Google Bubble Zoom Enhances Your Comic Book Reading Experience Via Play Books

The San Diego Comic-Con is not usually known for tech announcements, but a preview of this cool new Google Play feature may be the exception. Google just announced Bubble Zoom which makes the text bubbles in comic books leap off the page.


Google can identify speech bubbles and enlarge them on the page thanks to machine learning and image recognition technology. Blobs of text are identified and popup when a user presses the volume button or taps the bottom-right of their screen. This magnification makes it easier to read the comic and even adds a little more action to the reading experience.

Bubble Zoom is currently only supported for Marvel and DC comics and at the moment, there are about forty comics available -- all of them are under the $15 mark. If you are excited about the new super movie hero franchises you can check-out Suicide Squad Volume One: Kicked in the Teeth or Doctor Strange Volume One: The Way of the Weird. There are also several Deadpool, Star Wars, and Batman comics.

Supported books include a note in the details page that points out that they are a part of the preview. The welcome screen demonstrates how to control the speech bubbles.

The introduction of this feature comes on the heels of the release of Play Books Version 3.9. This update made searches more thorough, added badges to new content, and made the app a little more stable. Books and comics now include more information on the second line of their description, including whether they are in a user’s library.

Bubble Zoom is available in Play Books v3.9.37 on Android phones. Google is offering 50% off these books with the code “SDCC2016” and will work with comics that are already discounted. This is considered a "tech preview," but Bubble Zoom will eventually expand to other comics on the store.