The Amazon Echo is getting increasingly smarter, and not only can it control the smart home, but it can also offer information about things like weather and traffic. A new feature has been added to the Echo that enables the device to read you a book.
Users will simply need to say “Alexa, read [enter Kindle book title here],” and the device should start reading. Users can choose from books they have purchased from the Kindle Store, or that they have borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
According to Amazon, users can pause and resume playback, and they can skip chapters if they don’t want to hear the chapter that the device is currently reading. Unfortunately, users can’t tell the device which chapter they want to skip to, instead only being able to skip to the next one. However, it’s likely that the feature will be added in the near future.
Of course, it’s important to note that users shouldn’t expect the same quality as professionally read audio books. Those who want to have an idea of what it will sound like can ask Echo to read an entry from Wikipedia – the device uses the same software to read no matter what it’s reading. If you don’t really mind Alexa’s voice and think you could listen to a book with it, then try it out for yourself.
The announcement comes shortly after Amazon purchased Audible’s audio book service, and many were expecting the company to find a way to integrate the capability of Alexa to read text aloud.