Tuesday, December 7, 2010
We told you last week that the Google e-book store would be opening shortly and it turns out that Monday, December 6, was the day. One of the claimed advantages to Google's e-books, as opposed to the ones sold by Amazon and Barnes & Noble, is that they aren't dependant on the use of particular hardware like the Kindle. Google e-books are stored in the "cloud" and can be accessed and read from any computer or mobile device, anywhere. According to the press release:
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.
In addition to a full-featured web reader, free apps for Android and Apple devices will make it possible to shop and read on the go. For many books you can select which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits you—and pick up on the page where you left off when switching devices.
You can read the rest of Google's roll-out announcement here as well as read some commentary by the Chronicle of Higher Ed here. Here's a column that's critical of the breadth of offerings by Google e-books courtesy of Inside Higher Ed.