Today Google launched their own e-book store with dedicated shopping and reading apps for iPhone and Android. Currently, the store is limited to the U.S., but offers over 3 million titles to anyone with an Android 2.1 device or iOS 3.0 device and up. You can do searches within an e-book, adjust text formatting for optimal reading, store e-books locally for offline reading, look up background information on e-books, and seamlessly sync where you leave off reading so you can pick up again on either your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The e-books will be sold in ePub and PDF format, making for easy portability and sideloading, though that kind of thing will be limited by publisher-mandated DRM.
I suspect through tighter integration with the native OS and services, the Google eBook store will quickly become a more palatable choice than Kindle for anyone buying e-books on an Android tablet, but a big part of the pitch is the matter of choice, so Google probably won’t completely sideswipe Amazon or the other e-book stores. I’d definitely like to see this app find its way to the BlackBerry PlayBook for launch, seeing as Kobo and Kindle are already lined up. As for dedicated e-reader devices, the Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Sony’s Reader will be able to play nice with the new store.
You can find the Google eBook store app in the Android Market or iTunes App Store, or head on over to the Google Books home page for more info.