Google is entering the ebook fray with the overnight debut of its new Google eBooks service giving business travellers and frequent flyers an ever greater choice of reading material for the plane, the lounge or anywhere else.
But there’s one catch: Google’s eBooks are on sale only to its users in the USA. Australians, and everyone else for that matter, will have to be content with downloading the estimated three million free ebooks until Google squares up its arrangements with local publishers.
Oh, there’s another catch: Google eBooks can’t be read on Amazon’s popular Kindle device, as the Kindle doesn’t recognise the industry-standard ePub format adopted by Google.
Google eBooks can however be read on devices like the Borders' Kobo and Sony Reader, along with Apple’s iPad and tablets running the Android operating system such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. You can also use the iPhone and Android-based smartphones.
Your ebooks are stored in an online library associated with your Google account and downloaded to your device for reading. So if you’re heading off on a trip, you’d better be sure to download any books you want to read while you’re still in the lounge.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.