Google constantly experiments with the UI of its applications. While some changes go down well with users, others — like the recent redesign of the YouTube resolution picker — spark criticism. The latest product to get a makeover is Google Assistant’s web page reading tool that reads articles and other text on websites out loud for you.
The most notable difference coming with the new UI is that it takes up less space than the previous one, allowing you to see a tad more of the web page you’re having read. The player on the bottom also loses its blue accents — the play/pause button and the seek bar are dunked in dark gray. The UI additionally gains a prominent Google Assistant branding at the top that almost feels obnoxious due to its redundancy.
Above: New interface. Below: Previous interface.
The playback speed controls now sit in the bottom right corner, but they still allow you to read content at 3x speed — pretty useful in case you make the Assistant recite the lyrics of Eminem’s Godzilla. The new interface is still lacking a matching dark mode, though, a questionable omission at this point.
If you haven’t heard about this tool before and wonder how to trigger it, it’s pretty simple. Just activate Google Assistant when you’re reading a web page and ask it to “read it to me”, “read it out” or “read it.” If the article is in a foreign language, the tool can even instantly translate it and read it out in 42 languages. It’s pretty nifty. We’ve got more details on the reader’s capabilities in our dedicated how-to.