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Google announces eBookstore for Apple's iOS, alongside Android

post #1 of 50
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Google on Monday announced its entrance into the e-book market -- and competition with Apple's iBooks -- with the search giant's "Google ebookstore," for iOS and Android devices.

Though it is not yet available on the App Store, Google eBooks for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will allow customers to read and sync more than 3 million e-books on the go. The application will also offer access to the company's Mobile eBookstore.

"We designed Google eBooks to be open," said Abraham Murray, product manager for Google Books. "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 Picasausing a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage."

Titles can be purchased from the Google eBookstore, or from independent bookseller partners, including Powell's, Alibris, and participating members of the American Booksellers Association. The company has distinguished its e-book service by saying it's "all about choice."

"Launching Google eBooks is an initial step toward giving you greater access to vast variety of information and entertainment found in books," Murray said. "Our journey has just begun."



Google's announcement is not a surprise, as less than a week ago a report from The Wall Street Journal said that the digital bookstore was on track to launch by the end of 2010. The product was previously known as Google Editions.

Like Apple's iBooks and the Amazon Kindle, Google's service allows users to wirelessly sync their titles across a number of devices. Because the service remembers where a reader left off in a book, they can begin reading again from the same spot on a separate device.

Apple's iBooks application, and accompanying iBookstore, debuted with the launch of the iPad in April. In June, it was revealed that Apple had already taken 22 percent of the e-book market.

Last week, a new survey found that the Amazon Kindle was "rapidly" losing e-reader market share to Apple's iPad. The Kindle still has the market share lead, however, with 47 percent of polled consumers owning Amazon's e-ink reader, while 32 percent said they had Apple's multi-touch iPad.
post #2 of 50
Was there something missing, that the world needed another e-book store?

Or do these companies think they need to compete, just to compete.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #3 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Was there something missing, that the world needed another e-book store?

Or do these companies think they need to compete, just to compete.

Yeah I agree, the world is being saturated with e-book stores. Personally if I get a book i would much rather just get a hard copy right now, would be nice if you could put in the ISBN or some code that also gives you a digital copy.
post #4 of 50
3 millions? Too bad nowadays I want less of Google rather than more. This will be a big hit though.
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Google on Monday announced its entrance into the e-book market -- and competition with Apple's iBooks -- with the search giant's "Google ebookstore," for iOS and Android devices.



Wow. Apple never went into the search market, but now Google is entering the iBook market.

I guess that this means war?
post #6 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokrad View Post

Yeah I agree, the world is being saturated with e-book stores. Personally if I get a book i would much rather just get a hard copy right now, would be nice if you could put in the ISBN or some code that also gives you a digital copy.

As Google would like to remind you, It's all about choice. You may like to read hard copies. I may like to read on Kindle/iPad. They are targeting me while at the same time trying to lure you.
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post #7 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

3 millions? Too bad nowadays I want less of Google rather than more. This will be a big hit though.

a hit? and a big one? Because they said it's open? Care to explain?
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post #8 of 50
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Originally Posted by enohpI View Post

Wow. Apple never went into the search market, but now Google is entering the iBook market.

I guess that this means war?

The war's began when Google entered phone(mobile OS) business.
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post #9 of 50
I'll admit i'm not the words most enthusiastic reader of books and since the iBooks app launch i've downloaded one and never bothered reading it.

Read a lot of websites and magazines though but just can't get into this ebook thing. Does anybody here use the iBook app that much

I also wonder what the latest numbers are for iBook downloads. There seems to be a lot of duplication in the app store now with the likes of Kindle and now Google. Maybe it's just another Apple hobby
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post #10 of 50
Google seems more and more like Microsoft they need to have a finger in every market orifice.
post #11 of 50
This may be a little off topic but I just downloaded the kindle app for Mac and bought a textbook for college and it has no page numbers. It makes it very difficult to find what I need when I have to flip around, cant search page numbers either. I hope Google was smart enough to have this in their app.
post #12 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post

This may be a little off topic but I just downloaded the kindle app for Mac and bought a textbook for college and it has no page numbers. It makes it very difficult to find what I need when I have to flip around, cant search page numbers either. I hope Google was smart enough to have this in their app.

