Coming Sunday at Target: The $139.99 iriver Story HD, a Google branded eReader, is all set to take on Amazon’s Kindle! Side by side, the devices are very similar in appearance…both are Wi-Fi enabled, both have a 6″ eInk screen, and both have a Qwerty keyboard. But that may be where the similarity ends. Beacuse the iriver Story HD is the first eReader integrated with the Google eBooks platform.
Can Google compete with the dozens of digital readers already on the market? Even more importantly, can it take down Kindle and Nook?
Google has officially joined the eReader competition with the launch of an eReader app called Google eBooks and the new Google eBookstore. Much like the Amazon Kindle app, Google is providing a platform for downloading and reading digital books.
However, Google is attempting to differentiate itself from Amazon’s Kindle reader by selling ebooks that can span a wide range of devices, including web browsers, Androids, iPhones, iPads, iPod touchs, Nook and many supported eReaders. Unfortunately, Google does not yet support the Amazon Kindle, BlackBerry, Kobo or Windows Mobile 7.
Even better, Google eBooks has a catalog of over 3 million ebooks, many of which are being offered as free downloads. Google’s eBook platform is, at first glance, more open than Amazon’s and Apple’s. “Our approach is really more of an open ecosystem about encouraging the adoption of books across different platforms and retailers,” said Google product management director, Scott Dougall.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google and Verizon have teamed up to create a tablet computer, running on Google’s OS and Verizon’s network, of course, that will rival the iPad. This is also Verizon’s entry into the mobile service market for eReaders, tablet computers, etc., since AT&T has the contracts locked in for wireless service on the iPad and the Amazon Kindle.
Google is definitely one to watch for the next tablet computer / eReader device! Read the entire WSJ article here.
The Wall Street Journal said today that Google will begin selling ebooks this summer…now, one can only ask, is a Google eReader right behind? We think so, and we’ll let you know as soon as we can confirm or disprove this one!
From the New York Times/Wired:
NYT: Google Android Tablet Imminent
“Google is almost ready to start selling its own tablet. The device, according to the New York Times, will be “an e-reader that would function like a computer.” So close is it that Eric Schmidt, CEO at Google, was describing it to friends at “a recent party in Los Angeles.”
The slate-like computer will run Android, and anonymous sources say that Google has already been working with publishers to put books and magazines on the device.
The choice of Android seems odd, given that Google is committed to the Chrome OS on the netbook platform. But Chrome will be an almost non-existent operating system, offering just enough software to load a browser and access Google’s online services. Android, on the other hand, is already well developed and full-featured enough to offer all that you get from Apple’s iPad. It is also designed to be used on a touch-screen device, something that can’t be said for a skinned desktop OS like Windows 7.
A Google tablet could be the only tablet capable of actually challenging the iPad, avoiding the iPod whitewash in which Apple thrashed everyone, even Sony. It would also have some advantages. Google’s services, for one. Apple still doesn’t get the cloud, and getting data on and off the iPad is still largely done over a USB cable. Android is also the only other real player in apps with the Android Marketplace. It is way behind the iTunes App Store in numbers, but is at least in second place.
And don’t forget Google books, the Google Reader and Google Voice (soon to feature desktop VoIP thanks to the recent purchase of Skype-rival Gizmo). Add in the fact that Google is committed to an open platform for which anyone can develop software (unlike Apple’s closed ecosystem), and you have a tablet which could be the perfect opposite of Apple’s.
Will Google march ahead and beat Apple like Microsoft did with Windows in the 1990s? We doubt it: We have a feeling that Microsoft is the one in trouble this time, at least in the mobile industry. One thing is for sure, though. Even if you’re a huge fan of the iPad, having Google nipping at its heels will keep Apple focussed and everyone will benefit. At least the free market is good for something.”
Read More http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/04/nyt-google-android-tablet-imminent/#ixzz0ku3VQwiy