Readers can now select a place name in the book they’re reading and (with luck) see a description and a map of the place. The data for the entry is drawn from Google Maps (as well as Google’s other data sources like Frommers). Unfortunately this feature does not seem to work all that well; I tried it in several ebooks and wasn’t given a location option. Or perhaps it requires a more specific location than simply a place name – a city and province, for example.
But never mind that; the other new features make up for its absence. Google’s iOS app now supports fixed layout ebooks, meaning you can now use the app to read digital comics, children’s books, and other rich content. The app now also supports vertical text which is required for Japanese, Chinese and Korean text. Japanese ebooks in particular will benefit from this; there are a number of genres where the consumer expects to see vertical text.