Amazon's Innovative Echo Speaker Can Now Read Audiobooks For You

Amazon's digital assistant and home entertainment gadget called Echo is continually being updated with new tricks and features. For example, it recently learned the ability to report the traffic and can now report on sports scores, tap into Pandora, and is compatible with connected home devices from WeMo and Philips Hue. But the newest trick Amazon just added to Echo's growing stable is to play audiobooks.

"Now you can listen to audiobooks from Audible with Echo," Amazon stated in an email. "Audiobooks offer a great way to enjoy your favorite books while relaxing, cooking, or spending time together with family."

Amazon Echo

Amazon goes on to list a series of supported commands, such as:
  • Start any book you own with "Alexa, read [Audible book title]"
  • Resume the current book you're reading by saying "Alexa, read my book."
  • Control playback with "Alexa, go back/forward."

You can also pause playback at any time, though you can't skip chapters by using your voice at this time. If you want to skip a chapter, you'll have to use the Amazon Echo app and select Queue from the Now Playing bar.

Echo works with Whispersync, too. This means you can start playing an audiobook on Echo and pick up where you left off by reading or listening to the same title on a compatible Fire, Kindle device, Kindle reading app, or Audible app -- pretty snazzy.