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Google Go users in emerging markets now have a new option to help make web pages easier to understand.

Designed for areas with slow or unreliable Internet access, the Google Go search app can now read web pages aloud, Google has announced in a blog post. The new technology is capable of reading aloud billions of web pages in 28 different languages. The voice sounds natural, even over a 2G connection, according to Google, and uses minimal cellular data.

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Google Go debuted last December in India and Indonesia as an alternative search app for entry level Android devices in regions with weak or spotty Internet connections. The goal behind the app is to make the Web easier, friendlier, and faster to people who would other have difficulty accessing it. The new text reading feature is geared toward those who may have trouble viewing or understanding web pages, especially ones with long chunks of text.

"People using Google Go come from many different backgrounds, and some might want extra tools to help read and pronounce new words -- for example those with visual or reading impairments, people studying a foreign language, or those less comfortable reading long text," Google said in its blog post. "Today's update makes it easier for anyone to access the richness of the web. For those learning new languages, each word is highlighted as it is read, allowing you to follow along and helping accelerate your learning."

Google Go already offered a way to search the web using your voice. So the text reading is a natural extension. The feature uses artificial intelligence to figure out which areas of a page to read and which to exclude, so that users hear only the important parts. Google said it would like to add the web page-reading technology to more of its products in the future.

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Takeaways

  1. Geared for emerging markets, the Google Go search app has introduced a text-reading feature to read web pages aloud.
  2. The new feature is designed to make the web more accessible to people who may have trouble reading or understanding web pages with a lot of text.

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Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books - "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time" and "Teach Yourself VISUALLY LinkedIn."