Enough to tempt consumers away from another hardware purchase?
Something rather shiny and Kindle 2-shaped is expected to be unveiled later today, but Google is determined not to let Amazon steal all the headlines…
Consequently nipping in ahead the web guru has announced a mobile edition of its hugely ambitious Book Search platform available immediately for both the iPhone and Android based handsets (expect options other than the T-Mobile G1 very soon.
“Just go to books.google.com/m in your mobile browser,” explained Google on its Mobile Blog. “You can search for a title, author, or subject. Or you can browse the list of ‘Featured books’ and various categories like business and economics, the classics, science and math, travel, and more. Once you’ve picked out a book or two, you can easily get back to your selections by clicking on the ‘Recently viewed books’ under the ‘My books’ section.”
Happily the mobile Book Search will also display in any web browser so you can get a feel for the rather slick interface before draining any valuable phone battery. Furthermore, with 1.5m copyright-free books available including classics from the likes of Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain you shouldn’t be lost for things to read – though this does exclude newer page turners.
Another factor is just how much battery life you’ll be using since, unlike eBooks, handsets consume considerable battery power between page turns. That said, convergence junkies will be pleased and there’s the little matter of saving you many hundreds of pounds buying a dedicated eBook reader in the first place.
Over to you Amazon…