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 


Reader comments

Google Play Books updated with new tools, highlighting and notes


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

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.

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.

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.

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

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+.