Google Books vs Kobo
Google Books is a service that searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text using optical character recognition, and stored in its digital database. Search and preview millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide using Google Book Search. Discover a new favorite or unearth an old classic.
Browse and shop over 2.5 million eBooks including new releases, NYT® bestsellers, and 1 million free titles. Automatically syncs your library across all your devices including iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, BlackBerry PlayBook and smartphones, and all Kobo eReaders. Choose from multiple font sizes and styles, plus read in day or night mode.
Latest news about Google Books and Kobo:
09.09.17. Kobo launched Audio Bookstore. Kobo has launched an audiobook bookstore that sells audiobooks individually and also provides them on a subscription level basis. Their entire audiobook catalog is powered by Overdrive and this is the first time they have ever been involved in an audiobook subscription scheme. Kobo has updated their app for Android and iOS and have brought over a fully functional audiobook player. You can make purchases and listen to your content on Android, and with iOS you can only listen to titles you have already bought or have used a credit on. The Kobo audiobooks service is available today in the US, UK, Canada, Australia for $9.99/mo.
04.08.17. Kobo will discontinue PDF Files support. Kobo has announced that it will no longer be offering PDF files to download from their online store by November 1st 2017. This change will only affect self-publishers and legacy content that was only made available in the PDF. In these rare cases Kobo will be automatically converting PDF files to EPUB/KEPUB. If there are specific titles that cannot be formatted correctly, Kobo will be sending out an email and provide a breakdown of the books that failed the conversion process.
22.02.17. Kobo Plus - unlimited e-Book subscription program. Kobo launched a new unlimited subscription program for e-books, called Kobo Plus. The first two countries where it will be available is the Netherlands and Belgium. Readers can pay € 9,99 per month to have access to 40,000 titles and 16,000 of those are in the Dutch language. This new e-book subscription platform is a byproduct of Bol and Kobo. Bol.com introduced digital reading in the Netherlands and Belgium five years ago, and since then has experienced amazing growth. In addition to the 1.2 million eReaders sold in the Netherlands, customers can also read their eBooks digitally via tablets and smartphones. The selection of eBooks has grown enormously over the past few years. One in seven non-fiction books sold in the Netherlands is digital.
20.09.16. Google Books will now make better suggestions on what to read next. Google Books aims to offer a better challenge to Amazon’s Kindle app when it comes to helping you find new things to read. The new feature called “Discover” is a new section in the Google Books application that will help point users to new content, including both personalized suggestions as well as other recommendations based on what’s currently popular with the wider community. It will offer up new stories based on what you read on Google Books. However, it will also automatically suggest books that are mentioned in an article or mentioned in a video you watch, elsewhere in the app – like in the new “Weekly Highlights” section.
21.04.16. Kobo Cloud Reader is discontinued. Kobo Instant Reader, Kobo's web-based reading interface, has been officially discontinued and the link to access it now redirects to the companies general app page. The Nook Cloud Reader has also been abandoned with the advent of the new Barnes and Noble website that was unveiled last summer. Both online reading apps were developed in 2012 to bypass the new Apple policy to handle all in-app purchases through their own financial system, instead of app developers processing it themselves. They never gained significant traction because the companies that ran them never really promoted them. They languished in obscurity for a number of years, until they were quietly discontinued. The Kindle Cloud Reader remains the only online reading app to be maintained and available for public use.
14.01.16. Kobo released reading app for kids. Kobo has just released a standalone app for Android called Kobo Kids. It is an e-reading app, but also an online shopping system where there is a number of e-books and graphic novels available. In 2013 Kobo developed a children’s portal to showcase all of their comics, graphic novels and e-books. This system was only available on the web version of their store and this is the first time the company has ever developed a dedicated app to draw attention to it. The Kobo Kids app features a bright and bubbly interface that showcases a series of icons pointing to genre topics such as space, dinosaurs, animals, classics, superheroes and many others. When you click on a particular topic it displays a number of titles and offers previews. Kids, are not able to buy content on their own, but the parent has to purchase them, but it is significantly easier to do this once they download a sample.
20.10.15. Google Books project ruled legal by U.S. appeals court. A decade-long legal battle looks to be finally coming to an end. A U.S. appeals court said that Google's book scanning project, Google Books, doesn't violate copyright law, Reuters reports. The decision comes after the Authors Guild, along with some non-guild-affiliated writers sued Google in 2005, claiming the company's project would negatively impact their revenue. The Authors Guild sued Google in 2005 claiming lost revenue, with a lower court in New York ruling in favor of Google in 2013. Google, for its part said its work would help increase author revenue by exposing potential customers to works they might not have been familiar with. The 2013 decision was upheld by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Friday, finding that Google's publishing of excerpts qualified as Fair Use and were in the public interest.
14.05.15. Kobo launched free ebook platform for Southwest Airlines passengers. Kobo introduces an e-reading platform for Southwest Airlines passengers, the latest in a flurry of separate initiatives to put ebooks in closer reach of travelers. The platform offers approximately 140 free ebooks (a figure Kobo plans to grow), of which about 85% are full-text editions, while the remainder are samples of titles readers can buy after landing. Kobo’s in-flight e-reading platform represents another push toward curated ebook discovery as publishers and retailers strive to deliver the right content to the right readers at the right time. The move also falls in line with efforts by Kobo’s parent company Rakuten to expand its global ebook business, a key growth area the company identified earlier this spring when it acquired the library distributor OverDrive.
