Google Officially Launches Google Books App

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on December 6th, 2010
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Just in case you needed another eReader option for your iOS device, Google has officially launched its virtual bookstore. Called simply Google eBooks, the cloud-based service is promising to be a more open-source offering than the offerings from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or even Apple's own iBooks.

"We designed Google eBooks to be open," said Google in a statement. "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."

Those interested in purchasing new reading material can grab a book from the official Google eBooks store, or buy them from independent retailers such as Powell's, Alibris or any store listed in the American Bookseller's Association. In total, Google eBooks claims to provide access to over 15 million books from 35,000 different publishers. Not a bad library at all.

It seems like Google is setting out to do to e-reading what it did to search engines, basically kill all the competition and drive everyone into the massive Google tent. It's not a bad thing by any stretch, but it's sure to annoy the other online booksellers and potentially change the way we consume digital reading material. Furthermore, this new model could well be a threat to the traditional brick and mortar booksellers and even libraries. If you can read any book on any device at any time, why ever go to Borders again? Put another way, why buy a standalone eReader from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Sony when you can get these books on every device you can possibly imaging, including these very same eReaders? It's an interesting time in eBook history, and you're right here with us.

[via Google]