Google Play Books is Google’s official Android app for purchasing and reading e-books on your Android app. It is supported on Android version 2.2 and higher and can be downloaded from Google Play. It is a basic no-frills e-book reading app with millions of titles for download including free books and excerpts. The pricing for the priced books seems to be on par with other e-book retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble etc.
You can search for a book by title or author name using the search field on the main screen of the app. Voice search is also supported. The books are purchased through Google checkout. Once you purchase or download a book, it is added to your library. The books are displayed in your library in a 3-D carousel view or list view, which can be changed according to your preference.
The design is simple and easy to navigate. Tap on the cover of the book in your library to start or resume reading. You can move to the next page by swiping or tapping. Other ways to navigate through pages are by using Table of Contents or the slider, displayed on tapping the center of the book. You can also search within the book by using In-Book Search.
The default mode is the Flowing Text mode. The Original Pages mode is a feature that displays the original pages, as scanned from the book. In Flowing Text mode, you can change the font size, typeface, line height, text alignment and brightness settings of the display. Another useful feature is to make the book available for offline reading, for those times when you do not have an internet connection. The book is stored on your phone internal storage or memory card. There is also a Share feature, to share about the book you are reading on Google+, Twitter or using Gmail. The Google Play Books app offers accessibility support and text to speech reading of books.
The books in your library can be read from any device or web browser anywhere by logging into your Google account. It auto-syncs and personalizes your reading experience so that you can pick up where you left off on another device. Google Books purchases and free downloads are transferrable to Nook, Reader from Sony, Kobo Reader, Story HD from iRiver and other dedicated e-reader devices too. Google Play Books is a good choice on two counts – excellent integration support across multiple devices and platforms and a simple but well-designed app to read and purchase books on your phone.