Google has made a splash at its I/O conference today as it made a number of announcements, including the release of its new Hangouts app and a preview of the next version of Google Maps. It’s hardly surprising then to find the newly issued update to Google Play Books as a mere footnote in all of today’s excitement. Nevertheless, the update is still worth noting since it’s ultimately significant even as it’s just a small one.
Google posted about the update on the official Google+ page of Google Play:
Google Play, the world’s largest eBook collection, just got bigger. Now, you can upload your own files to Google Play Books to access on your Android (http://goo.gl/dxf9K), iOS (http://goo.gl/5wk00) and the web (http://goo.gl/FcHPe). Whether you’re a student with a backpack full of PDF printouts or an avid reader with hundreds of pages held captive on your computer, relieve your back and start adding files today!
Specifically, Google Play Books now supports non-DRM PDF and ePub files from your own personal collection. Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Kobo‘s namesake iOS app have long offered support for reading said such files. So, this improvement on Google Play Books’ part, while overdue, is very much welcome.
You can upload your PDF and ePub files, or just choose files from your Google Drive account, using the Google Play website and have them automatically synced to your devices. Of course, these devices include your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad where the newly updated Google Play Books app is installed.
The Google Play Books app has also been updated with performance optimizations and a Read Now section. In the new Read Now section, you can find books you’ve recently purchased, uploaded or read.