You hear about this whole e-books thing? We hear it's gonna be a pretty big deal
. Google, always with its finger on the pulse of our ever-evolving digital lifestyles, has decided to take a wild stab at this nascent market, and is launching Google eBooks today. Formerly known as Google Editions
, the Google eBooks ecosystem is actually a pretty grand gesture, and seems to combine most of the positives of the primary e-book contenders (Amazon
, Barnes & Noble
, and Apple
, naturally), while skimping on the UI flourishes, in traditional Google fashion. Books you buy are stored in the cloud, with your progress synced Whispersync-style, and can be read on your choice of native Android, iPhone, or iPad apps; from your browser; or on any device that supports the Adobe Digital Editions DRM for PDF and ePub files, which includes the B&N Nook and the Sony Reader (and plenty of other devices). Google is also trading on its vast repository of public domain books, with 3 million free eBooks on offer at its Google eBookstore, in addition to traditional paid fare. It's certainly a crowded market, full of sharp elbows, but it seems Google is having no trouble adjusting.