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.
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.
Comic book fans have had various ways to read their favorite titles on Android for quite a while, most notably official stores like Comixology and Dark Horse. Now they can skip the middleman (well, at least one of the middlemen) for DC Comics. The nearly 80-year-old company has finally started publishing its comics, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks directly to the Books section of the Google Play Store.
At the moment the selection of DC titles is somewhat limited, at least when compared to the tens of thousands of issues published over the years.
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).
Google quietly brought Play Books today to four new countries: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, and Portugal. The aforementioned countries only had access to Google Play Apps and Music before, so I'm sure the book lovers among those of you who reside in the four territories are ecstatic.
The new Books section as seen in Ireland
Google has been very slow to roll out various content stores worldwide. The last time Play Books expanded was all the way back in March and only included one country - Mexico.
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.
If you're in Mexico and love to read books, your potential book collection just got a lot bigger thanks to Google. Naturally, I'm talking about Google Play Books, which is now live in Mexico.
See? Just look at all those Spanish words. There are plenty more where those came from as soon as you enable the feature on your device and start digging around for your favorite titles. There should even be a slew of books for free.
"Updates for everyone!" she said, as the improvements seemingly fell from the sky. Suddenly, she realized the updates weren't actually for everyone, but rather Google's Field Trip app, as well as Play Books. While she was embarrassed at her initial mistake, no one actually appeared to notice as they all stared silently at their digital devices, exploring the new goodies bestowed upon them.
That's a small excerpt from a wonderful story about a girl and a pair of Google apps, which is ironically very appropriate for today, because both of those apps just happened to be updated.
The Google Play Books update received an update this afternoon to version 2.7.25, expanding support for several features, as well implementing new functionality for others. Here's the changelog:
What's in this version:
You can now listen to most flowing text books using the "Read aloud" feature.
You can now pinch-zoom or double-tap-zoom in all books.
All text editing features are available for notes.
Personalized recommendations are shown at the end of your library and at the end of the books.
The Google Play Books app just received a substantial update, bringing the app to version 2.6.31 on compatible devices. Here's the changelog:
Added highlighting, notes, dictionary, "Places" info cards, translation, sepia mode, and sliding page-turn. Fixed crashes on launch on certain devices including HTC Wildfire.
In "Flowing Text" books, you can tap & hold to select some text and then
- See definition in dictionary info cards
- See a map and Wikipedia snippet in "Places" info cards, if the selected text is a place.