03.12.14. Kobo offers ebook catalog on third-party e-Ink readers. Kobo announced an initiative to give E Ink’s hardware partners the option to offer their customers access to Kobo’s catalogue of more than four million eBooks. By adopting Kobo’s reader application, hardware partners can now add a digital book solution to their offering or expand their existing collections, making titles from all popular genres available on their devices. In addition to Kobo’s line of E Ink eReaders, the Kobo bookstore is now available on select Sony Reader devices, as well as the most popular smartphones and tablets with Kobo’s free eReading apps. As a result of this initiative, E Ink’s hardware partners will be able to provide their customers access to a large collection of eBooks without having to invest in creating an online library. E Ink’s hardware partners will be able to negotiate contracts and revenue sharing options directly with Kobo.
29.10.14. Kobo adds Marvel Comics to its library. A new partnership brings more than 250 of Marvel’s digital comics to Kobo platform. Many of those titles are tied to popular franchises with established fan bases, like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, so the move probably doesn’t herald a seismic shift in the outlook for fixed-layout and illustrated ebooks. Super Hero fanatics young and old can enjoy these illustrated eBooks on Kobo devices, such as the full-color Kobo Arc 10HD Android tablet, or via free reading apps available for most popular tablets and smartphones. Still, it’s a modest vote of confidence in the format on Kobo’s part, not to mention an expanded play in a field dominated by ComiXology, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year.
08.09.14. Kobo adds books for kids from Reading Eggs. Kobo partnered with Reading Eggs to make more than 120 of their children eBooks available to millions of Kobo Readers worldwide. For the first time, the popular Reading Eggs eBooks will be available in the digital format outside of the Reading Eggs program and are available exclusively on Kobo. Developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers, the Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and word memorization so that kids learn skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It directly supports what children learn at school and will help to improve a child’s results at school.
07.02.14. Sony gives its e-reader business to Kobo. Sony is getting rid of its unprofitable businesses. The Japanese company is selling its VIAO notebook business, TV business and also quits the e-book platform market. The move isn’t entirely unexpected: Sony has always occupied a relatively small portion of the market compared to Amazon, Google, Apple, B&N and Kobo. Sony Reader store will be shut down next month. Owners of Sony Readers shouldn’t be worried about what happens to all their purchases, since Sony is generously migrating accounts and existing libraries intact to Kobo, which works on iOS and Android devices as well as Android hardware. The Kobo Android now will also ship pre-installed on Xperia devices as part of the arrangement. As for Reader hardware, it appears to have been doomed as far back as October last year, at least for the U.S. market, when the company removed the Reader section from its website entirely and listed existing models as discontinued.
2013. Google Books survives the copyright fight. The eight-year-long legal battle between Authors Guild and Google Books has finally come to the end. New York, US Circuit Judge Denny Chin said the book scanning amounted to fair use because it was “highly transformative” and because it didn’t harm the market for the original work. “Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote, describing it as “an essential research tool” and noting that the scanning service has expanded literary access for the blind and helped preserve the text of old books from physical decay. Chin also rejected the theory that Google's online book database was depriving authors of income, noting that the company does not sell the scans or make whole copies of books available. He concluded, instead, that Google Books served to help readers discover new books and amounted to “new income from authors.” The Authors Guild has now the option of appealing the ruling.
2013. Kobo updates its digital publishing service Aquafadas. Kobo announced updates to its digital publishing platform for iPad and Android-tablets Aquafadas. From now it offers support for iOS 7, the ability to add premium enrichments such as real world physics to digital content, and overall improvements for Android interactive book creation. Publishers can add physical properties to any element of the design, create animations using the tablet’s accelerometer (content responds to gravity and moves with the tablet), allowing publishers to create interactive books without writing a single line of code. New option to control the HTML animation inside the page and bypass some limitations of iOS, allowing several animations to play at the same time.
2013. Kobo stops showing Goodreads ratings and reviews. As you remember, Amazon acquired book-review social network Goodreads in March, so it's logical, that Kobo has stopped using the Goodreads API on its website and in its apps. That means no more Goodreads ratings and reviews on Kobo book pages. It sounds as if the decision was driven by Kobo, not Goodreads or Amazon: The company’s chief content officer Michael Tamblyn tells Good E-reader that Kobo might re-add the Goodreads API in the future. But the move demonstrates the risk of relying on what is now a competing retailer’s API. At one point, Goodreads actually encountered a similar problem itself: In early 2012, it stopped sourcing its book data from Amazon’s API, switching over to book wholesaler Ingram’s data instead. Even now, Goodreads says, it’s using metadata from a mixture of sources — Ingram, WorldCat and ONIX feeds.
2013. Kobo launches ereading app for BlackBerry 10. Kobo launched its first ereading app for Blackberry back in March 2010. And today Kobo announced that its free eReading application is available for BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphone customers. The app will enable Readers on-the-go to carry, browse and shop the more than 3.5-million books sold on Kobo’s eBookstore, as well as the ability to automatically sync their library across any device they own. Kobo’s eReading app enables Readers to easily organize their library and create custom bookshelves, search within a book, highlight text and take notes within the eBook experience, and rate and review books in addition to checking out what other Readers have to say.