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.