Google Play Books

Google has updated their Play Books application, bringing a new set of tools such as definitions, maps integration, translation, and text highlighting. The new feature set brings along some great options that we've seen in other popular e-book apps, as well as some that we haven't.

With today's update, users can select a named place and have a card with a Google Maps view displayed, with the option to find out more via a Google search or from Wikipedia. Similarly, when you come across a word or term you're not familiar with you can tap it for a quick definition. 

Taking things a bit further, you can also select a word or phrase and use the button in the action bar to translate it into other languages, presumably using Google's translate engine.

Last but not least, readers can now highlight sections and insert notes, which sync across the cloud to all devices running the app. 

It's great to see Google keeping their applications fresh and filled with new features, but it's even more exciting to see them moving outside the confines of the US into other countries. Google Play Books is available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Korea and Japan. Download it via the link above.

Source: Google 

There are 13 comments

icebike says:

Nice additions.
Now let me read my 0n-device books or upload my own books and we will be good to go...


seriyb says:

Until Google allows me to add my current library (like Google Music), I am not going to switch.
I'm not even going to mention the lack of other language book selection... but this could be band-aided for now by the above mentioned feature.

mkstvns says:

Still can't copy text to share passages with friends (anti-piracy, obviously).

Not interested, I'll stick with Moon Reader and DRM-free books as my primary option, with GPB and Kindle as my last-resort options.

tyson.clarke says:

Yaaaay!!! About time! Peeple with not vary good vokabularies or speling ned help to ya no!

Caifan09 says:

God Dam it google, When for us Mexican readers. Fuck!!!

It's available in many more regions that that. I know for a fact it's available in the UK.

sensory says:

You missed the UK on the list of countries Google Play Books is available in.

cnlson says:

add night mode. otherwise it will remain disabled in my phone.

flattie says:

It has always had a night mode. Now it has a sepia mode too.

This is a really good update and I'm chuffed they've done it as I was getting fed up with the lack of features in the reader app, particularly after seeing how much better the Play Books app was on IOS.

Still, there is room for improvement. An offline dictionary and importing of books from other sources would turn this into a 5 star app for me, personally. 4 stars as it stands.

hfliii says:

Now to just get google to allow sharing of highlights/notes with friends reading the same book(s).

Aikuchi says:

Until Play Books allows me to side load epub books I will stick with the BN Nook app, sorry Google.

Until I can add my own books, this app will remain hidden and ignored along with all of the other useless Nexus bloatware. Yeah, I'm looking at you too, Google+.