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.
Has it really been two years already? You're getting to be such a grown up app marketplace, Google Play. Google is offering some modest sales to celebrate two years of Google Play (also two years since the Android Market was smothered in its sleep). You'll find an assortment of apps, music, books, and movies, but don't expect amazing deals.
Most of the apps are offering discounts on in-app purchases. Although, you can play as a bugdroid in Badlands now, which it worthy of celebration all by itself.
This isn't a sale, so if the nerdgasm you have after viewing the upcoming images leave you too immobilized to hit that buy button right away, you have time to get yourself together. Geekify is offering a large selection of fantastical tablet cases on Etsy, such as one inspired by The Neverending Story that's made of faux leather and microsuede. An Auryn is even situated front and center, just above the title text.
The ladies and gentlemen at Amazon would certainly prefer it if you read your Kindle books on a Kindle or a Kindle Fire, but for the several hundred million who have a regular Android phone or tablet instead, they've improved the eponymous app on the Google Play Store. Today's update to version 4.3.0 adds a few much-needed features, most notably better organization for your growing collection of books and other documents.
With all the deals flying around lately, we know many of you have recently wrapped your fingers around a brand spanking new phone or tablet. Now comes the time to fill it with content. Just because the device likely came with Play Books pre-installed, that doesn't mean it's your only option for skimming through books. Amazon's massive collection of ebooks are only a click away, and now the company has announced its second annual 12 Days of Deals promotion.
Yes, yes, we know: Google takes its sweet time in getting all the various parts of the Play Store rolled out to all corners of the globe. This evening (or morning, I suppose) they've expanded the Google Play Books service to South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. Android and Chrome users in these countries should be able to buy and read books right now.
Pics or it didn't happen: South Africa
Today's update brings Google Play Books to 39 countries, mostly in North America, Europe, and Asia - in fact, South Africa is the first country on the continent to get access to the service.
Last month Amazon announced MatchBook, a new service that gives customers the option to get discounted Kindle versions of physical books they've already bought. It launched today with support for over 70,000 titles, seven times what the company promised would be available from the get go. Discounted books range from free to $2.99.
Eligible books date back to 1995, the year when Amazon first launched its online bookstore. Just remember that only purchases tied to your current account will apply, so while many of us didn't have email address way back when, those that did probably haven't held on to them.
On Tuesday night, surprisingly ahead of the usual update-all-the-things-Wednesday, Google released a major revision of the Play Books app for Android, updating it from v2 (2.9.21) to v3 (3.0.15). The changelog, which was shockingly present from the get-go (thank you!), confused me a bit but after digging around, I finally figured out what it means. Oh, and I found another fix that wasn't mentioned.
The official changelog is as follows:
- Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.
There are a number of ebook readers available for Android, but if you want a Holo-friendly option, your best bet is to rely on Google Books or the latest version of Aldiko. Now there's another competitor making its way over from iOS that seems to blend in just as well, if not more so. Readmill for Android offers a reading experience that's easy on the eyes and - since it's not tied to a bookstore of its own - your wallet.