Why it matters: Voice assistants might intrude in our daily lives in more ways than necessary but it does allow them to offer many conveniences, one of which now includes the ability of Google's Assistant to read texts aloud from third-party messaging apps and reply to them using speech-to-text. Google Assistant is adding a new text reading support.
I've used the feature and it is quite easy and seamless. The Assistant will tell you which app the message is coming from, who wrote it to you and its contents. After rolling out the new updates, it can read third party messages too.
To try this new feature, users have to activate Google Assistant on their Android phone, and say "read my messages". Users are then given the option to type the reply or give voice commands for it.
The Google Assistant is also now capable to reply to your messages. While Google Assistant already does that, it only does so for Google's own Messages and Hangouts apps, practically snubbing the rest of the world that use other services. This should make texting more fun. Some users have already reported that they already have this feature, solidifying the report that Google released the update silently for whatever reason. In case of audio, video, or an image, the Assistant will simply say that "the message contains an audio/video/ or a photo".
You can check if this feature works for you or not, by activating Google Assistant and commanding it to "read my messages". The text message spoken by you will be sent.
The read-aloud feature is great, especially if you're cooking, driving, or doing other things that require both your hands.
As of writing, we're pretty sure that the feature hasn't been rolled out to every Google user out there, so don't be surprised if it didn't work when you tried it out.