Every time we get a first-party app update from Google, it seems like Christmas a bit early. Today’s update to Google Play Books is no exception. The new update brings significant new functionality, as well as increased performance.
First and foremost, this new update brings the ability to manually upload your own EPUB and PDF files to the cloud, directly from your client device. It now works with the standard Android Intent system, and serve as a handler for those two file types. Once uploaded, the file can be viewed from any of your connected Google Play Books devices or any Internet-connected computers. While it’s not local file access, forcing users to use the cloud isn’t the worst thing in the world.
In addition to the app’s newly found upload abilities, the note taking UI is significantly improved. With the new update, you are now able to define your note colors and more easily get rid of them. Furthermore, the app has also been optimized to more quickly and smoothly open your books.
Aside from these major changes, a few other minor modifications were made. As seen in the changelog on the Google Play listing:
- Books open more quickly and smoothly.
- Upload EPUB or PDF files to your library from your phone or tablet. From email or Downloads, touch the file to open it and choose Upload to Play Books.
- Improved look and feel of highlights and notes.
- Lower brightness settings, for better reading in low light.
- Read any book in landscape view.
- Dismiss recommended books in Read Now.
- Additional improvements in performance, stability and accessibility.
Naturally, you can wait for the staged rollout and/or install the app manually from Google Play. Luckily, however, users can sideload the update a bit early thanks to the fine folks over at AndroidPolice in the Via link below.
What are your thoughts on the PDF/EPUB upload feature? Would you have rather had native PDF/EPUB support without having to rely on the cloud? have you tried the new note taking UI? We’re interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments section below!