Version 3.5 of the Play Books for Android app dropped today, and if you're a frequent user of the app, you're going to notice some pretty immediate visual changes. Let's get right into it: the "read now" UI - the pane the app launches to by default - now shows your recent books in a sliding horizontal list instead of a tiled grid. There are also now "buy" links for any books you have samples of in the read now UI.

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Left: old, right: new (v3.5).

The larger change we noticed was a new feature - a brand-new way to discover new books you might like. Here's what that looks like - it's accessible from the bottom of the "read now" UI if you scroll all the way down.

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The new Books v3.5 suggestion experience.

The "tell us what you like" UI gives you a sampling of various genres of books to choose from, and then provides you (generic, presumably) suggestions based upon what you picked. Most are just samples, so if you select one it'll then download a free sample of the book and place it in your library.

Other changes to the app are more subtle.

 Screenshot_2015-07-08-12-24-40 Screenshot_2015-07-08-12-24-36

Left: old, right: new.

So subtle, in fact, that I would venture you wouldn't be sure which of these is the old versus the new Play Books. The changes to the library view seem basically to be about consistency, with the navigation bar no longer overflowing into the main content area and adopting some material shadows.

Books with images also now display them in larger, more native-y size, though this results in them looking quite pixelated because the native resolution for images in many eBooks is quite low.

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Left: old, right: new.

There may be a few other minor design changes here and there, but other than that, that rounds out the new features we've been able to locate in Play Books v3.5 - download it below.

The official changelog for Books v3.5 is now up, and it contains a few new items we missed in our post here (highlighted):

WHAT'S NEW

Read Now has a new look
Turn a page even when it's zoomed in
Fit-width option for full-screen horizontal viewing – great for comics
Files that you upload no longer revert to the default cover
Stability and performance enhancements
We also had a reader send in this - a screenshot asking if you want to sync your notes and bookmarks to Google Drive, a feature we previously saw references to in a teardown.
mail.google.com

It looks like there's now a progress bar in the Read Now UI to show how far you've progressed in a given title. Good spot, Curran and Alfredo!

Screenshot_2015-07-08-16-52-06

APK Download

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-3.5.12-30512-minAPI14.apk

Version: 3.5.12 (30512)

MD5: 3762180aa6e7f49fdaf4da59e37a8a12

  • Thanks:
  • Nikias Wingo