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Chrome for Android can now read webpages aloud, with manual playback controls

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If you use an iPhone, you’ve probably noticed the Listen to Page option in Safari that lets you use Siri to listen to the webpage you’re on. Now, Chrome for Android is adding a similar feature with an almost identical name — Listen to this page. This feature reads the content aloud from the webpages you’re currently viewing.

You get manual control over the read loud voice and playback speed

The read webpages feature on Chrome for Android isn’t available yet on all websites. You will find this feature working best on text-heavy webpages. To use this feature, visit the website that you want Chrome to read aloud, then tap the three dots in the top-right corner and choose the Listen to this page option.

A miniplayer will appear, showing you a progress bar and the play/pause option. You also get the 10-second forward and rewind option. At the bottom corners of the miniplayer, you will find two different options. The left-side option at the bottom of the miniplayer allows you to increase the playback speed of the audio. You can select a playback speed between 0.8x to 4x. On the bottom-right corner of the miniplayer, you get a triple-dot menu, tapping which opens up two new options — Voice and Highlight text & auto scroll.

You can select the Voice option to configure the voice in which you want the TTS (text-to-speech) feature to read the content of the website. And the Highlight text and auto scroll are two separate features that Chrome has merged under one name. The Highlight text option highlights the text that the TTS feature is currently reading, and the auto scroll option keeps scrolling the webpage until the feature has read the last word of the webpage.

Reading webpages on Chrome for Android is a long-overdue feature

Last year, Google was testing the TTS feature for Chrome reading mode on desktop. However, that feature didn’t last long, and the company didn’t roll it out publicly. After the removal of this feature, you had to use a third-party extension if you wanted Chrome to read webpages.

Thankfully, Google has started to roll out this feature publicly, but only on Chrome for Android. It will most likely become available on the desktop version as well in the near future.

Since Google is gradually rolling out the feature with Chrome version 125, it might take a while for you to see it. Be patient if you haven’t received it yet. In the meantime, make sure you have Chrome version 125 installed, which you can get from the Google Play Store.

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