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.

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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). That should allow for better interaction with both textbooks and more general files, assuming that you don't use a more powerful client for the latter. Books from participating vendors can now be rented in the same manner as Google Play Videos. You can also select and copy text from textbooks or any other title, "if copyright allows." Hey Google, you know that you can use short, appropriate, and properly-cited quotes from any published work without violating copyright, don't you?

The rest of the changelog indicates small changes to the scrubber and recommendation card user interface, and the compulsory stability and performance improvements. If you've already got Google Play Books installed, expect an update alert within the next day or so.

What's New
  • Highlighting and note-taking are now supported in scanned pages books.
  • Added support for rental books.
  • Added support for copying selected text if copyright allows.
  • Improved UI design of the scrubber and recommendation cards.
  • Stability and performance improvements.