Google books iPhone-friendly; Amazon Kindle books next?

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Google has made its online catalog of books available in an iPhone-optimized web viewer -- but Amazon is dropping hints it will expand its previously exclusive Kindle e-books to support other mobile devices.



On Friday, Google launched a mobile Google Book Search with finger-ready navigation for iPhone and iPod touch devices as well as handsets using its own Android mobile operating system.



The move gives iPhone owners access to about 1.5 million books available in the US (and about 500,000 international books) in the public domain either through expired copyrights or open licenses, all without having to download proprietary apps.



Google's Book Search team says the feat of optimizing the collection was accomplished by using automatic text scanning to reformat the books for the small screens instead of using the raw page images. Some texts produced in difficult-to-scan formats aren't immediately available but should be added as technology improves.



The feature is a challenge to App Store software like Classics and Stanza that also take advantage of the public domain to fill their libraries but which have custom interfaces for bookmarking and navigating texts.







Not to be left out, Amazon also hinted just before the launch that it would expand the Kindle format for e-books beyond its proprietary Kindle reader to a range of different devices.



"We are excited to make Kindle books available on a range of mobile phones," Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener tells the New York Times. "We are working on that now."



Which phones will get the copy-protected books aren't known. However, the format has been built from the ground up for downloads and for viewing on relatively large screens like that of the dedicated Amazon reader, making iPhones and iPods possible (though far from certain) candidates. Paid electronic reading has become more commonplace on the Apple devices but has been curbed partly by a limited range of books to buy; Amazon, in turn, offers about 230,000 tiles, most of which are modern and are more likely to include bestsellers.



When any cellphone-ready version of the Kindle standard would appear is just as much of a mystery -- though the company is slated to hold an event on Monday, February 9th that should introduce the iPod-like second-generation Kindle and may serve as a venue for other book-related announcements.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    It'd be great to have Amazon ebooks on the iPhone.

    Let's hope.
  • Reply 2 of 55
    Apple are missing a trick by not releasing an iPod Touch with a 7" screen.



    If they sit around doing nothing and try and figure this thing out too long they'll end up with another Apple TV on their hands...



    Apple - YOUR Netbook equivelent & e-Book 'Kindle Killer' a.k.a reader = iPod Touch with 7" screen.



    Not hard really - won't eat Macbook sales, won't eat iPod or iPhone sales.



    Make it so!





    (Can you see how I'm already using competive language 'kindle killer' - Amazon are on the verge of wining something big with Kindle - it may take them another iteration to get it right but they are learning..)
  • Reply 3 of 55
    Anybody know if there's a way to mark your place in these google books? I moved it to my home page and I'm ready to rock (or read) and whenever I bounce to email or Safari and come back, I have to find where I left off
  • Reply 4 of 55
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post


    Apple are missing a trick by not releasing an iPod Touch with a 7" screen.



    If they sit around doing nothing and try and figure this thing out too long they'll end up with another Apple TV on their hands...



    Apple - YOUR Netbook equivelent & e-Book 'Kindle Killer' a.k.a reader = iPod Touch with 7" screen.



    Not hard really - won't eat Macbook sales, won't eat iPod or iPhone sales.



    Now that's an excellent idea- I would only add to it to include bluetooth.

    I've seen many on the subway using the Kindle and the Sony and they appear very cool.

    Imagine the mating of an touch screen iPod with a reader and a netbook- man is that ever appealing.
  • Reply 5 of 55
    icibaquicibaqu Posts: 278member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by elliots11 View Post


    Anybody know if there's a way to mark your place in these google books? I moved it to my home page and I'm ready to rock (or read) and whenever I bounce to email or Safari and come back, I have to find where I left off



    yeah i just checked that. annoying.





    Then again, I like to read and really find the entire concept of ebooks to be really just unappealing. I don't want to read a book on my iPhone? This google books reader gives me 9 pages at a time! That's a lot of scrolling. I think the Kindle has a better design as an ebook reader, but mostly because it slighly mimics the feel of a book... slightly.



