Google announced today during a huge event that they were creating a new eTextbook section. Diligent young scholars will be able to both rent and buy them on Android and iOS. The new service is poised to launch this August and students will be able to save 80%, compared to physical textbooks.
Right now Google has locked up Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning. This will immediately give students access to hundreds of textbooks right out of the gate. Students can also search bookmarks, highlight, and switch to a “night mode” so as not to disturb a sleeping roommate.
Selling and renting textbooks is the second stage of Google Play for Education, which was originally announced at the I/O conference earlier in the year. It is important for Google to compete with Amazon and other minor players in the digital textbook field and bringing it to as many markets as possible. The plan right now is to launch in the US first and then expand it to more international markets in the future.