Google Assistant makes Storytelling more magical

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Tired of sharing the same old stories about your high school to kids? Google Assistant can help and has several stories that will appeal to both kids and adults.

While you can always listen to music and podcasts on Nest speakers while you’re working or doing something else, there are times when you want something else like a story. You probably don’t have a person on stand-by to tell you stories or something, but if you have a device that has Google Assistant around you, you can actually ask it to help you out.

How to get Google Assistant to tell you a Story

To listen to all great stories, and begin story time, just say,

  • Hey Google, tell me a story (for classics like “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty,”)
  • Hey Google, tell me a bedtime story, works better for night-themed narratives
  • Hey Google, tell me a StoryCorps story (to hear short stories from NPR told by real people across the US)
  • Hey Google, tell me a story about motherhood (you’ll hear beautiful, two-minute interviews between mothers and their children. Keep that one in mind for Mother’s Day.)
  • Hey Google, give me a limerick (for times when you want five lines and some rhymes)

a neat little feature, and another tool in a parent’s arsenal when their little ones won’t go to sleep. These stories are perfect for when you need a less visual and more aural kind of entertainment. Kids are an attractive demographic for smart speakers because they impact which devices will be used most in the home. So, Google is working toward making it easier to access audio content through Google Home and Assistant with as little friction as possible.

Google Assistant can tell you a story on your Android and iOS phone as well

Google Assistant is getting in the literary action by storytelling via Assistant for Android and iOS on the road with you. With this feature, mobile users can have Google read them a tale using the simple command. No matter where or how you or your kids choose to read or listen to a book, the Google Assistant can help out at Storytime, a Godsend for parents.

A great feature given its accessibility to children who may not have access to a smartphone or tablet, but it does limit where the stories take place. Now, whether you’re on the way to school drop-off or waiting for soccer practice to start, you can hear stories like “Let’s Be Firefighters!” (Blaze and the Monster Machines), “Robot Rampage” (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and more. The stories are intended for kids and are pulled from a library of kid-safe books.

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Google Assistant can also add sound effects and music to Storytime

Families can also make Storytime a little more magical with a feature called Read along, available on Google Home smart speakers (Home, Mini, Max and Hub). To try it out, just grab one of the compatible books and say,

  • Hey Google, let’s read along

and the Assistant will ask you which book you’d like to read. A great reading option is “Ara the Star Engineer”, the book inspires young children to explore the magic of STEM by highlighting themes like courage, creativity, coding and collaboration. Just say

  • Hey Google, read along with Ara the Star Engineer

One of the advantages that movies and TV shows have over reading books is that they’re usually accompanied by visual effects, sound effects, and background music that can help set the tone. However there are benefits to reading books as well, and if you’re trying to encourage that habit, Google and Disney might have the solution. Google is expanding on features that are for fun, with storytelling sound effects. Parents can activate a feature by saying

  • Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney

This includes 10 minute tales from Disney or other classics. As you read select Little Golden Books aloud, Google Assistant will play relevant sound effects, with actual voice actor and music to bring the story to life. Google partnered with Disney, to include family favorites like Moana, Coco and others like:

  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Cinderella
  • Coco
  • Jack Jack Attack
  • Mickey Mouse and his Spaceship
  • Moana
  • Toy Story 3
  • Peter Pan
  • Mickey Mouse Goes Christmas Shopping
  • Ara the Star Engineer
  • Aladdin
  • Lion King
  • Mulan
  • Frozen

Google wanted to reflect the way families actually read, so If you skip ahead in the book, it will recognize and jump ahead, if you pause, it will just play ambient music until you begin reading again, automatically keeping track of the reader’s voice and flow. No other commands are possible when the read-along feature is engaged.

The feature works with Google Nest/Home speakers in US. The idea is interesting, and adds another way a smart speaker can augment existing family activities. Stories optimized for this type of interactivity may make reading along with a smart speaker even more fun. So, next time you’re cozying up with one of your favorite Disney stories, let Google Home enhance the score.

With their parent’s permission, children under 13 can also have their own personalized Google Assistant experience when they log in with their own account, through Family Link.

Tell Me a Story is available in English on your Android or iOS phone in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and India.

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Looking for more ways to get your family reading together, consider asking Assistant to read an audiobook on Google Play. Ready to start listening? Check out some family favorites available for download, say Hey Google, read

or any audiobook title, and you’ll hear a free sample if you don’t own the audiobook.

  • Hey Google, read my book (to resume your place) or
  • Hey Google, skip to the next chapter (Pause, resume or skip forward or backward in your audiobook)

Audiobooks are available on the Assistant in English in the U.S., Australia, Canada and Great Britain, German and Japanese. You’ll need to have the latest version of Google Play Books for Android or iOS installed to listen to all of these great stories.

Which stories have you enjoyed on smart speaker or phone, let us know in the comments below.


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5 thoughts on “Google Assistant makes Storytelling more magical

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  1. Juergen Nieveler I understand, since Home Hub was only launched a month or so ago, it may take some time for Google to ramp up production and make it available to other countries.

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