This story was originally published and last updated .
Reading the news can be a bit of a drag at the moment, and spending money on more and more streaming subscriptions can really start to eat into your monthly budget. As more of us turn to a good book to escape reality, we may be starting to realize that books can be a bit expensive, especially for newer, in-demand titles. And with local libraries closed, our avenue for free literature seems to have gone away with them. But it hasn't, at least, for many: there's a little app called Libby, and as long as you have a library card and your library supports it, you may be able to freely access thousands of books straight from your phone or Kindle.
A few months ago, Google began testing a new interface for search card results, which removes the bold header color, uses a new Follow button with the Discover logo, and introduces more tabs for accessing relevant information about the subject. That interface seems to be rolling out more widely now and comes with redesigns for almost all search result cards and plenty of added information.
If you're looking to learn how to develop for a certain platform, chances are that Packt will have what you're looking for in either eBook or video form. As it does a few times per year, the publishing company is currently offering all of its material for just $5 a pop.
Let's be honest, busy people don't have time to trudge through long books made of mostly filler. Unfortunately, publishers know they can't put a high price on a 40-page book. In the end, authors are stuck building a lavish sea of meaningless words around the simple concepts they want to convey. That's where Blinkist comes in. It's a service that boils popular non-fiction books down to their most formative and salient points. Think of it like Cliffs Notes, but even shorter and not funded entirely by high school students. Blinkist has been around for about a year with a website and iOS app, but now its making a debut on Android.
When it comes to publishers, few names stand out in the technical world like O'Reilly. With literally thousands of books and videos, there are topics ranging from Programming to Business, and Fitness to Photography. Not only does O'Reilly print under its own name, but it also owns several other brands including: Wiley, Packt Publishing, No Starch Press, and more. Almost every developer probably has a small stack of books with the trademark line-drawn animals on the covers.
In honor of Day Against DRM, O'Reilly has cut the price of everything in its entirely library by half. The discount applies to both books and videos, and it even includes brand new releases.
Last December, Google Play Books saw an update that allowed users to upload PDF and EPUB files to their libraries from their mobile device (by way of Gmail attachments or downloads). A subsequent update to version 3.1.23, however, removed the ability to add PDFs. At the time, Google confirmed to us that the functionality was removed because it was "experimental," but we were told it would return at some point in the future.
It seems that point has come, as an update to Google Play Books has begun rolling out which brings back the ability to add PDF files from your mobile device, while also moving around some navigation options and of course fixing some bugs.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a new Tin Man game book, a Disney endless runner, a modern take on Space Harrier, and a zombie game that might actually be worth a look. Without further ado:
Gary Chalk's Gun Dogs
Another week (or so), another Choose Your Own Adventure-style RPG book from Tin Man Games.
A few weeks ago we found some Newsstand-related goodies in the Play Store APK, hinting at the possibility that the upcoming news service is poised to absorb Google's Play Magazines.
In the teardown, we found a wide range of assets with a purple-and-white Newsstand icon, making use of a brand color similar to the purple that currently belongs to Play Magazines. This lead us to believe that Google had abandoned the yellow hue we previously suspected in pursuing a strategy that would lead to Magazines' being gobbled up by the new service.
In a new KitKat Quick Start book in the Play Store, we've caught another glimpse of Google's Newsstand.
On Tuesday night, surprisingly ahead of the usual update-all-the-things-Wednesday, Google released a major revision of the Play Books app for Android, updating it from v2 (2.9.21) to v3 (3.0.15). The changelog, which was shockingly present from the get-go (thank you!), confused me a bit but after digging around, I finally figured out what it means. Oh, and I found another fix that wasn't mentioned.
The official changelog is as follows:
Added the ability to search the text of original-pages books.
Added a "see all" shortcut from Read Now to My Library.