'Google eBookstore' Launches in U.S. With iOS Support [Updated: iOS App Live]

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Google today announced the launch of its previously-rumored eBookstore, bringing another significant competitor to the market targeted by major bookstore chains, Amazon's Kindle Store, and Apple's iBookstore. The new Google eBookstore currently offers over three million titles with "hundreds of thousands" of pay titles available.

We designed Google eBooks to be open. Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks - everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. With the new Google eBooks Web Reader, you can buy, store and read Google eBooks in the cloud. That means you can access your ebooks like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa - using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited ebooks storage.

Google is launching an iOS application to allow iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users to access their Google eBookstore content on their devices, although the application does not yet appear to have gone live in the App Store. With the company's Web reader, users can access their content through computers running any Javascript-enabled browser.

Notably, Google is also partnering with third-party booksellers such as Powell's and Alibris to allow customers of those business to purchase Google eBooks directly through those stores' sites. Digital right management (DRM) technology on Google eBooks is driven by Adobe's Content Server 4.

A quick glance at Google's offerings for The New York Times Best Sellers shows pricing for most titles at $12.99, equivalent to pricing for those same titles in Apple's iBookstore. A handful titles are, however, priced at $14.99 through Google while Apple offers them at $12.99.

Update: The free Google Books [App Store] application for iOS is now live in the App Store.

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