By David Hancock
on February 25th, 2011
The Web version of Google’s Android Market is rolling out e-books.
IntoMobile.com reported Thursday that the online version of the Android Markethad begun to display e-books. The site included a title, Raymond Carver: A Writer’s Life as proof.
When PCMag.com checked Thursday afternoon, a reporter was unable to pull up any e-books when it checked the site’s listings, and neither the book’s author, Carol Sklenicka, nor the title of the book returned any hits in the search results. Later, however, the e-book capability appeared.
Users need to click the “Books” tab at the top of the page, which will load the e-book interface. (The default interface is “Apps,”, which also has a number of “Books and Reference” apps, but no path to the Books portion of the site.) A Google spokesman said that the Books capability was added around 9 AM on Thursday.
One of the highlighted books, Tick Tock by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge, was available via the Market for $12.99; it wasn’t available on Amazon’s Kindle, although Amazon is selling a hardcover version for $14.57, plus shipping costs. Amazon also provided the first 28 chapters of Tick Tock as a free Kindle preview. Other bestsellers, such as Tom Clancy’s Dead or Alive, are available as an e-book for $12.99 from both Amazon and Google.
Once downloaded, the e-book will be added to a user’s Google account. Users can “return” an e-book “if the ebook does not perform as described,” Google says.
In February, Google unveiled the Web version of the Android Market, which allowed users to sample all of the Market’s apps in a single web page, rather than on an Android device. By selecting and buying an app on the Web store, users can push the app to a selected Android device. Google also announced support for in-app purchases.
In December, the Market appeared to have doubled in size has doubled in size to 200,000 apps. Numbers from AndroLib.com showed more than 260,000 apps were available in the store as of late January.
IntoMobile noted that e-books could be the gateway for Google’s long-awaited Google Music service, which could be rolled out along with Google’s Honeycomb Android 3.0 operating system.
According to The Guardian, Motorola Mobility chief Sanjay Jha suggested that the benefit of having its upcoming Xoom tablet run on Android Honeycomb is that “it adds video services and music services.”
“If you look at Google Mobile services [via Android] today, there’s a video service, there’s a music service – that is, there will be a music service,” Jha said, according to the Guardian report.
One of the flagship devices for Honeycomb is the Motorola Xoom, a $599 tablet that PCMag.com found still pales in comparison to the Apple iPad.
Google’s Web-Based Android Market Selling E-Books | News & Opinion | PCMag.com.