Google Play Books’ first beta update adds Custom Shelves and more

Google Play Books’ first beta update adds Custom Shelves and more

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Amazon may still have a good hold over the digital books market, thanks to the popularity of the Kindle as an e-reader, but that doesn’t push away competition from creeping in. Google Play Books is Google’s take on the ebook distribution platform, and the platform has been growing slowly and steadily over the years thanks to the proliferation of Android smartphones with larger displays. There’s a lesser need for a dedicated e-reader these days, and a lot of people simply prefer the convenience of the ever-present smartphone. Google Play Books can also be accessed through the web browser, making it available across practically any device with an internet connection. Curiously, Google has now announced new Beta features that are coming to the web version of Google Play Books.

Beta Features is a new program for Play Books which lets interested users test out experimental features on the web. Of course, since this is a beta program, the features enabled through this program are experimental in nature, meaning they could improve, evolve or even disappear in the future.

The first Beta Feature on the web for Google Play Books is Custom Shelves, one of the most frequently requested features from users. As the name would imply, this feature lets users organize shelves in a more useful and personal way. Next up, you will also be able to search for books within your library, and sort your library using different criteria like author, title, last read, and price. The last new feature is called Ready to Read, which shows books that you haven’t finished yet, with the aim to let you quickly find unfinished books and read them right where you left off.

These features do sound basic, but these smaller changes should make the Play Books experience better. If you would like to try out Beta Features within Google Play Books on the web, head on over to the website, click on the Settings icon, and select Beta Features. If you’d like to request a new feature, you can also use the Send Feedback option to request the same. We hope to see these and future beta features to be carried over to the app too.

Source: Google Keyword Blog