Earlier this year, Google introduced a Material Theme redesign for Play Books on Android. Now widely rolled out, version 5.1.9 today adds a handful of new features for audiobooks, including audio quality and download size, as well as customizable backward/forward increments.
There is a new “Audiobook playback” section in settings after “Reading” and before “Notifications.” An “Audio quality” menu allows users to choose between Standard (smaller file) and High (larger file). This option can only be set at a high-level, and not on a per book basis. Additionally, the app does not list file sizes for each item at download.
Given the large sizes, it’s a useful setting for managing storage following Play Books adding an audiobooks store and support early last year.
The next change lets users customize the skip backward/forward amount. Both increments can be set independently of each other and include: 5, 15, 30, and 60 seconds. Thirty is the default value with this change reflected in multiple places throughout the app. The full Now Playing screen and notification shows both buttons, while the compact player when browsing the app only displays backwards.
One other small tweak in this release updates the app shortcuts with Material Theme icons. Version 5.1.9 of Google Play Books is rolling out now via the Play Store.