The media playback situation on Android Auto is not great, but it's a little better today now that Audiobooks.com works in the car. This is somehow the first audio book source with proper support for Google's car platform. Hey Audible, maybe you want to get on that too? Thanks.
As much as we all love to live in a digital world, there's just no replacing books. Sure, ebooks are good - but there's something awesome about having a physical copy and flipping through the pages. That's especially true if you're already using your computer for something else - you know, like work. Let me give an example.
Let's say you're a developer, and you're working on...something. You're having issues squashing a bug or getting a specific feature to work the way you want. Then you remember that you have this killer book from Packt Publishing on the shelf behind you that covers the very thing you're having an issue with you.
The Goodreads app wasn't bad when it came out, but it's been far behind the times pretty much ever since. With the most recent update, however, it's getting a fresh coat of paint with a number of subtle changes. It's not material, but it's creeping slowly in that direction.
Niantic Labs is mostly known for the game Ingress, and now the Google internal startup has announced its next project. The upcoming Endgame: Proving Ground is another immersive alternative reality experience, but this time it's part of a larger fictional world. This game will take place in the Endgame universe created with the help of author James Frey.
We are, at this point, familiar with fake apps in the Play Store—they pop up from time to time, but Google swiftly eliminates them. It seems like for all its efforts in cleaning up the Play Store, Google has a blind spot when it comes to books. There are multiple publisher accounts in Google Play Books that claim to offer cracked APKs for a dollar or two, and people are buying them. Instead of getting a cheap game, all people are getting is disappointment and malware.
I'm no Android developer, but I figure if I wanted to get started, I'd check out some videos and pick up a couple of books. That leads to the obvious question: where are these things? Packt, a publisher of both eBooks and good old-fashioned print ones, is currently offering its full catalog of development-oriented works for $5 each (in digital format only). It's also offering a few videos at the same price.
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.
After years of waiting, folks in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan can now purchase books from the Play Store.
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.
There's a surprising lack of options when it comes to Android audiobooks. Sure, there's Audible, but its metered subscription service isn't an ideal solution for a lot of people, and other services tend to be light on content. Audiobook enthusiasts now have another alternative: Barnes & Noble. NOOK (ALL CAPS) Audiobooks is available as a free download on any Android 4.0+ device, though I'm betting that only those in the US can actually buy books.
Nook Audiobooks is fairly straightforward. Search for books or browse via the featured titles on the opening page. Select one. Pay for it via a credit card (sorry, no Play Store or PayPal options here).