Google Play Books for Android, iOS Updated With New Cloud Storage Support

google play books itunesThere’s a new version of the Google Play Books app in iTunes and Google Play today, and if you’re one of a handful of readers who buy ebooks from Google I think you might appreciate this.

According to the changelog, the new iOS app will enable users to download and read ebooks which they had previously uploaded to the Google Play Books website.  The Android app also gained that feature as well as a newly refreshed menu design and other features.

google play books ipad itunes Readers can now upload Epub or PDF to Google Play and then download them from inside a Google Play Books app, with some limitations.

Google will only let readers upload 1,000 titles, and each file needs to be under 50MB in size. The upload option is also reportedly available only in the web browser, though it doesn’t seem to have been enabled yet. (You can find it here.) You’re also going to be able to transfer ebooks from Google Drive.

Other than the new cloud storage option, the update iOS app doesn’t bring any changes. All the menus look the same. The reading view (at right) doesn’t appear to have been changed, and the app looks to have the same formatting options as before.

But the Android app has had some work done. This app has a nicer menu, an improved TOC view, and it also now offers a recommendation page at the end of the ebook you’re reading.

google play books android app 1

I suppose this single feature might not look like much, but it is actually a sign that Google is still committed to the ebook market. Not only is Google matching one of the nicer features of the Kindle platform, they’re also giving readers much more space.

A thousand files @ 50MB each comes to 50GB.  That’s a lot more than what Amazon offers in the Kindle Cloud, and it is also a lot more than the free storage available from cloud storage services. I was initially going to poo-poo this update because I already upload Epub ebooks to Dropbox, but this new service from Google is actually a better option.

And I would use it, too, if not for the fact that I prefer Aldiko.


Google Play

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Dan16 May, 2013

    I’ve been checking it out today, the only real problem for me is that like Google Music when you download them to your device you only have access to them within Play Books. It does have one feature that I wish Aldiko, my preferred reader also, had and that is pinch-zoom. Is there anyway to see images larger from Aldiko???

  2. Meth16 May, 2013

    Was able to upload some pdfs & epubs this afternoon (takes forever for google to “process” pdfs). The search feature is disabled for uploaded books, and the ability to take notes is only available on epubs, not pdfs. But despite the shortcomings, the ability to read through my browser, then have it sync’d with my Android devices is definitely a huge plus.

  3. […] Google Play Books for Android, iOS Updated With New Cloud Storage Support […]

  4. Eschwartz19 May, 2013

    It’s nice that they support this. Of course, Kindle can store 5,000 Personal Documents — 5X as much — when you consider that no ebook will ever be 50MB. 1MB, maybe 2.

    And Kindle can still auto-convert Word docs for you.

    But it’s nice to know someone is catching up to Amazon.

    1. Nate Hoffelder22 May, 2013

      That maybe true, but has Amazon done anything to improve their file management?

      I’m looking at it now and I think trying to manage anything more than a few hundred documents would be unwieldy. Of course, the same applies to Google Play books, though their interface is a little more functional.

    2. Vikarti Anatra12 December, 2017

      >no ebook will ever be 50MB.
      Say that to Mark Murphy’s CommonsWare (, EPUBs are approx 20 Mb, PDFs are 70-80 Mb
      Say that to Wizards of the Coast – my D&D manuals are 50-80 Mb
      Say that to Most of their PDFs and EPUBs are over 100 Mb (lots of high-res images).
      Say that Meng To ( Some of his epubs are >1 Gb(!) (lot of embedded video, works 100% correctly only in iBooks)

  5. […] announced cloud storage for a user’s ebooks back in May 2013. They let users store up to 1,000 titles which can be downloaded to the Google Play Books apps for […]

  6. […] remark that GPB only downloads a fragment of an ebook at a time. It would also explain why GPB didn’t support 3rd-party ebooks until the middle of last […]

  7. md Ramzan21 December, 2014

    Google play storage unfortunately stopped

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    […] Google Play Books for Android, iOS Updated With New Cloud Storage Support […]


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