Google today has overhauled their Google Android Market and metamorphosed all of its content into Google Play. The move was to make its apps, games, videos and books all fly under one singular flagship banner. Google eBooks now redirects all users to Google Play and the company says it does not change the experience, or does it?
Google Play was developed mainly because people say the App Store on their devices and thought to themselves, it just has apps. Google has slowly integrated videos, music and other content into the store and it was time for it to be changed up after its three year milestone.
Google eBooks is basically redirecting all of their old links to the new ones on Google Play. The Google eBooks retailer API will not be changing as a result of the Play launch. Books sold through Google retailer partners will still be called Google eBooks. Users who purchase Google eBooks through retailer partners will now read those books on Google Play. Google will provide verbiage for retailer partners to help inform users of this change. What if you are a retailer that sells Google Books on your website? There is no immediate change to you as a Retailer partner of Google Books. You will continue to sell Google eBooks via your website and your customers will receive and read their books the same as they have been. The only change is that your customers will be redirected to their Google Play books library to access their purchased books.
Many tablets and e-readers don’t have access to the official Google Play market which means you cannot install apps or games. Books are not effected and you can read and download the books right to your PC. Google has an HTML5 based reading app that you can buy and read books directly in your web browser. This is applicable to mobile devices in addition to your PC or MAC, you are also allowed to purchase books.
Finally, what about the Sony PRS-T1 and iRiver Story HD that rely on the old way to shop and buy ebooks online? There will be a slight change in the presentation of the store experience on the devices, but all Story HD owners will continue to enjoy the current experience, while benefiting from being able to read their books across the full Google Play ecosystem. We recommend that all Story HD owners go to Google Play to purchase their books moving forward. iRiver and Sony are expected to push new firmware updates to take into account all the new changes to the Google ecosystem.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.