Problem with page numbers in ebooks is that there are no pages. If your book has 300 pages and you change the font size you'll suddenly have a 400 page book. Or if you continue to read on your iphone its now a 1000 page book.
post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Problem with page numbers in ebooks is that there are no pages. If your book has 300 pages and you change the font size you'll suddenly have a 400 page book. Or if you continue to read on your iphone its now a 1000 page book.

Good point, guess I never thought about that aspect.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

a hit? and a big one? Because they said it's open? Care to explain?

Largest library. Compatible with most platforms.
post #15 of 50
So does this mean that this is HTML ebooks or do they use ePub? Also does the whole cloud thing mean that I can't read offline and have to use data just to keep reading? Also will apple even approve such an app from google?
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post #16 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

So does this mean that this is HTML ebooks or do they use ePub? Also does the whole cloud thing mean that I can't read offline and have to use data just to keep reading? Also will apple even approve such an app from google?

Google said you can download most of the library in ePub or PDF for offline reading. I think Apple will approve the app. It's no different than Kindle app, isn't it?
post #17 of 50
BTW, it actually is available from the App Store...

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/googl...400989007?mt=8

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post #18 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Google seems more and more like Microsoft they need to have a finger in every market orifice.

Yep, and like Microsoft they are going to discover the hard way many years down the line that the best way to go about it is not to brainlessly ape the innovation of others (Java, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, FaceBook and Mozilla to name a few) and add a few modifications to claim originality, but to strike out in their own unique direction with their own ideas.

Embrace and extend has had its day, and is a spent force in the techno-sphere...
post #19 of 50
Another copy-cat move from our favorite copy-cat company: GOOGLE.

this is pathetic!
post #20 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

I'll admit i'm not the words most enthusiastic reader of books and since the iBooks app launch i've downloaded one and never bothered reading it.

Read a lot of websites and magazines though but just can't get into this ebook thing. Does anybody here use the iBook app that much

I also wonder what the latest numbers are for iBook downloads. There seems to be a lot of duplication in the app store now with the likes of Kindle and now Google. Maybe it's just another Apple hobby

As we all know, Apple wants to sell the hardware, and the software is just a way of getting people to have another reason to do so. I am a big reader, I've bought over 60 books so far from Amazon, Apple and B&N. It's likely I'll also buy from Google, and I've got a lot of the books they've scanned.

The only real problem I see so far is one mentioned in a Macworld article, which I also have. That is, having all your books in separate stores. That's a pain. If that gets solved, it will make buying from different stores easier.
post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtomlin View Post

Was there something missing, that the world needed another e-book store?

Or do these companies think they need to compete, just to compete.

That doesn't sound much different from "does the world need another hardware store?" or "does the world need another clothes store?". Essentially there may not be a need, but if someone wants to come up with an alternative bookstore, then they should not be prevented from doing so. In my view, I should be able to buy my e-books from whoever I want, for whatever reason.

Whatever the reason for a business to exist, as long its legal and legit then it should be allowed to do so.
post #22 of 50
The best thing about the iPad is that I can read my Kindle, iBooks, and Google Books library, not to mention scalable PDF files. Other ebook readers can only do a subset of what the iPad can do.

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post #23 of 50
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

BTW, it actually is available from the App Store...

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/googl...400989007?mt=8

Thanks. That was fast. I didn't expect it for several more days according to articles. Don't like the logo though, sort of garish.

What's interesting is that even though they've been saying, again, according to articles, that they've got over 3 million books there, the info for the app says more than 2 million. I wonder why?
post #24 of 50
The more e-books the better. Greater distribution of knowledge benefits individuals and the entire world. Once Google gets instant translation for all foreign language edition books... watch out. I'd love to have access to original ancient texts for perusal.

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post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesw View Post

Another copy-cat move from our favorite copy-cat company: GOOGLE.

this is pathetic!

