Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Google Play Books

Update II (1/13/14).-- The Google app worked as expected intermittently, so I finally decided enough of them. I exported the books I have on Google to PDF's, removed Google Play Books app and imported the PDF's into one of the three best PDF/e-pub apps for iPads, and they open and work faster than Google's app.

Moral of the story, if you can export or convert your Google books to PDF's or other e-pub formats, do so and get them out of Google's control of your books. I'm not sure this is possible since some are DRM-protected, but you can buy DRM removal or other reader apps.

Oh, the better reader apps? Well for one, Adobe Reader is the best. I have 1.5 Gigabytes of files in it on my iPad. After that I highly recommend GoodReader for two reasons but one in particular. Like Adobe, it handles a boatload of files (over 1 GB's to date), but better than Adobe it handles very large files, like maps and images.

GoodReader will handles files greater than 200 Megabytes where many readers will choke or crash. I have several large maps as jpegs it open and displays. The only issues is that you have to move around the map slower than reading to load since it doesn't load the entire map into cache.

The third app is PDFReader Pro. It too will swallow big files (50-100 MB's I have in it). Any of the three are worth getting, free or paid. I split the type of files by catagory with each one since I have over 3 GB's of files, maps and books for research.

Anyway, Google's Play Books is history for me since I don't buy their books and only use them for the historic, public domain books they have on their servers.

Update (1/6/14).-- Google released an update this week for this application, and in short, nothing changed. It still does what it did before, meaning it doesn't work right and you have to remove the app and reinstall it to make it work, and then redownload all the books again. It still sucks, and all I have to say is, "WTF Google?"

Orignal Post (12/26/14).-- Google Play Books has to be the sorriest excuse for an e-pub, er. Google's proprietary book, format for an IOS app ever developed, and worse released on unsuspecting users. Google went out years ago and effectively confisated a lot of old books and documents in the public domain, scanned them and put them on-line for free.

Or so they said, but they didn't tell people, it's their exclusive format, only their apps read it, it's only available by having an account on Google, and using their Website and IOS app. Yeah, a captive audience for books which are historical significant for many people.

They had a good IOS app, but after IOS 8 and their new 2.0 version, the app sucks where it literally doesn't work, forgets all your user settings and preferences - oh wait, it doesn't have them to remember and then forget, and then loses the copy of your books.

The way it works, when it works, is that you have to remove the app, download it again, and reinstall it - remember it's the newest version, and then download all your books again. Otherwise, you open it and only the image is there but the book isn't and it won't redownload until your do what I just said.

And this is Google! I only have 4 historical (early 1900's books), well 5 but one won't download anymore, and it's a pain to use the app. Doesn't Google test their app on real iPad? Like it would be obvious to anyone it doesn't work.

Google has a number of good IOS apps, so what's up with this one? This isn't even something an inexperienced app developer would release. So, Google, when can we expect an upgrade, at least one that works like version 1.x and not this one?

No comments:

Post a Comment