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.
Google's got a surprise for users across Asia and New Zealand today, bringing Play Books availability to nine new places: Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
The company that claims the world's largest selection of online books has been slowly but surely making headway in spreading its Play products across the planet. Of course, it would be great if Google could simply flip a switch to bring Play to all Android users everywhere, but legal issues and other roadblocks mean it still takes some time to expand.
Anyone that reads on a mobile device, but doesn't dig Amazon's Kindle thing is probably using Aldiko. This is a super-popular ebook reader that supports EPUB, PDF, and Adobe DRM ebooks. It also works with titles rented through public libraries. You're probably going to wish it worked with more services because the new update looks excellent.
Google just released textbooks to the Google Play Store yesterday, and oddly enough, there's a synergistic update to the Google Play Books client available now. This version unsurprisingly expands the notation capabilities, as well as adding some education-friendly capabilities like book rentals and contextual copying.
Users can now highlight text and annotate pages that have been scanned in (as opposed to the simple, malleable text and digitally published pages that make up most ebooks).
Barnes & Noble may be toning down its Android tablet business, but they'd still really appreciate it if you bought some books from them. To that end, they've updated the Nook Android app to version 3.4, with a focus on better magazine browsing and book images. Now Android tablets with a resolution of 1280x720 or higher (which should be pretty much everything made in the last year, barring some off-brand hardware) have access to bigger, sharper HD scans of magazines.
Google's Play Books service launched last year as a competent reading app, and a necessary pillar for Google Play. But one feature readers have since been asking for is the ability to incorporate their own files into the library, and now Google is adding that option to the service.
Play Books supports PDF and EPUB files, which can be uploaded through the online library on your desktop. The feature appears to still be rolling out, so don't worry if you get a 404 right now.
I'm no huge fan of UI overlays, but even I have to admit that HTC's Sense is getting better and better. With features like HTCSense.com and even an e-books store, there's no arguing that it's become more than just an Android skin - in Europe, at least.
It looks like the US is finally on the agenda for the new Sense. According to Drew Bamford, HTC's head of User Experience, the company will be rolling out a new version of the UI next year, which, among other things, will bring us Americans the features Desire HD and Desire Z owners have been enjoying for a while now.
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.