Android Central

We're live in San Francisco with Google, where they have just announced a new category for Google Play Books; Textbooks. Google is promising a wide range of textbooks across differing publishers with different pricing structures available to students. 

Textbooks can be purchased as any other book, but also rented on a six-month term. They will be available across Google Play Books on Android, iOS and the web beginning in early August. 

More coverage: Google event liveblog


Reader comments

Google announces Textbooks for Google Play Books


This is sweet. Renting a text book for six months instead of buying a physical one and then getting robbed when you go to resell it is a huge plus for students. Not to mention the fact that you won't have to lug heavy books around with you all over campus. Now who wants bigger screens on their phones eh??? I guess you could just use a tablet.

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I haven't picked up my books this semester. Maybe I should get a tablet instead. It depends whether or not they make it worth the trouble.

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If you can rent for only 6 months, it sounds like "students" means college age students. I hope Google moves to address the K-12 market in the near future. Moreover, they need to release a "build your own textbook" tool as well. In fact, that tool should be bundled with the Google Apps for Education program.

It's tough to tell how many text books will actually get covered by this program, and how much would be saved with the rentals. If it's a savings of 20 dollars on a 100 dollar text book, is that going to be enough? Or wouldn't it be better to just purchase and then resell on amazon for similar prices while keeping it as long as you'd like. Some book I even still go back to a decade later out of college.

I so wish this would have been around when I was in college! I can see sales of tablets that have a stylus or s-pen taking off, assuming you could write notes on the textbook pages.

In text books they can add questions and after students answer them the teacher can see how many got the question right and if they should spend more time or not going over the subject.