Listen to Web Pages With This New Feature on Chrome

June 26, 2024
Listen to Web Pages
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Listen to Web Pages

For the past few months, Chrome for Android has reportedly been testing its own text-to-speech (TTS) functionality. The “Listen to this page” feature is reportedly being rolled out (server-side) With Chrome 125. 9To5Google reports that while not everyone can access the feature as of now, Google plans to release it to a wider audience soon.

The TTS can be used when a user wishes to read the content on a web page with a lot of text. After the website loads completely, “Listen to this page” shows up between “Translate” and “Add to Home screen” in the three-dot Chrome for Android overflow. The page name and site will be displayed along with a mini player that has a play/pause, close, and progress indicator button at the bottom. 

The controls given in this feature are reminiscent of those you may see in a podcast player. These controls let you pause, change the reading speed, skip ahead or back by 10 seconds, and scrub forward as well. Both the language and the voice can be changed to your liking. A Google help page about the feature states that it supports multiple languages, including English, French, German, Arabic, Hindi, and Spanish. 

You can also toggle the “Highlight text & auto scroll” option on or off. The following are the available voice options:

Ruby: warm, mid-pitched

River: calm, mid-pitched

Field: Bright, low-pitched

Moss: peaceful, low-pitched

The playback continues even if you open other websites or lock your device. It stops when you close the Chrome browser. The mini-player will resume where you left off when you relaunch Chrome. Users can also create a shortcut for the feature in the toolbar next to Omnibox. Simply navigate to Settings, scroll to “Advanced” and select the Toolbar shortcut. This feature, which is also available in Chrome Custom Tabs, enables users to play audio with a single tap.

Safari for iPhone has a similar feature called “Listen to Page” that uses Siri to read webpages to you. It has many of the same controls as well.

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