The information age has not been kind to the humble bookstore. After mega-chains valiantly tried and failed to compete with the 800-pound gorilla that is Amazon, only Barnes & Noble is left in the US (and it's quickly becoming a showroom for LEGO and Pop Vinyl toys as much as an actual bookseller). A few indies are surviving thanks to a small resurgence of dead tree reading and some trendy makeovers, but the writing is on the wall.
Now that app updates are back to business as usual (more or less), Play Books is showing some activity again with a couple of small-ish changes that add a bit of polish. There are now shortcuts with links to different sections of the Play Store and an updated welcome card for the so-called Night Light feature. But the more interesting change is actually buried where it can't be seen in the live interface: some real signs that the Family Library is moving forward in Play Books. If you're looking for the APK, we have the link at the bottom.
Yesterday brought a brand new update to the Play Store, bringing the version up to 5.10.29. There are some new UI elements, even if most of us aren't allowed to see them yet, and we can now copy text from the what's new and description sections. Naturally, Google included a few hidden tricks and treats just waiting to be discovered. We can expect to see books organized by series, apps described with size, and some friendlier welcome and exploration messages.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
Hollywood is bringing The Martian by Andy Weir to life on the big screen in a few months, but you can get the original novel for a pittance if you act quick. This book is usually $9.99 on Google Play, but it's on sale for $1.99 right now. Amazon has also lowered its price to match, as it tends to do.
A good eBook reading experience isn't defined solely by what you're reading, the device you're reading it on, or a couple of settings – it's defined by all of those things; and as one of those things changes, the others may have to change along with it. If you're popping open a copy of Hitchhikers Guide for the third time, you might have to tinker with the background color and font so a full page of text is comfortable to read. On the other hand, those options don't make sense when you're looking at graphic panels from the latest issue of The Walking Dead.
The media playback situation on Android Auto is not great, but it's a little better today now that Audiobooks.com works in the car. This is somehow the first audio book source with proper support for Google's car platform. Hey Audible, maybe you want to get on that too? Thanks.
As much as we all love to live in a digital world, there's just no replacing books. Sure, ebooks are good - but there's something awesome about having a physical copy and flipping through the pages. That's especially true if you're already using your computer for something else - you know, like work. Let me give an example.
Let's say you're a developer, and you're working on...something. You're having issues squashing a bug or getting a specific feature to work the way you want. Then you remember that you have this killer book from Packt Publishing on the shelf behind you that covers the very thing you're having an issue with you.
The Goodreads app wasn't bad when it came out, but it's been far behind the times pretty much ever since. With the most recent update, however, it's getting a fresh coat of paint with a number of subtle changes. It's not material, but it's creeping slowly in that direction.
Niantic Labs is mostly known for the game Ingress, and now the Google internal startup has announced its next project. The upcoming Endgame: Proving Ground is another immersive alternative reality experience, but this time it's part of a larger fictional world. This game will take place in the Endgame universe created with the help of author James Frey.