Google introduces new eBooks and eBookstore applications, while Amazon touts a new desktop e-reader. But which is best?
For a while, there has been some speculation that Google was going to come out with its own e-reader device, like Amazon's Kindle. Instead, Google made headlines with a strictly software-based strategy: a bevy of applications for Android devices, the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod Touch, desktop/laptop web browsers, and two specific e-book readers, the Nook and the Sony Reader. (Other eBook readers can also access books from Google's eBook collection if they can read either the ePub or PDF formats.)
Amazon, for its part, announced its own desktop web e-reader, which has been in beta since September and which, according to Amazon, should be available sometime during the next few months.
Like Microsoft with its Windows Live offerings, Google is using similar (and somewhat confusing) names for its related services. The general Google listing of free and non-free books that are available to browse, sample and review is called Google Books. The library of books that an individual reader collects, whether free or paid, and can then read on any device is called My Google eBooks.
The place where that reader can purchase new books using Google Checkout? That's the Google eBookstore. (None of these have anything to do, by the way, with Google Reader, which is Google's RSS service.) US Google account holders can access all of those services by going to Google's dedicated webpage http://books.google.com (Its not available in the UK yet.
NEXT PAGE: Desktop reading via Google