Google’s eBooks are finally available. They’re not called Google Editions as per earlier rumors but the collection is quite impressive with over 3 million books. The books can be read off Android smartphones (that are on Android 2.1 at the least), Barnes and Noble’s NOOK, Sony eReader, iPods, iPads, and iPhones.
Google’s ebooks open up in the browser on the PC unlike Amazon’s Kindle which needs a desktop application.
There is a slight time lag in browsing pages on Google’s interface – not much but visible when compared to Kindle’s smooth flow. Apart from that, both applications have similar features – font and background settings, syncing of reader’s position across devices, and quick download of books. Amazon and Kindle both allow you to preview books before you purchase them.
There are rumors that Amazon will be launching an online application for its books. That will be great as it will do away with the need to download the desktop app. In any case, it’s not really any trouble.
Amazon is the older player in the ebooks market and Google’s ebooks do not provide any reason for customers to switch to the new provider. Plus, the tiny lag becomes an issue if you’re browsing through large books with hundreds of pages. For now, Google isn’t really competition for the Kindle.