The debate between physical and digital books is a heated one. Some people prefer the look of a tome on their bookshelf and enjoy the smell of each page as they hold their nose to an old favorite. Others like the convenience that comes with having access to an entire personal library of books whenever and wherever they have their phone. One clear disadvantage of digital books, though, is the ability for a single company to determine when and where you can buy them.
If you snagged a new Nexus 9 this past week, hit up the Google Play Books app. It looks like Google is offering a free book from a selection of best-sellers, and all you have to do is accept. We don't yet know if other devices are eligible or if there are geographic restrictions, but you might as well check.
Google has pushed out a new version of Play Books with material design, but it's not just a different look. Version 3.2 might change the way you read books on your device. It certainly looks nicer, but you can also easily skim through a book with a flick.
Have you gotten tired of these app walkthroughs yet? Well, we have one more for right now - Google Play Books. The update to Google Play Books that we're looking at here is - like everything else - pre-release, meaning things could change a little or a lot before the app is actually released. But what we're seeing so far is a minor nudge for the app, bringing it into line with the rest of Google's apps.
Google Play is filled with content, but the digital goods are available on a country by country basis. Today we've seen Google add four more to the list of nations with Play Books availability. They are Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine.
Play Books appears to still be in the process of rolling out, because as you can see in the screenshot for Ukraine below, the banner announcing availability has appeared, but the section hasn't yet shown up in the sidebar.
Canadian college goers, there might just be one less book tucked under your arm as you head to class this semester. Google has announced that Google Play textbooks are now coming to Canada. Students north of the border will have the option to rent or purchase digital textbooks and read them using Play Books on phones, tablets, and PCs.
As is the case in the US, textbooks aren't filtered out from other books on Google Play, so discovering them isn't as easy as it could be.
Google has not only posted that Play Books is now available in 12 more nations, but it also took the opportunity to test our knowledge of geography. Rather than simply list the countries, the Google Play G+ account posted an image of 13 flags (Norway actually went live the other day, hence 12 new ones). Thanks, guys.
We post about a ton of games around these parts, but those nifty Android devices of yours are good for more than shifting around pixels as quickly as possible. They're also great for reading, and those of you in Norway are now able to purchase digital books from Google Play. Just head over to the virtual marketplace to see Google's recommendations for what reads are hot right now or what the company thinks you may be into.