Google on Monday rolled out an e-book service that aims to compete with both the gorilla and the elephant in the business. Google eBooks are now available from the new Google eBookstore.
The Internet bookstore lets consumers browse and search what Google bills as the largest e-book collection in the world. With more than three million titles, including free classics from the public domain and current bestsellers, Google is looking to give Amazon.com and Apple a run for their digital money.
“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,” said Abraham Murray, product manager for Google Books. “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 e-books storage.”
Not Much Different Than Amazon
Beyond the web reader, Google also launched free apps for both Android and Apple devices. Murray said many books allow consumers to choose the font, font sizes, and day or night reading mode, as well as the line spacing they prefer. Like the Kindle devices, the Google apps let readers pick up on a page where they left off when switching from one device to another.
As Gartner Analyst Michael Gartenberg sees it, the Google eBookstore is a competitive effort against Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. The e-books, he noted, will work across the competitive devices that are out there — Android, iPad and iPhone. And rather than building for Mac or PC environments alone, Google is optimizing for the web.
“This doesn’t feel very differentiated from offerings that we’ve already seen from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and…