    I get a psychic pleasure from holding a book, physically seeing how many pages I have left, having shelves with books on them, being able to sort through my shelf and pick a book out for a friend, flip around to different parts of a book i have read/want to read, scope peoples covers when someone is reading a book, etc. etc. etc. I mean, what, am I supposed to say "oh, you'll really enjoy this thumb drive! I've got 10 books on it!
  • Reply 6 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by surferfromuk View Post


    Apple are missing a trick by not releasing an iPod Touch with a 7" screen.



    If they sit around doing nothing and try and figure this thing out too long they'll end up with another Apple TV on their hands...



    Apple - YOUR Netbook equivalent & e-Book 'Kindle Killer' a.k.a reader = iPod Touch with 7" screen.



    Not hard really - won't eat Macbook sales, won't eat iPod or iPhone sales.



    Make it so!




    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Now that's an excellent idea- I would only add to it to include bluetooth.

    I've seen many on the subway using the Kindle and the Sony and they appear very cool.

    Imagine the mating of an touch screen iPod with a reader and a netbook- man is that ever appealing.







    As MacUser mag said recently, 'nobody will do Netbooks right until Apple do it. Just wait'.



    I hope we don't have to wait too long, but let's face it, I'm not going to go and buy an EEPC out of frustration, and neither will the other MacFaithful. When Apple do bring out a Netbook (or Newtbook as I appropriately keep mistyping it) you know it will be the most gorgeous bit of kit out there. All the other netbooks will suddenly look like Zunes.



    Jobs says he isn't interested in paperless books because "no-one reads anymore". True or not, if and when the Newtbook arrives (I'm going to run with this) I doubt it will have Kindle-like abilities - for a start the screen technology is different.
  • Reply 7 of 55
    daseindasein Posts: 139member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by icibaqu View Post


    I get a psychic pleasure from holding a book, physically seeing how many pages I have left, having shelves with books on them, being able to sort through my shelf and pick a book out for a friend, flip around to different parts of a book i have read/want to read, scope peoples covers when someone is reading a book, etc. etc. etc. I mean, what, am I supposed to say "oh, you'll really enjoy this thumb drive! I've got 10 books on it!



    I agree. I often wonder, though, if this is because we were raised on physical books. I do enjoy reading dailies online. It's just something about a book you look forward to dealing with for more than a day or so that wants to be in a non digital form. We'll see, I suppose, as younger people start using these devices more and more.
  • Reply 8 of 55
    I enjoy the experience of reading a "real" book, too. But I still like the convenience and portability of eBooks and use the excellent Stanza app on my iPhone.



    This Google mobile books site is pretty nice but seems like quite a few typos in the text. Admittedly, I only visited a couple of random books, so maybe it's not an issue. It is nice that you can tap a paragraph to see the original scan image if you run into something that doesn't seem correct. That's pretty cool.



    The lack of bookmarking, as others mention, would be a real liability. That's basic and expected from a user perspective - it's a freaking book, for goodness sake. Maybe that feature exists but its not immediately obvious? I've only just begun playing with it, so not sure. I'd hate to have to go to Contents each time to navigate to get close to where I left off.



    More eBook availability = a good thing. Many of us may prefer to curl up with a good recreational book in "physical" form - but there are definitely references, guides, educational material and other text that many people would find helpful to carry around in electronic format.
  • Reply 9 of 55
    why do we keep hearing about the ridiculous kindle? has anyone ever bought one? that stupid thing is never going to be a success, and on top of that, it's hideous.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post


    why do we keep hearing about the ridiculous kindle? has anyone ever bought one? that stupid thing is never going to be a success, and on top of that, it's hideous.



