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Summary:

Google is adding some new features to its Android ebooks app, including highlighting and annotation, translation, dictionary definitions and geographic information. Google Play Books for iOS lacks these features for now.

Google E-Books Icon
photo: Google

Google is rolling out new features for its Google Play Books Android app (formerly known as Google eBooks). The new features aren’t mindblowing, but may just be a starting point for how Google plans to integrate various web functions into ebooks.

Here are the changes, limited to the Android version of the app for now:

  • Highlighting and notes: Users can now highlight text and take notes. As with Kindle highlights and annotations, Google ebook highlights and notes are stored in the cloud and sync across devices.
  • Dictionary definitions and geographic info: Tap on a place to pull up a Google map and more info from Google and Wikipedia, or tap on a word to get its definition.
  • Translation: Translate words and phrases (but not entire books). Kindle Touch also has this feature.
  • Ability to read Japanese books from right to left.
  1. When they add the ability to actually read books not purchased through them, I will consider even trying the app. Until then, completely useless to me.

    And these are NOT free public-domain books I can re-download through Play, if anyone was going to suggest that.

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  2. nice article on paid content

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  3. Can other people read my highlights and notes? (I hope so)

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  4. Whats up! I am about to begin my own blog and was
    wondering if you know where the best place to buy a website url is?
    I am not even sure if that’s what its called? (I’m new to this) I’m referring to “http://paidcontent.org/2012/09/24/google-adds-translation-highlighting-to-android-books-app/”. Exactly how do I go about acquiring one of these for the website I’m building?

    Thanks alot :)

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