Last week we heard that Googles online bookstore was on the verge of a pre-2011 launch, but we didn’t quite expect it to be ready this soon. But lo and behold, during a week in which Google is poised to make some big announcements (rumors are flying about Gingerbread and Chrome OS), the company has somewhat quietly rolled out Google eBooks. The service was long-rumored to be called Google Editions, but it seems they have opted for the slightly more transparent and broad name of simply ‘eBooks.’
The entire platform is based around the notion of the cloud. Purchased books are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and a Webkit browser — including mobile devices. An Android app is already available (though oddly titled as simply Google Books), and the standard iOS version is sure to follow shortly.
Right now Google has inked deals with 4,000 publishers, but the number could expand to 35,000 by early 2011. At launch users have access to about 300,000 titles. Google is also working with academic presses and universities to make textbooks available via eBooks and is also working with GoodReads, a social network based around books. Publishers stands to make between 52 percent and 70 percent of list price.
We will dive further into the artist formerly known as Google Editions, but for now why not check it out yourself. Get the app with the QR below.
Where’s the Text to speech?
Kindle has it. iOS has it. Android already supports it.
Why doesn’t the Google books android app?
Damn isn’t that more than iBooks and that is on launch. I will check this out when I get my Nexus S.
doesn’t show up in market- captivate running 2.2
App works well! Some books are a bit expensive for digital copies though….
Doesn’t seem to be available in the UK yet, at least not on my Desire HD (2.2)
Did anyone notice the DOWNLOAD ANDROID APP Button? Could this be a sign of the web version of the Android Market?
U.S. only… Come on!
Agreed – Doesn’t seem to be available in the UK yet, at least not on my Desire HD (2.2)
Required network connection = can’t read on plane = fail
@John It supports offline reading.
well no app found for my uk desire!
It’s US only everyone. That’s why you non-us citizens can’t find it
@ParrisP – also conspicuously there, “Send Android app to phone”… I think the other is there solely if you navigated there on an Android web browser.
No app on my UK Samsung Galaxy S
Eh, virtual books annoy the hell out of me. And a phone is too small to properly read on.
On a side note, I find it interesting that the market can’t seem to find any apps that are related to this one. Hmm… really?!?
Yo Kevin, it’s called GOOGLE BOOKS, NOT EBOOKS. Just sayin : )
Honestly the kindle is a better e-book device. I found myself using the kindle app on my MyTouch 4G alot but it was straining my eyes. I broke down and purchased a kindle two weeks ago and absolutely love it. Don’t get me wrong this is a great thing but reading on the kindle is like reading a book.
yeh, not in the UK on the desire HD, from reading the comments it seems nobody from the UK has it :(
yeh if you look on this site:
it says “Google eBooks is available in the United States and is compatible with phones running Android 2.1 (Eclair) or later. Download and install our free reader app to start reading over 3 million ebooks on the go. ”
thus atm its not available outside of US, lame!
Looks like the app does support at least some kind of offline reading! Haven’t really had a chance to check it out throughly, but if you go to “Manage eBooks” and click the pin icon by one of your books it says “Ensuring that you can read this book offline”
US only, it’s crap like this that makes me want to switch to the iphone. It may be totalitarian but at least we get stuff.
@21 It’s been stated many times that it’s US only for now and coming to Europe and other regions early next year. Chill out.
Eh… the prices are only slightly better then other ebook stores and it’s still DRM’d… I’m a little sad :(
Amazing article on the Google eBookstore I really think that this is going to help Google capture a new market like they have with the other markets that they are in. Be sure to check out my blog post on this as well Google adds eBooks to its product lineup
Doesn’t seem to be available for me here in Canada. I’ve done a bunch of searches for it.
I’ve been waiting for this for ages and put off committing to another platform (ie Nook, Kindle, Sony etc) because I had heard that it wouldn’t be tied to any particular platform but be web accessible with apps for phones and tablets, etc. But I’m hugely disappointed that I can’t upload drm free epub and pdf books that I already own. Given the size of my library (200 books or more) that’s a lot to give up and a real disappointment. I hope that they add the ability to upload existing books soon. I don’t want to use a different platform!
For NOW it’s available only in US, but you still can get it and there is about 3 millions free titles that you can get right NOW the only restriction for NOW is that you can’t buy books because of Canadian laws and regulations and not because of Google.
@hammondc Well if you like, go to iOS and you’ll get the same kind of restrictions plus all the other that comes with it. The only better choice would be to move to US, it’s up to you.