The Google eBookstore has seen a lot of attention from Google over the last few months, with an expansion to the affiliate network, updated APIs, new partnerships with major libraries, improved device compatibility, and more. Now Google is taking another step forward with the Story HD from iriver. This e-reader is the first to be integrated with the Open Google eBook Platform.
What that means, in brief, is that the Story HD will be compatible with wireless connection to the Google eBookstore from the moment you pull it out of the box. That’s a step up from the 80 or so devices which could potentially store and read Google eBooks, but only if you downloaded them from your computer system and then transfered them to the reader. The wireless access to the bookstore gives users access to “hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than three million for free,” according to the Google blog post announcing the release of the Story HD.
The success of the Story HD does bear some weight for Google. If it succeeds, it will set the precedent of integrating the Google eBooks APIs for immediate access to the Google eBookstore – thus increasing the use of this service, the total purchases, and in the end the amount of revenue Google generates from their bookstore.
“We built the Google eBooks platform to be open to all publishers, retailers, and manufacturers,” stated Pratip Banerji, Product Manager of Google Books. “Manufacturers like iriver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog for out-of-the-box access to a complete ebookstore.” The Story HD will be available July 17th. The device is described as a “slim and lightweight with a high-resolution e-ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard for easy searching” and will cost $139.99.
[Sources include: The Official Google Blog]