Google rolled out an update yesterday for their Android reading app. It was a relatively minor update, and aside from bug fixes (including a tweak to the on-device Google Search) and stability improvements there was just the one change.
This app, which has more users on Android than any of the major ebookstores, will now let readers search inside of scanned books. If that doesn't sound like a big deal then chances are you don't read the ebooks which were scanned as part of the Google Books project.
Google's original interest in ebooks came not from the commercial possibility of selling Epub ebooks but from Google Books, their nefarious, malignant, and no-good effort to scan the contents of university libraries. In addition to spawning the Google Books Lawsuit (aka the Lawsuit Which Will Never End) , the Google Books project generated a massive quantity of scanned books. Some are in the public domain and some are under copyright.
Today's update won't matter much to people who buy commercial ebooks from Google, but anyone who frequents the Google Books website will appreciate it. Now we are going to have a better way to look for text inside the scanned books.
Tell me, have you ever visited the Google Books website and searched for a term inside a book? Now you can do that from inside the Google Play Books app.
It will look something like this:
You can find the app in Google Play.