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December 6, 2010

Google eBooks

Google launched a new service that lets you buy and read books online: Google eBooks. Right now, you can only buy books if you are in the US, but you can read 3 million public domain books for free from any location.

Google's goal is to create an online book shelf where you can store books bought from Google eBooks or other services. These books can be read using your computer's browser, using mobile apps for Android and iOS devices or transfered to eReader devices that run Adobe Digital Editions.

"We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks— everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa — using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage," explains Google.

Unlike Picasa photos, you can't download DRM-free eBooks from Google to read them using other devices that aren't currently supported (Amazon's Kindle is an important example). Google eBooks may seem open, but it's actually closed. For example, you can only read books offline using Google's mobile apps and using eReaders that support Adobe's eBook platform.


  1. The problem I have is that there is no way to upload my own stuff to it. I would love to have some of my content on hand in the reader

  2. Unrelated to the post, but related to new product being launched by Google. It strikes me when people still keep saying that Google is late to the game somewhere. eBooks is no exception, but they keep repeating it for most of the more anticipated launches by Google, cough... "..Google me"... cough :)

    But guess what I figured - Google doesn't go about inventing radically new stuff, the best word I guess is "reinvents" (the wheel could use some reinventing too... self driving cars anyone? :)). The most successful Google products did not invent something unheard of - search, mobile operating system, online maps, mail, office suite, the browser, and even cloud oriented OS - those were all there before Google set their foot on the market.

    What Google does, is take something that ain't necessarily very broken, and fix it for good. Actually, that's what they do best. As for their true inventions (Wave comes to mind), you know how that ended...

    So here's to hoping Google eBooks will be another one of those breakthrough products that we love and use everyday. No idea though how competitive they are, as I'm not in US...

  3. There is a GooReader that access only Google Books. You can search Google books with it and read them. I liked for the simple reason that it tells straight off which ones are available with a Full view / Partial View / No preview options.

  4. As you may know, Google is making an effort to scan every book in the world. The goal is to create a giant online database of every book that can be searched.

  5. I've noticed that the Google eBooks I've download are formated horrible. Lots of spacing and paragraph issues compared to richly formated iBooks

  6. Google giving choice? by not supporting most used OS Windows, and most sold reader Kindle. I dont understand. I own 3 Windows machines, and 1 kindle, it just doesnt look like a choice to me.

  7. If you're talking about Google's eBook store, it does support Windows since it's browser-based. If you're using a device with a modern browser, you can read books. Google also lets you download books as ePub and PDF.

    Regarding Kindle, ask Amazon why it doesn't support ePub.

  8. The wonderful Stanza ebook reader app also allows for a non-justified right margin, plus a ton of other settings such as spacing between lines, that allow for maximum readability.

  9. is it accessible through Gplus profile?