The Google Play Books app just received a substantial update, bringing the app to version 2.6.31 on compatible devices. Here's the changelog:

Added highlighting, notes, dictionary, "Places" info cards, translation, sepia mode, and sliding page-turn. Fixed crashes on launch on certain devices including HTC Wildfire.


In "Flowing Text" books, you can tap & hold to select some text and then
- Highlight
Add notes
- Translate
- See definition in dictionary info cards
- See a map and Wikipedia snippet in "Places" info cards, if the selected text is a place.

This is actually quite a large feature update, much of which you can see demonstrated in the screenshots below.

Screenshot_2012-09-24-15-12-01 Screenshot_2012-09-24-15-12-04 Screenshot_2012-09-24-15-12-14

Screenshot_2012-09-24-15-12-34 Screenshot_2012-09-24-15-13-12 Screenshot_2012-09-24-15-18-16

As you can see, highlighting, notetaking, sepia mode, and translations all seem to be in working order. I found the geographical place card didn't exactly work, though. It just gave me the definition of France (I tried London, England, and Westminster, too), not a map or Wikipedia snippet, unfortunately. So that's sort of a bummer.

We're also hearing the "Loading" issue with cached books hasn't been resolved, and that's been issue for several versions now.

Anyway, hit up the Play Store and grab the update now, and head over to Google's official Android blog for a more in-depth look at the update.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://twitter.com/anasqtiesh Anas Qtiesh

    About fucking time. Even the iOS version had those features since forever. Durr hurr.

    • MeCampbell30

      This man speaks the truth!

  • Justin

    The cards work for me... Try highlighting a land mark. It should return a map hit, and a link to search and wikipedia it,

  • Ryan Smith

    Location information appears in another card beneath the definition card. Scroll the definition card up to see the map and wikipedia link for that location.

  • http://twitter.com/psych2L Joseph Lee

    I love the renderscript used in the app, I just wish I could load my own epub formatted books and read it from there. Let's be open Google!

  • Dinofan01

    I want a service similar to Play Music. Let me upload some epubs to my account and let me have that synced across all my devices. That would be ideal instead of me having to use the damn kindle app.

  • TwilitSky

    Sadly, dictionary only works on an internet connection. :( Not ideal when reading on the go with a Nexus 7. Offline dictionary in next update please, Google! >_<

  • androidome

    i wonder why can't google just leave this brand 'Play' thing. Play books? what a lame name for the app. Google books could've been much better.

  • Fabio

    How to copy text to clipboard???

  • Matthew King

    The dictionary and translate info cards should be system wide across Android, they look great and are often useful!