The debate between physical and digital books is a heated one. Some people prefer the look of a tome on their bookshelf and enjoy the smell of each page as they hold their nose to an old favorite. Others like the convenience that comes with having access to an entire personal library of books whenever and wherever they have their phone. One clear disadvantage of digital books, though, is the ability for a single company to determine when and where you can buy them.
If you snagged a new Nexus 9 this past week, hit up the Google Play Books app. It looks like Google is offering a free book from a selection of best-sellers, and all you have to do is accept. We don't yet know if other devices are eligible or if there are geographic restrictions, but you might as well check.
There's a surprising lack of options when it comes to Android audiobooks. Sure, there's Audible, but its metered subscription service isn't an ideal solution for a lot of people, and other services tend to be light on content. Audiobook enthusiasts now have another alternative: Barnes & Noble. NOOK (ALL CAPS) Audiobooks is available as a free download on any Android 4.0+ device, though I'm betting that only those in the US can actually buy books.
Google has not only posted that Play Books is now available in 12 more nations, but it also took the opportunity to test our knowledge of geography. Rather than simply list the countries, the Google Play G+ account posted an image of 13 flags (Norway actually went live the other day, hence 12 new ones). Thanks, guys.
The all-you-can-eat subscription service is available for basically everything these days: movies, music, games...and thanks to Oyster, books. For those unfamiliar with Oyster, the gist is very simple – pay $10 a month, read as much as you like. While Oyster has been around since late last year, today marks the launch of the company's Android app.
The service offers a fairly massive 500,000+ book catalog right out of the gate, and subscribers have access to as many of those as they can consume for $10 a month.
We post about a ton of games around these parts, but those nifty Android devices of yours are good for more than shifting around pixels as quickly as possible. They're also great for reading, and those of you in Norway are now able to purchase digital books from Google Play. Just head over to the virtual marketplace to see Google's recommendations for what reads are hot right now or what the company thinks you may be into.
When it comes to publishers, few names stand out in the technical world like O'Reilly. With literally thousands of books and videos, there are topics ranging from Programming to Business, and Fitness to Photography. Not only does O'Reilly print under its own name, but it also owns several other brands including: Wiley, Packt Publishing, No Starch Press, and more. Almost every developer probably has a small stack of books with the trademark line-drawn animals on the covers.
Mother's Day will arrive next month, but it's never too early to appreciate that special woman who brought you into this world and/or devoted many years of her life to raising you. Many will be happy to receive nice flowers, a thoughtful card, or some article of clothing - but for that tech-savvy, Nexus-toting mom out there, the Play Store is here to help. Google has kicked off a Mother's Day promotion that will last until May 5th, offering up an entire year's subscription to certain magazines for just $5 and 50% off a good number of books (unfortunately, since there's no gifting functionality built into Google Play, you will have to buy these things under her account somehow).
Physical books just aren't what they used to be. They're big, clunky, and far too heavy. Okay, they're precisely what they always were, but times have changed. Publishers have upped their game, shrinking complex books down into portable digital formats and adding in interactive elements to make them more engaging. One such publisher, Inkling, has now ported its catalog of books to Android. These are usable exclusively through its dedicated app, which is now available through the Play Store in beta form.