I don't think you understand: Google is a search engine / advertising company. The move to get into eBook publishing is strategic because... um... because Google can embed advertising in books??? I have no idea why Google would get into book sales. Maybe they really do want to just want to piss off Steve Jobs. Maybe they want to set this up for future Chrome OS based tablets... Anyone know?

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post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I don't think you understand: Google is a search engine / advertising company. The move to get into eBook publishing is strategic because... um... because Google can embed advertising in books??? I have no idea why Google would get into book sales. Maybe they really do want to just want to piss off Steve Jobs. Maybe they want to set this up for future Chrome OS based tablets... Anyone know?

they're running out of tricks. Google is a one-trick pony.

They're good at one thing: SEARCH. the rest of their products/services are CRAP.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Problem with page numbers in ebooks is that there are no pages. If your book has 300 pages and you change the font size you'll suddenly have a 400 page book. Or if you continue to read on your iphone its now a 1000 page book.

The kindle uses something they call "locations." so you can change the font and the pages will be bigger or smaller but locations don't change. Locations are quite sort, so instead of having a two hundred pages book you have a 4000 or 5000 locations book, which is hard to get used to. Nook does not have a solution, so changing the font changes the pages, which makes the page numbers completely irrelevant. And ibooks? I don't know. It seems that they don't have an alternative either. Hopefully the will agree on a format, otherwise quoting is going to be a nightmare.
post #28 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

... The only real problem I see so far is one mentioned in a Macworld article, which I also have. That is, having all your books in separate stores. That's a pain. If that gets solved, it will make buying from different stores easier.

That's the entire problem with the whole eBook thing. I have some books that I've turned into ePub books, and I download lots of free eBooks, but I'm not going to start buying eBooks, from anyone, until there's a consistent, open standard DRM scheme that works across readers. I have no desire to be locked into a particular reader to access books I pay for. That would be like only being able to read physical books if I wear a special pair of glasses.
post #29 of 50
Yet another eBook store with DRM that's not compatible with all other devices (although this one seems better than most). When are the regulators of any country going to realize that DRM is not being used to prevent piracy, but rather for device and ecosystem lock in?

I'm sick of every industry using piracy as an excuse to be anti-competitive and anti-consumer. It says a lot when Google's "open" solution is still wrapped in DRM.
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post #30 of 50
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Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

Yet another eBook store with DRM that's not compatible with all other devices (although this one seems better than most). When are the regulators of any country going to realize that DRM is not being used to prevent piracy, but rather for device and ecosystem lock in?

I'm sick of every industry using piracy as an excuse to be anti-competitive and anti-consumer. It says a lot when Google's "open" solution is still wrapped in DRM.

DRM isn't universal with Google ebooks. Don't underestimate the paranoia of publishers. If you steal a print book, that's one copy. If you steal an ebook, it could be distributed infinitely, or so some publishers think.

And the DRM is courtesy of Adobe; not a standard but at least a known quantity. Adobe is trying to make it a standard that theoretically could be transferable across devices.
post #31 of 50
I'm not sure why I didn't think of this before, and I'm pretty sure someone else already will have, but I wonder if the Mac App Store will include a new app for iBooks on your Mac... just in time for Christmas, too!
post #32 of 50
The more the merrier, when it comes to providers of e-books.

I've been an avid e-book reader since Sony introduced its first reader a few years ago. Today I read mostly e-books, and mostly from my iPad. I shop from Amazon, Barns and Noble and Apple. Amazon and Barns and Noble offer extensive libraries. Apple's reader has more sizzle but fewer books. Twenty-two percent? It seems a scant 22 percent when you can't find what you're looking for.

I hope Google's entry compels Apple to do better. Both having some catching up to match the depth of Amazon and Barns and Noble.

I'm delighted to see e-books finally come into their own. Remember the Rocket Book?

Tom
post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I don't think you understand: Google is a search engine / advertising company. The move to get into eBook publishing is strategic because... um... because Google can embed advertising in books??? I have no idea why Google would get into book sales. Maybe they really do want to just want to piss off Steve Jobs. Maybe they want to set this up for future Chrome OS based tablets... Anyone know?

