Last week, I blogged about Ebooks and Apps in the Legal Realm. Since then, two big ebook reader app developments have occurred.
On December 6, Google released Google eBooks, an ebook store that is run via cloud computing. You can purchase and read new releases or access free public domain works through a web browser or Google’s new ebook reader apps, also called Google eBooks, which are available for Androids, iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, the Nook, and Sony eReaders. Like BlueFire, the new Google eBooks apps read Adobe DRM locked epubs and pdfs. I have not tried to see if Google ebooks will open a library book from Overdrive, but it is an experiment that I am looking forward to trying. One caveat is that the new app for the iPad, which I just downloaded, did not receive high ratings by iTunes users as it is lacking features such as bookmarking, highlighting, and annotating. I am personally looking at this app as Google’s “rough draft” or beta version, as I suspect that these features will be added in the near future, although I have no proof.
Thus far, Amazon’s only response to Google opening a bookstore seems to be an announcement on December 7 stating that they are opening their Kindle web version up to 3rd party publishers so that you will now be able to read their Kindle books online, too.
My iPad also notified me this morning that my Overdrive app had an update available, which I downloaded. The app now supports epubs (i.e. ebooks), and allows you to access the Overdrive website (and any others that you enter into it) through the app to download items. This is a positive step for Overdrive. Now they just need to put out an official iPad app so that the reading screen is bigger than an iPhone (not a big deal when the app only played mp3 audiobooks).
This is a big week for ebooks!