Google adds translation, highlighting to Android books app

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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.
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