Android users will be able to browse 3 million books on their phones, after Google Books launched in the UK yesterday. The app has been out in the States for a while but will be available to British Android users from today. Google Books promises a vast array of titles from "favorite bestsellers, up-and-coming authors and rare …
I've about 50 non DRM books I've purchased online...
...but I can't use them with google books 'cos you can't copy non google library content to the system.
Just use FBReader!
Sure, you don't get cross-device bookmarking, but it handles non-DRM ebooks better than any other reader out there.
You took the 3 most negative reviews on the front page and reported them all, yet totally disregarded the hundreds of positive ones...
you seem to have "accidentally" picked 3 negative reviews from the 6356 5star reviews.
What are the chances....
What happens if your account is deleted?
"others are available for purchase"
"you just have to sign in with your Google account"
Do you lose access to all the books you've purchased if Google decide to delete your account because your name is not in a Google-approved format?
Google approved format?
take of the tin-foil hat and stop believing everything you read on the internet...
You are more likely to have your itunes account closed....
Did the person who wrote there is no customisation actually use the app? It has all the usual customisation ie. Font size, typeface, day/night, brightness and orientation, as well as linespace (first time I've seen that on a phone ebook app) and justification.
The price of books seems reasonable - £4.99 for Iain M Banks titles. Not sure if it was this that has pushed the proce down on Amazon, but Surface detail was more expensive as an eBook than paperback on Amazon a few months ago.
Its quite a clean, almost plain looking interface but what do you want from an ebook reader? We readers use our imagination - if you want beautiful visuals, WATCH A FILM!
Ian Banks books are priced by the publisher, so they're the same on Kindle and google books whether Amazon likes it or not
It's not that good
I tried searching for one well known author and didn't get any of their books. Got a lot of books put in front of me from the same area but would have prefered a no match found.
Tried searching for e-books I have already bought. At least as expensive as Waterstones and W.H.Smith.
It needs a bit of work....
I've just downloaded "Pride and Prejudice" on my Android phone.
Opened the book.
The first line was...
"Elizabeth, as they drove along, watched for the first appearance of Pemberley Woods with some perturbation."
Eh?? - what about that "truth universally acknowledged" line?
Turns out that this is Volume III of the original three-volume book. No sign of Volume 1 or 2 anywhere....
http://books.google.co.uk/ebooks?id=kQ0mAAAAMAAJ ?! Found it straight off, available on all 4 formats....
I haven't looked for a while but this was always the problem with the scanned out of copyright books from Google - there was a lot of noise in amongst the signal. So if you wanted 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' for example, it was easy to find, but relatively hard to find all 6 volumes from the same edition.
It's a great idea, and ultimately it will be transform the world of literature - but we're not quite there yet.
I've been torn by these services a little. I own a Sony ebook reader that uses a Google Books compatible DRM format, however I am dead-set against DRM after buying a load of unreadable-now Mobipocket books in the past (plus I'd need to install some rubbish Adobe software to use it).
I understand that Google Books and Kindle ebooks sometimes don't have DRM but they don't seem too keen on letting me know which ones do and which ones don't. I think that will need to change before I'll spend any money on these services.
The harsh reality.
If you want modern books, you have to live with DRM.
You can choose DRM on EPUB, which means you can read your book on anything but a Kindle. Or you can choose DRM on MOBI and it means you can only buy your content from Amazon and read it on Amazon approved devices.
Me, I prefer EPUB, as whilst it's still got DRM, I can choose where I read it.
How do I get all the free book on to my Kindle?
I suppose I could Google to find out, but life too short when there are commentards who have already done it.
Not a Kindle
I installed it on my GS2 this morning, not realising that it was a new app.
I watched the video and saw Google making a big deal about how the books synchronise over all devices and figured it must be really old because hey, that's old technology and Kindle has been doing it for ages.
So I'm kind of surprised that this is new in the UK and that the only thing they can think to brag about is the syncing.
Prices are ridiculous
Google books is way more expensive than Amazon.
An example. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Paper edition on Amazon - £4.05. Kindle edition - £3.41, Google Books £6.85. Almost exactly twice the price!
Another - Dava Soble's A More Perfect Heaven. Amazon paper edition - £8.39, Kindle edition - £7.97, Google Books £13.79. (I do love the way publishers are clinging to the hardback pricing model here - they'll ship exactly the same file in 6 months for half the price).
Seems to be pretty across the board. Not sure what Google expects to achieve here. It's not like they have exclusivity on the Android platform. Kindle for Android offers much greater value for money. Come on Google, strike the same deals Amazon are obviously achieving.
Cherrypicking award of the week.
I was going to award it to the writer of this article, for picking the 3 most negative comments to use in the article, but you have actually won it, by spending time to actually pick examples where Google is more expensive than Kindle.
I checked last nigtht, and most of the time, it's with 10-15p of each other. There seems to be equalish amounts of times when Google is more expensive than Amazon, that there are when Amazon are more expensive than Google.
That said, Google prices will eventually be better, because using EPUB they are in a competitive market. Anyone stupid enough to buy Kindle will be paying whatever Amazon want to charge.
No pricing power
The big 5 publishing houses all switched eBooks to the so called agency model when iBooks was launched. This means that Google, Amazon and Apple all sell at the price that the publisher tells them to - they don't have any freedom.
Google won't end up being cheaper than Amazon due to competition, but neither will Amazon be cheaper due to volume. They'll both stay around the same - and they both have cross platform readers, so there's no particular lock-in with either of them.
I seriously wouldn't take any notice of market reviews, plenty of them are written by idiots. Just the other week I saw that someone, on the market page for a restaurant reviewing app, had written a review for there local steak house on the app page (where you are of course meant to reviewing the app itself).
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