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Use a screen reader with Google Play on Android

You can read books, magazines, and news articles or listen to music in Google Play using the TalkBack screen reader. Learn how to turn on TalkBack.

Note: TalkBack is not available for all formats. 

Find and listen to books, news & music

Find and read books

Find your book

  1. If you haven’t already, turn on TalkBack.
  2. Open Play Books Play Books.
  3. Explore the app to find a book:
    • Tabs: At the bottom, you’ll find tabs like "Home," "Shop," and "Library" or "My Library." Some of these might take you out of the app.
    • Navigation drawer: At the top left, you’ll find the navigation drawer. Open to explore Shop, Help & Feedback, and Settings.
    • Genre-based suggestions: Swipe to the bottom and select "Tell us what you like."
    • "Home": Search for a book you don’t have and download it.

Read a book

  1. If you haven’t already, turn on TalkBack.
  2. Open Play Books Play Books.
    • If you already have the book, find it in the "Library" or "Home" screens.
    • If you don’t have the book, search for it at the top of the "Home" screen, then pick a result and download the book.
  3. Open the book.
  4. Tap the screen, then double-tap to enter skim mode.
  5. Select More More and then Read aloud.
    • To move through the text on a page, swipe.
    • To flip pages, two-finger swipe left or right.
Read the news

Navigate news articles

  1. If you haven’t already, turn on TalkBack.
  2. Open Play Newsstand Play Newsstand.
  3. You’ll be on the Home screen. Tabs at the bottom let you navigate to different places inside the app, such as "For You," "Library," "Explore," and "Read Later."
    • Navigation drawer: At the top left.
    • For You: At the bottom left. This tab has suggested news articles.
    • Library: At the bottom. This tab has your sources and topics of interest.
    • Explore: At the bottom. This tab has a list of topics you can add to your Library.
    • Read Later: At the bottom right. This tab contains articles you’ve saved to read later.

Read an article

  1. If you haven’t already, turn on TalkBack.
  2. Open Play Newsstand Play Newsstand.
  3. Swipe or explore by touch to find an article, then double-tap it to start reading
  4. Optional: To save the article for later, go to the top right and select Read later Add bookmark.
Find and play music

Navigate music

  1. If you haven’t already, turn on TalkBack.
  2. Open Play Music Play Music.
  3. You’ll be on the Home screen.
    • Navigation drawer: At the top left. The drawer holds your Music library, Settings, Help & Feedback and categories of music.
    • Recent: At the upper right. This tab holds albums and stations you’ve played recently.
    • Suggestions: Explore the Home screen. These cards list suggested artists and stations.

Play a radio station

  1. If you haven’t already, turn on TalkBack.
  2. Open Play Music Play Music.
  3. Swipe to move through radio stations until you find the one you want to hear.
  4. Swipe again to select Play Play.
  5. Double-tap to start playing.

Use the player

With the player focused, you can rate a song thumbs-up or thumbs-down, pause it, or skip to the next or previous song.

  • With the Google Play Music app player focused, two-finger swipe left to go to the previous song.
  • With the Google Play Music app player focused, two-finger swipe right to go to the next song.

Tips and tricks

  • The Navigation drawer and tabs are on most screens, so you can use them as landmarks.
  • If you can’t find the Navigation drawer, open it with a two-finger swipe right.

Andrea is a Google Play expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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