In a bid to lure people who like reading books, the search engine biggie Google on Thursday has come up with the mobile handset version of its signature Google Book Search Service.
Google seems all set to take on Sony’s eReader and Amazon’s Kindle with this new update, and provides users of iPhone and Android access to a massive 1.5 million books available on its Book Search service.
Google uses Optical Character Technology to present mobile screen-friendly content from scanned page images from the books available on its Book Search, and these can be accessed on web-capable handsets.
With this new service, users can access classic literary works from some of the all time greats, including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and William Shakespeare, right on the screens of their smartphones.
While all the texts comprise of pages scanned using OCR technology, errors in the service are indispensable, but if the text appears a bit blurred, the service even offers readers the flexibility to view the scanned page itself.
Google has asserted that though the technical challenges are “daunting”, it will continue to enhance its OCR and book extraction technologies to provide better reading experience to readers.
Quoting the significance of the new launch, the company wrote in its blog, “With this launch, we believe that we’ve taken an important step toward more universal access to books”.
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Google is not interested in building hardware per se. As with Android, the search giant is more concerned about providing with the bare essential platform that will support services and provide with the necessary environment for other 3rd party services to grow on. Android is one example, Chrome is another and iGoogle is a third one. Ultimately, manufacturers like Acer or Asus may come forward with their ebook readers or choose to integrate this functionality in their smartphones. Either way, Google will be the winner.