Because knowing your book buying habits is valuable to advertisers/marketers and they'll pay for the information.

As Eric Sccmidt has said, "We want to have a little bit of Google in every transaction on the internet." That's not because they can place an ad at every point of sale, but because they can harvest information about what you're up to and sell it Never forget that Google's product isn't search, or browsers, or operating systems, or books, or music or movies. It's you.
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post #34 of 50
The real news here is not that Google has opened its own eBook store, but that it is the second CLOUD-BASED READING SERVICE to be offered. This is a big deal for the publishing industry. This is the publishing equivalent of NetFlix or AppleTV vs DVDs and BlueRay.

Unfortunately, the newsies and bloggers don't understand the importance of this and ignore releases from small companies who pioneer the concept, like iPulpFiction.com. We recently released our new HTML 5 / CSS 3 based eReader that supports our cloud-based reading service. This was made possible by Apple's much appreciated assistance in making the iOS 4.2 version of Safari compatible.

If you are using the latest desktop versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or have iOS 4.2 you can access a demo of the iPulp eReader at the following URL:

http://www.ipulpfiction.com/books/_b...pagedDEMO.html
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlink View Post

DRM isn't universal with Google ebooks. Don't underestimate the paranoia of publishers. If you steal a print book, that's one copy. If you steal an ebook, it could be distributed infinitely, or so some publishers think.

And the DRM is courtesy of Adobe; not a standard but at least a known quantity. Adobe is trying to make it a standard that theoretically could be transferable across devices.

I'm pretty sure I could download any book I wanted right now if I wanted to. I'm sure Adobe would love to make their DRM standard. I assume it's licensed out so their taking a cut of the profits, much like Intel gets a cut of blu ray profits. DRM has become an industry now, it's long moved past the the point of preventing copyright infringement.

I don't really care if publishers are scared of their precious books being copied. DRM doesn't work. If they can't come to their senses, government should step in and force them to. DRM has no place in books (or movies). Quite frankly, using it should be illegal. If that can't happen there should at least be a single mandated, royalty free version.
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post #36 of 50
It looks a lot better than iBooks. I'll still be sticking with the Kindle app for now though.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsbeme View Post

The real news here is not that Google has opened its own eBook store, but that it is the second CLOUD-BASED READING SERVICE to be offered. This is a big deal for the publishing industry. This is the publishing equivalent of NetFlix or AppleTV vs DVDs and BlueRay.

Cloud-based reading will completely suck and will be rejected by consumers. Already reviewers of Google's service (see TUAW) are panning it for just this reason. This will not be a big deal for anyone for this reason. The only thing the cloud has going for it is buzzword compliance.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Largest library. Compatible with most platforms.

And I should care, why?

"Open" only matters if you have 20 different devices. I have an iPad. I buy books on my iPad. How is google's store "helping" me? Because google can rip off more publishers and make more stuff available for free, when they haven't done any of the work to produce any of it? No thank you.

Google is doing this solely because apple has done it. "Look, we have eBooks too!" Again, the point about microsoft is not far off. Google has no right to enter any of these markets, except for the fact they have monopoly power.

But that's ok. I'm sure they will half-ass it enough to please android owners.
post #39 of 50
Eh... Is this a joke, or did they just scan a bunch of old books, with raster artifacts and all, and published in their book store? I just checked out a preview of Peter Pan and it looked HORRIBLE!! I guesss new books will be based on their digital master, but... Wtf..?
post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by matrix07 View Post

Google said you can download most of the library in ePub or PDF for offline reading. I think Apple will approve the app. It's no different than Kindle app, isn't it?

It is kind of like kindle, but there is not as much bad blood between the two, and Kindle was approved before iBooks was out. Apple could use the "duplicates core functionality" reasoning, and say kindle was grandfathered in before the iBooks was available. Or they can take their time approving it.

Good to know that the books will be in ePub though.
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