gets high quality read aloud, pinch zoom, recommendations

Steve Dent , @stevetdent

If you like having your classics read to you by your handheld device but don't care for the usual robot-stuck-in-a-well tones, Google Play Books has been updated with a more dulcet option. The "read aloud" function (which has been around for several versions, despite Google saying it's new) now has a high quality voice option, which only works if you're connected to the internet. We gave it a whirl ourselves, and it's now far more tolerable to listen to "Oliver Twist" or other flowing text books, thanks to a more natural sounding voice -- as heard in the audio file after the break. In addition, Google has added pinch or double-tap zoom options, text editing features for notes, personalized recommendations and "numerous bug fixes and performance enhancements." To give it a look (or listen) for yourself, check the source for more info.