    I've seen one. They are certainly selling, but the problem is that they probably aren't selling a whole lot of them, given how Amazon doesn't give any hard figures. If Amazon sold hundreds of thousands of them, I'd think they'd be tooting their horn. Amazon is a lot more stingy with their sales figures than even Apple is. For example, Amazon said they sold more items last year holiday quarter than the year before holiday quarter, but they didn't actually release the equivalent dollar figures, so they could have sold more smaller ticket items, meaning they can have a decline in actual revenue but still trumpet it as a gain in a press release.
  • Reply 11 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dasein View Post


    I agree. I often wonder, though, if this is because we were raised on physical books. I do enjoy reading dailies online. It's just something about a book you look forward to dealing with for more than a day or so that wants to be in a non digital form. We'll see, I suppose, as younger people start using these devices more and more.



    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/...ure-e-book.ars



    Great piece on Ars Technica (linked from Daring Fireball) on eBooks. The experience John Siracusa outlines at the end is exactly the same as mine as are the reasons for preferring eBooks over traditional print.



    It's worth a try. And when you get used to it, it's hard to go back.



    My only problem with eBooks right now, as the piece outlines, is that the DRM and device-to-device portability is completely ridiculous.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I've seen one. They are certainly selling, but the problem is that they probably aren't selling a whole lot of them, given how Amazon doesn't give any hard figures. If Amazon sold hundreds of thousands of them, I'd think they'd be tooting their horn. Amazon is a lot more stingy with their sales figures than even Apple is. For example, Amazon said they sold more items last year holiday quarter than the year before holiday quarter, but they didn't actually release the equivalent dollar figures, so they could have sold more smaller ticket items, meaning they can have a decline in actual revenue but still trumpet it as a gain in a press release.



    You mean kinda like the way Apple says AppleTV sales have increased three-fold? But what are the actual figures? How many of the sales are refurbished, is it cutting into Apple's overall profits, etc., etc., etc?
  • Reply 13 of 55
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post


    why do we keep hearing about the ridiculous kindle? has anyone ever bought one? that stupid thing is never going to be a success, and on top of that, it's hideous.



    Does anybody even read a book anymore? I wonder if Sarah Palin owns one?
  • Reply 14 of 55
    I listen to audio books on my ipod touch a lot. But audio books take longer, and cost more than Kindle ebooks. As an experiment, I've tried to read The Prince (free) using Stanza, but the hassle factor of the small screen (not just harder to read, but slower because you need to change pages more often) makes it unattractive for ebooks. That's why I had hoped Apple would make a touch screen netbook model that could have basic net connectivity but also instantly be the best ebook reader out there. A lot of other functions - but what Kindle has right now (not the touch screen) is a big enough screen, crisp looking epaper, and most importantly long battery life and a library you can access anywhere, not just at wifi hot spots.



    I think there would be a market for a 9 inch screen touch, made thin and light with long battery life. A great game machine, a Kindle killer for whatever market that turns out to be, and more internet functionality than the touch - which I find my self not using so much for internet because it eats the frigging battery on wifi. But it can't be as powerful as the weakest macbook, or it would cost too much. But great for music, games, and audiobooks (and videos) and still incredibly portable. For a book/internet device, I'd give up a bit on being able to slide it into my running shorts pocket.



    Anyway, I'll be looking hard at the new kindle next week to see if it does a great job on just one of the things a big touch could have done.
  • Reply 15 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cwfrederick View Post


    why do we keep hearing about the ridiculous kindle? has anyone ever bought one? that stupid thing is never going to be a success, and on top of that, it's hideous.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I've seen one. They are certainly selling, but the problem is that they probably aren't selling a whole lot of them, given how Amazon doesn't give any hard figures.



    It seems that that while there aren't a whole lot of early adopters of the Kindle, those who have them really like them. The problem is that at present, they are expensive enough, there's not (relatively speaking) enough books and media you can read on them, and there's enough mystery about them (and how to use them) to prevent widespread adoption. So, people dismiss the Kindle as a fad for the moment. Meanwhile, Amazon is quietly improving their device to drive the price down and add more features, while constantly adding books more people would want to the Kindle library.



    Hmmm...sound familiar?
  • Reply 16 of 55
    Quote from an AppleInsider article referring to the Kindle.



    "It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore," he said. "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore."



