In celebration of National Tell a Story Day, Google is teaching its virtual assistant how to tell bedtime stories.
Called "Tell Me a Story," the feature has already been available on Google Home speakers, including the Home Mini, Home Max, and Home Hub. Now Google Assistant has learned how to read stories from a phone or tablet, even on those powered by iOS.
Assistant's 'Tell Me A Story'
In a blog post, Google highlights stories such as "Let's Be Firefighters!" and "Robot Rampage" from the Nickelodeon series Blaze and the Monster Machines and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, respectively. Other stories are from the roster of free audiobooks on Google Play Books, among which include pieces from the Brothers Grimm and Aesop, two authors of good classics for bedtime reading. Each one lasts around three to 10 minutes.
To start using the feature, users just have to say, "Hey Google, tell me a story" or "Hey Google, tell me a bedtime story." Afterward, Assistant will pick out a story at random and narrate it. As for the requirements, users need the latest version of Play Books for Android or iOS, aside from Assistant, of course. Availability of "Tell Me a Story" in English is also restricted to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and India.
Assistant's 'Read Along'
As part of the celebration, Google is also promoting the "read along" feature of Assistant. With the feature, the virtual assistant makes things more interesting by adding sound effects here and there as parents read stories aloud to their kids.
The story selection includes titles from the Disney Little Golden Books, including Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Coco, Peter Pan, The Three Little Pigs, and Toy Story 3.
To activate it, users only have to say, "Hey Google, let's read along" or "Hey Google, let's read along with Disney."
"Read along" is available only on the Home speaker family, though.