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Google’s Reading mode app now works in Gmail and social media apps

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Reading Mode app running on smartphone stock photo (1)

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Google’s Reading mode app has been silently updated to support email and social media apps.
  • You can now use the Reading mode app on apps like Gmail, Threads, and X (formerly known as Twitter).

Android has a long way to go to become a more accessible platform, but progress is made with every release. In late 2020, Google released a new Reading mode app that can turn websites into pure text, making it easier to read without distractions. This Reading mode app also features text-to-speech functionality, making it quite handy to have articles read out to you. Google has silently blessed the Reading mode app with wider support, making it useful across more apps.

As spotted by Artem Russakovskii, the Reading mode app is now working with emails in the Gmail app for Android. 9to5Google was able to get the app’s features working on Threads and X (formerly known as Twitter) too.

Not sure how new this is but Reading Mode is now working with emails in Gmail. Not all emails, but it did work with some long ones I wanted to listen to. pic.twitter.com/x10btoWORe

The app does warn that Reading mode may not work well with social media and email apps. The experience isn’t perfect, as the app does not work across all emails, but it gets the job done. With this new functionality, Reading mode makes it very easy to read newsletters and lengthy posts on social media and even have them read aloud to you.

After installing the Reading mode app, you can launch it by either holding down both volume keys on your phone or swiping up from the bottom of the screen with two fingers. Alternate launching options include a floating accessibility button and a Quick Settings tile.

The Reading mode app does not work in Google Messages or with PDFs, so there is still room for improvement. But if you are looking for an alternative to Google Assistant‘s “Read aloud” functionality, the Reading mode app will serve you well.

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