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Google Chrome for Android May Soon Read Webpages for You Even When Minimised: Report

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Google Chrome for Android recently introduced a feature that enables the browser to read any text-heavy webpage aloud. The feature – dubbed ‘Listen to this Page’ – can be accessed via the three-dotted menu icon and comes with the option to listen to the text in different voices as well as several languages. Now, a recent report suggests that this feature may be further enhanced with an option for background text playback.

Background Text Playback

According to a report by MSPowerUser, Google is said to developing an additional functionality for the ‘Listen to this Page’ feature that will enable background playback of the webpage text. At present, Chrome users on the Android platform can toggle this option to start the text-to-speech feature, but it stops as soon as the browser is minimised.

Google Chrome for Android app is reported to have a flag called “Read Aloud Background Playback”. This is said to allow Google Chrome’s feature to work in the background. The description for the flag reportedly reads, “Add support for background playback for Read Aloud”.

Notably, the ‘Listen to this Page’ feature on Android can play the audio while the user switches to a different tab and even when the device is locked. It was introduced with Google Chrome for Android version 125. Once toggled, it appears with a mini-player at the bottom of the screen with play/pause, 10-second fast forward/rewind and playback speed options. Additionally, the webpage auto-scrolls as the feature continues reading the text.

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Google’s ‘Listen to this Page’ supports several Indian and global languages, including Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Minimised Custom Tabs

Apart from the ‘Listen to this Page’ feature, Google Chrome for Android also recently introduced Minimised Custom Tabs with Chrome 124 update. It enables users to shuffle between native apps and Web content and appears as a downward button on the top banner alongside the name of the website. Once toggled, it turns the Chrome tab into a floating picture-in-picture (PiP) window.

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