Google launches eBookstore in the USNew store to compete with Amazon and use Adobe DRM

07 December 2010

Google eBookstore

Google has launched its own digital ebook store in the US and plans to launch the service worldwide next year.

Like Amazon, Google plans to make its store 'platform agnostic' by launching applications for several different devices. These include mobile apps for Android and Apple iOS devices, while PC and Mac users can read books on their laptops and desktop computers using a web browser. 

Purchased ebooks will be stored on the internet, and will sync wirelessly to devices that support wireless connection.

Unlike Amazon, however, Google won't be limited to a single dedicated ebook reader. Instead it will support a range of devices that include Sony's Reader devices and the popular (in the US) Barnes & Noble Nook. 

Indeed, the only notable ebook reader that won't support the Google eBookstore is Amazon's Kindle, as books will be sold in the EPub format and use Adobe's Digital Editions DRM (Digital Rights Management), neither of which are supported by the Kindle.

Supporting dedicated booksellers

One important difference between the Google eBookstore and competing stores is that Google has partnered with independent booksellers and retailers. Such stores can re-brand the Google eBookstore, and earn a share of revenue based on the sales they make. Books will still reside within Google's system, though, and be linked to users' Google accounts.

Google believes the majority of books currently available on rival stores will be on its store 'at launch or shortly after'. It's predominantly a US service for now, but Google plans to launch in the UK and worldwide  next year. UK users can access Google's library of free books now, however, and Google claims it has more free books than anyone else thanks to its ongoing project to scan out-of-copyright books and publish them online.

A list of all the devices that support Adobe Digital Editions, and therefore the Google eBookstore, can be found here.

Interested in buying an Ebook reader? Read our , and watch our ebook reader first look videos.

How to follow the latest Which? Tech news

Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.

Prefer RSS? Don't miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed

For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.

Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared - find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up - we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 - find the best laptop deals