Voracious readers and Word-A-Day calendar fans, this one is for you. While the latest update to Google Play Books isn't anywhere near as dramatic as the Material Design refresh six weeks ago, it nonetheless adds a couple of features that regular readers will find useful. First of all, version 3.3 adds a downloadable dictionary option to augment Play Books' instant lookup feature. To apply it, just highlight a word in any book and then tap the contextual "download" button.
Obviously this will be a boon for places where you might not be able to get reliable Internet access, notably during air travel or in a foreign country, but tablet users in particular will be happy to see the offline dictionary. The only other user-facing change we've found is a slightly tweaked slide-out menu, which now has a different look to the tool that switches between two or more Google accounts. Strangely it doesn't use the same swipe gesture as apps like Gmail - to switch to a secondary account, you'll have to tap to open a drop-down menu. The background image (from Google+) is larger and the secondary avatar is displayed, but that's about it.
Old on the left, new on the right
We have spotted a few more strings in the app's code that weren't there before. They're specifically tied to the Notes feature, but we can't see any way that they affect the user experience for the time being.
Seeing these strings too, but not sure how to get to them:
<string name="save_notes_title">Save notes, highlights, and bookmarks in Google Drive</string>
<string name="save_notes_checkbox_label">Save my notes, highlights, and bookmarks</string>
<string name="save_notes_folder_label">Google Drive folder name</string>
<string name="save_notes_default_folder">Play Books Notes</string>
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.
File name: com.google.android.apps.books-3.3.9-30309-minAPI14.apk
Version: 3.3.9 (30309) (Android 4.0+).