With the advent of ebook readers, not to mention the digitization of media in general, many individuals find themselves gravitating towards electronic books, which have several advantages over traditional paper-bound books, including portability and the ability to share across multiple mediums. Because of this, Google has announced a Google Play Books update adding support for uploading ebook files.
The feature is available for Web, iOS, and Android users, and adds the features you find with other ebooks – bookmarking, highlighting, making notes, access to a dictionary, etc. Those custom made aspects, such as notes, are also synced with the cloud, making them available across multiple devices, such as a smartphone and a tablet.
Two different types of electronic book files are supported: PDF and ePUB. Uploads have to be done via the upload URL at Google Play, at which point the files can then be accessed via whatever devices you want, bookmarks, highlights, and such all automatically synced. Also tossed into the mix is a new confirmation dialog that will ask if you want to un-download a book, preventing you from accidentally purging a file from your library.
In addition to the new upload feature, the latest update also brings with it a refreshed Google Play Books design, with changes being made in a few different areas, among them being the library and end-of-book recommendation page. The Table of Contents view has also been tweaked. That rounds up the significant changes, with the rest being small improvements to stability and performance, which you may notice after updating.
This follows some other changes that have been rolled out to Google Play Books in the recent past. In December, “Read Aloud” and zooming capabilities were added, while on March 20, Google Play Books was rolled out in Mexico, giving ebook access to a previously unavailable market. The Play Books offerings include both international bestsellers and titles local to the area.