Google Play Books vs Kobo
Latest news about Google Play Books and Kobo:
24.10.16. Google Play now allows to gift e-books. Google Play Books has issued a small update to their Android app that allows users to gift e-books. You simply need to navigate to one of the books on your homepage or within the Play Books Store and click on the three dots. There is an option to gift the e-book to someone with an existing account and they will get instantly notified that you have sent it and gives them detailed instructions on how to read the book within the app.
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.
17.12.15. Google Play Books makes it easier to read at night. If you’re a night reader on your mobile device, then you know that it’s hard to get tired with the bright screen burning your eyeballs. This of course isn’t a problem with physical books, as you can add a soft light to the room to wind down. Google Play Books wants to emulate that softer experience with a feature it calls “Night Light.” As the evening goes on, it gradually filters out the blue light from your screen, replacing it with a warm, amber light as the sun sets, to make flipping through pages more comfortable. Night Light automatically adapts to the amount of natural sunlight outside based on the time of day, giving you just the right temperature and brightness. The color adjustment is more comfortable on your eyes and greatly improves low-light night reading.
13.11.15. Google improved Comic Book reading in Play Books for Android. Google launched an upgrade to its Google Play Books app for Android that will make it easier to read comics on your phone and tablet. Reading comics (or graphic novels, if that’s more your thing) on small screens has never been ideal. The new reading experience on Android (with iOS support coming soon) will pop up when you are in landscape mode. In this mode, you can now easily scroll through a story with just vertical swipe. Google also introduced personalized comic recommendations to make it easier to find similar series, as well as a set of curated series pages for comics in the Play Store.
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.
31.10.14. Google Play Books’ new reading mode lets you browse huge ebooks faster. Google has just updated its Google Play Books eReader application with a focus on efficient reading. The new Skim mode allows you to zoom between pages in an endless stream rather than forcing you to flip through page by page. Quick Bookmarks lets you set multiple saved spots in the book and quickly jump back and forth between them — perfect for when you’re required to refer to some reference table 200 pages away from what you’re trying to read. You can now view all of your notes and highlights on one page and quickly jump to the correlating passages. The study benefits there are pretty obvious.
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. 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. Google Play to sell and rent digital textbooks. In August Google will start selling and renting digital textbooks through the Google Play Books store. Google said it’s working with the five largest textbook publishers and that students would be able to purchase digital textbooks or rent them for up to six months. It also said that prices would be “up to 80 percent” off print list prices, which is the same claim that Amazon makes on Kindle textbook rentals. Google is already selling a few digital textbooks through the Play store, but they’re not from the big publishers and they are not available for rental. Getting into the textbook market helps Google compete against Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple, all of whom have already entered the digital textbook space.
2013. Google Play Books is Now Available in 9 More Countries in Europe. The world’s second most slowly expanding ebook store Google Play Books made some progress this week with the launch of new local ebookstores in 9 more countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Back in late June Google Play Books expanded to Portugal, Austria, Ireland, and Belgium. Google's eboo kstore is now available in 26 countries from the US to Russia to Australia. It primarily sells Epub and is actively encouraging Epub3 and discouraging any other ebook format.
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.
2013. Google Play Books now allows users to upload own ebooks. The recent update to Google Play Books Android and iOS apps allow users to upload up to 1,000 PDF and EPUB files to their Google Play accounts. Files can be uploaded from users' computers or imported from Google Drive, as long as the files are less than 50MB in size. Once uploaded to the library, the files will be readable on the Web, as well as Android and iOS phones and tablets, the Web giant announced Wednesday. The files' page positions, bookmarks, and notes will then be syncable among each desired device, allowing users to continue reading where they left off when they switch devices. The feature should give Google a leg up on Apple iBooks, which currently doesn't support user-uploaded content.
2013. Barnes & Noble integrates Google Play into Nook tablets. Barnes & Noble is adding Google Play marketplace (including apps, music, videos and ebooks) and Google services (Google+, GMail, Youtube, Maps) to its Nook HD and HD+ tablets. As you know, Nook-tablets are Android-based, but this move seems a bit odd for a company that has a strategic partnership with Microsoft. However, Jim Hilt, Barnes & Noble’s VP of ebooks, said that the aim is to provide broader media ecosystem to Nook tablet users and B&N isn’t worried about Google books: “We’re incredibly confident that when people pick up a Nook device, they’re going to use the Nook shopping experience” he said.
2012. Google Play Books app adds the power of Internet to reading. Google today has updated the Android app Google Play Books that allows to buy and read ebooks on your smartphone. The new additions will help you better explore your books and understand what you’re reading, using the power of the Internet. Now you can select a word and see it's translation to other languages or definition from the dictionaries. If this word - is a geographical location - you can see it on the map (Google Maps card). Besides you can highlight words and phrases and take side-note. Notes you make will sync between your phone, tablet and web, thanks to Google Play Books‘ cloud-based content.
2011. iriver Story HD - the first e-reader that allows to read Google eBooks. Google doesn't produce own e-reading device for it's Google eBooks, but from now there is a least one third-party e-reader that allows to read Google eBooks - iriver Story HD. It was specially optimized for this purpose by two companies. With the Story HD you can now browse, buy and read Google eBooks with your e-reader through Wi-Fi, rather than downloading and transferring them from computer to e-reader with a cord. The iriver Story HD, which costs from $139.99, is slim and lightweight with a high-resolution E-Ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard for easy searching. It includes over-the-air access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free.