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Google Play Books finally gets features to compete with Kindle

Posted: , posted by Michael H.

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Google Play Books finally gets features to compete with Kindle
If you're deep into the Android ecosystem and the Google Play Store, you may have wanted to invest more in Google Play Books, but the immaturity of the app may have held you back because it didn't have features seen in Amazon's Kindle app that should have been standard. This new update fixes all of that, and adds in some new features that take it beyond the competition a bit. 

Google Play Books finally gets features to compete with Kindle
The main problem with Google Play Books was that you couldn't even select text, which meant no copying, no highlighting, or sharing. Now, that's all been fixed. With the new version of Books, you can highlight text, make notes, get dictionary definitions, translations, and even better, you can get "Place" page information, meaning maps and Wikipedia information, if the selected text is a place. 

Additionally, the update adds a sepia tone theme, and a sliding page turn animation. 

This is a big update for Google Play Books, and one that makes it a real competitor to the reigning king of ebooks: Amazon. Amazon's Kindle Fire may have those fancy new "X-Ray" features, but its Kindle app that's available to all Android and iOS users is working with the same feature set as usual, and Google may have just leapfrogged that offering, especially with the additions of translations, and the "Place" info cards.  

Definitions can be a bit slow to appear as well, and likely require an Internet connection, since Google seems to be using the web for the info, which may be a downside compared to Amazon which uses a locally stored dictionary. Google can offer more complete info, but slower, and tablet users need to be connected to get the benefits. And, unfortunately, the "Place" info cards only work for single-word items, like Atlanta, Boston, London, etc. Anything more than one word, like Tampa Bay, doesn't yield a result.  

If you want to give it a try, just head to the Play Store to update. 

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posted on 24 Sep 2012, 19:17 5

1. PhoneCritic (Posts: 1081; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

About time these were the features that Google books for ios had for like ages. Guess Google finally realized that it had a book store too.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 23:12 1

5. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Why bother? There's a Kindle app available on Android.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 00:28 3

6. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2721; Member since: 26 May 2011)

Some people choose to give their money to Apple, some choose Amazon, and some want to choose Google. So it goes.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 08:04 1

10. ZEUS.the.thunder.god (unregistered)

exactly. but i have noticed that whatever Google do they always try to leapfrog competition and they often succeed. Google is a company which is actually working towards to make this world a better place to live with their technology. they are not doing it only for money. Love Google for this philosphy. Don`t Be Evil.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 04:34 1

7. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)

Yeah, you do have a point. I would use Google Play Books, but I have a Kindle already, so I'd rather just go from there.

posted on 24 Sep 2012, 22:40 2

3. Pings (Posts: 304; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

I don't care untill I can import other eBooks I've bought.

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 06:35 1

8. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


posted on 24 Sep 2012, 22:40

4. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)

Um Excuse me, but it is free, no?

posted on 25 Sep 2012, 06:35

9. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

no, books are around $10

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