Google’s foray into e-book reading and selling. They speak of “openness”, but what they mean by that, so far as I can tell, is that they’ve built Google Books client apps for a bunch of platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android, and the web, and that all clients sync bookmark data via the cloud. It’s not “open” in the sense that e-books from publishers like O’Reilly and Pragmatic Programmers are, where you can download no-DRM files and read them in the client software of your choice. (Not that Google has a choice in this — surely the publishers insist on the DRM, and I’ll bet Google would sell truly open e-books for popular titles if they could.)
The iPad app seems OK. But you can’t select text, so there’s no copying and no dictionary lookups.
★ Monday, 6 December 2010