    Link from January 16th 2008



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ndle_more.html



    Now there's a true visionary. By the way, the wireless is Free when you purchase a Kindle.

    That is why Jobs doesn't like it.



    Edit.

    You are reading this right now and the Kindle has internet access to many news, email and blogging sites.



    I read about 3-4 books per year (while travelling) but also read ALL of my news and tech info on the Net. Every morning with a mug of coffee I read te morning headlines from all my favorite sites.



    I'd do it on the iPhone but I don't want to scroll 80 times to read 1 article.

    Isn't that READING?
  • Reply 17 of 55
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjer View Post


    It seems that that while there aren't a whole lot of early adopters of the Kindle, those who have them really like them. The problem is that at present, they are expensive enough, there's not (relatively speaking) enough books and media you can read on them, and there's enough mystery about them (and how to use them) to prevent widespread adoption. So, people dismiss the Kindle as a fad for the moment. Meanwhile, Amazon is quietly improving their device to drive the price down and add more features, while constantly adding books more people would want to the Kindle library.



    Hmmm...sound familiar?



    If you're comparing it to the iPod model, Apple has released actual sales figures of the iPod all along.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    You mean kinda like the way Apple says AppleTV sales have increased three-fold? But what are the actual figures? How many of the sales are refurbished, is it cutting into Apple's overall profits, etc., etc., etc?



    Sorry, I had iPod in mind when I was thinking of it. Those and Macs are presented in clear numbers, though they don't break down how many of each model are made other than notebook vs. desktop.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DavidCarnicelli View Post


    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/...ure-e-book.ars



    Great piece on Ars Technica (linked from Daring Fireball) on eBooks. The experience John Siracusa outlines at the end is exactly the same as mine as are the reasons for preferring eBooks over traditional print.



    It's worth a try. And when you get used to it, it's hard to go back.



    My only problem with eBooks right now, as the piece outlines, is that the DRM and device-to-device portability is completely ridiculous.



    The fact that you had to buy an expensive proprietary device doesn't help. I can easily buy 40 books for the cost of one reader, and those books don't need a reader to work. The fact that the books are largely the same price as the paper version isn't helping either. And I can resell or give away a paper book, I haven't seen anything that suggests this is true of any eBook platform. The publishing and distribution costs should be lower for ebooks too. It's a total cost shift to the consumer.



    The iTunes music model was different, where computers could play the music, and you can burn CDs to play in anything with a CD player, you didn't have to buy a specific brand device to use the music. My sisters had even bought iTunes tracks for a couple years without having had to buy an iPod to enjoy the music.
  • Reply 18 of 55
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post


    <snip>



    Edit.

    You are reading this right now and the Kindle has internet access to many news, email and blogging sites.



    I read about 3-4 books per year (while travelling) but also read ALL of my news and tech info on the Net. Every morning with a mug of coffee I read te morning headlines from all my favorite sites.



    I'd do it on the iPhone but I don't want to scroll 80 times to read 1 article.

    Isn't that READING?



    No, þe net just consists of pretty pictures & video wiþ no closed captioning, text is just there as filler so þere's not so much white space or someþing like þat.



    Sebastian
  • Reply 19 of 55
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    No, þe net just consists of pretty pictures & video wiþ no closed captioning, text is just there as filler so þere's not so much white space or someþing like þat.



    How about you take your quixotic character crusade somewhere else instead. It looks like a reinvented theta, why not just use a theta instead of some lame rework? It's really quite unnecessary, if it's been continually rejected for several centuries, then some lone Quixote isn't going to change that.
  • Reply 20 of 55
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    No, þe net just consists of pretty pictures & video wiþ no closed captioning, text is just there as filler so þere's not so much white space or someþing like þat.



    Sebastian



    What? Text is there as filler?



    Maybe you should go back to the 14th century as your signature says. In 2009 text is on the net to inform.



    CNN's text can't be called filler.

    Your text (or nonsensical gibberish) on the most part fit your description.
Sign In or Register to comment.