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.
Most people rely on Amazon, Google, Barnes and Noble, or some other all-in-one ebook service for their digital literary fix, but there is a thriving community of users who prefer the flexibility and lack of DRM that comes with independent reading apps. This has led to more than a few excellent choices in the space, including Readmill, an ebook app dedicated to simplicity and readability. Apparently Readmill users aren't the only ones who were impressed: Dropbox has acquired the app (or at least hired the employees who made it) and the service is shutting down.
The last time we saw an expansion of Google Play Books was nearly a month ago when the service opened up shop in South Africa, Switzerland, and Turkey. Since then, it would appear Google has been making headway in its continued effort to bring more of its services to as many countries as possible. This time around, the list of countries in which Play Books is available has been updated to include Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.
Ten years have passed since Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code' took the world by storm, with the book selling over 70 million copies worldwide. If you're one of the few people not to have read the novel since its release, now's your chance to get it for free from the Play Store.
With the release date of latest Robert Langdon novel, 'Inferno', fast approaching, fans of the series have the chance to re-read The Da Vinci Code for free, before diving into the prologue and first chapter of Inferno, which will be released in May this year.
Our second, and last, giveaway for today is a little more literary than the offerings we've had so far, and really, is pointed more towards those who are looking to get into Android programming and development. So, we do ask that you only enter this contest if you actually want the book, because there aren't many Android giveaways out there aimed at the developer crowd. And don't worry devs, this isn't the only InformIT title we'll be offering as part of our Mega-Holiday Giveaway - it's just the first.
It sure seems that way, according to Android Guys. They claim competing eBook apps such as Kobo and Aldiko don't appear in search results when using the Amazon Appstore on a Kindle Fire tablet. Additionally, eBook reader developer BlueFire claims that while his app is listed as Kindle Fire-compatible on the Amazon Appstore, it too fails to show up in search results on the device.
We've not heard of many apps mysteriously not showing up in the Fire's app list (presumably Amazon had lots of time to work on ensuring most apps on its store would be compatible) for a lack of compatibility, so if this does turn out to be true, we can probably assume that Amazon made a conscious decision to keep competitors' apps out of the hands of users.
It seems Barnes and Noble gave everyone a bit of a surprise today. It was expected that the bookseller would be launching a 3G version of its wildly popular NOOK e-reader (or maybe even a 3G NOOKcolor), but instead, B&N went straight for the competition's throat, launching the 6-inch e-ink display sporting, Android-powered (albeit Android 2.1) NOOK Simple Touch Reader. And all for the low, low cost of $140 - a price suspiciously reminiscent of a certain other e-book reader.
What is Google eBooks?
Google unveiled its long-awaited eBook store this morning. What makes it different from, say, the Amazon eBook store? Well, sheer selection of titles for one: Google's eBooks has debuted with over 3 million pieces of literature to choose from - including a vast library of free and public domain materials, many of which you won't find anywhere else (trust me). It would appear Google's massive digitalization efforts have paid off.
Barnes & Noble has already shown great interest in the Android platform by choosing it to run on their own e-reader, and this relationship continues to grow. B&N has just released Nook For Android, a full-featured app that includes access to their e-book store.
With plenty of e-reader applications on the Market already (including Nook’s main rival, Kindle) this may seem like overkill. However, the LendMe feature, which allows users to lend their e-books to friends for short periods of time, may be enough for some to make the switch.
This morning, Borders’ website was updated with new instructions for obtaining the Borders eBooks reader app for Android, in conjunction with its launch of the Borders eBooks store.
The app (as stated above) will only work on Android 2.0+ devices. Once you create a Borders eBooks account (which can be done entirely through the app), you can purchase eBooks in-app (uh-oh Kindle for Android) and read them straight away! We’ve provided a couple of screens below.