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Google eBooks now work on Google Chrome browsers when a user if offline.
Xinixing Gu, Google Books Product Manager, explains in a blog post, “We’ve all been there: the Internet is suddenly down, and you can’t keep on reading your ebook to see what the character decides to do next. Or you’re about to head to the airport and want to be able to dive into a newly-purchased ebook during a long flight.”
To read Google eBooks offline, you have to install the Google Books app from the Chrome Web Store. Follow this link for a step-by-step guide on how to make sure your eBooks are accessible.
Google announced the launch of offline support for Google eBooks for those using Chrome or Chrome OS, so they can continue reading books even when they’re not actually connected to the Internet.
“We’ve all been there: the Internet is suddenly down, and you can’t keep on reading your ebook to see what the character decides to do next,” says Google Books Product Manager Xinxing Gu. “Or you’re about to head to the airport and want to be able to dive into a newly-purchased ebook during a long flight.”
“Whether you are flying through the air, backpacking through the European countryside, or simply facing intermittent network connections, you can always read your Google eBooks in your Chrome browser or on your Chromebook,” says Gu.
Offinline access requires the installation of the Google Books app, which can be found in the Chrome Web Store.
Obviously you’ll have to download the eBooks themselves while you’re still online.
Mouseover the cover of books you’ve downloaded, and find the “make available offline” checkbox that pops up. This option can also be accessed by clicking the “i” in the right-hand corner of your screen.
In the Google Books Help Center, Google offers 5 tips and best practices for offline reading in the web browser:
1. You can only use this feature with flowing text (EPUB) books, as scanned pages (PDF) are too large for offline reading and not supported at this time.
2. If you encounter an error saying “Oops! There was a problem retrieving your bookshelf, please try again and reload the page later (when you’re online)” it is possible your network request could not be completed due to a slow connection. Please try to access your bookshelf again, or from a faster connection.
3. Publishers set limits for how many devices a book may be licensed to. If you receive error message, “Over device limits” please contact our support staff at this page.
4. At this time features in the web reader, such as margin notes, search in Wikipedia or Google, and translation, do not work offline.
5. If you have multiple windows open with the Google Books app, only one of the windows will show the percentage of Downloading completed. All other windows will simply display “Downloading”. Our engineers are aware of this issue and are working to fix it.
Offline reading is also supported in Google’s mobile apps.
Article source: http://www.webpronews.com/google-ebooks-offline-support-2011-12
Purchasing online and offline is converging, as digital experiences become designed around the in-store experiences that we’re used to. We all know what it feels like to walk into a book store, or even a library, and browse the books on the shelf.
Apple’s Books app is a gorgeous design and experience, mimicking that of a bookshelf, but Google has outdone them with its WebGL Bookcase which is hosted on its “Chrome Experiments” site. The site has hundreds of beautiful interface projects that you can check out.
Google said this about the WebGL Bookcase today on its blog:
A digital interface needs to be familiar enough to be intuitive, while simultaneously taking advantage of the lack of constraints in a virtual space. In this case, we imagined something that looks like the shelves in your living room, but is also capable of showcasing the huge number of titles available online—many more than fit on a traditional shelf. With this in mind, we designed a digital bookcase that’s an infinite 3D helix. You can spin it side-to-side and up and down with your mouse. It holds 3D models of more than 10,000 titles from Google Books.
The books are organized into 28 subjects. To choose a subject, click the subject button near the top of your screen when viewing the bookcase. The camera then flies to that subject. Clicking on a book pulls it off the shelf and brings it to the front and center of the screen. Click on the high-resolution cover and the book will open to a page with title and author information as well as a short synopsis, provided by the Google Books API. All of the visuals are rendered with WebGL, a technology in Google Chrome and other modern browsers that enables fast, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics right in the browser, without the need for a plug-in.
If you’ve finished your browsing and find a book you want to read, you can click the “Get this book” button on the bottom right of the page, which will send you to that book’s page on books.google.com. Or, you can open the title on your phone or tablet via the QR code that’s in the bottom left corner of the page, using a QR code app like Google Goggles. You can also browse just free books by selecting the “Free Books” subject in the subject viewer.
Google posted the video below, which shows how intuitive it is to browse through books, get more information on them, and even “get the book” by purchasing it from Google Books.
You can try it out for yourself, here. Fair warning though, the project appears to work best using Google’s Chrome Browser, and if you have a slower machine the intensive graphical WebGL technology could slow you down.
Would you purchase more books with an experience like this? I feel like Amazon‘s layout and display of items is old, and relies mostly on its recommendations for other products. It doesn’t feel like a store at all, and Google has shown that it’s possible to bring you a better browsing and purchasing experience with WebGL.