Google thinks it has solved the biggest problem with reading comics on your smartphone

Smartphones are well-suited to many tasks — but reading comics is not one of them.

Even on the biggest phablets, text bubbles become small and illegible, forcing the reader to laboriously zoom in-and-out as they read.

But Google thinks it has solved this problem with a nifty new feature called Bubble Zoom.

Bubble Zoom is built into an update for its ebook about Google Play Books, for Android. It automatically detects texts bubbles in a comic and enlarges them — letting the user clearly read what’s being said without having to zoom and swipe around the page.

Check it out in action:


It’s powered using Google’s machine learning tech, the company said in a blogpost published Thursday.

Right now, it doesn’t work on everything: Just “all Marvel and DC collected volumes.” But the company has some high ambitions for the technology longterm.

“As we continue to teach our machines to read more comic book styles,” it says, “our goal is to eventually bring Bubble Zoom to all the comics and manga ever made.”

Here’s a video from Google discussing the new Bubble Zoom:

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