With Google’s new mobile version of its Book Search site for the iPhone and Android phones, these handsets have been transformed into virtual eReaders with a wealth of free material at the user’s fingertips.
Yesterday, Google announced that it had developed the Book Search mobile site, which takes a different approach to the original Book Search format.
Book Search works by displaying a scanned version of the actual book page, but while this reads well on a computer screen, it doesn’t hold up well on a handset.
Google has used Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to extract plain text from these volumes and the end result is easily readable. Once you access, books are listed by category in a mobile-friendly display, and bob’s your uncle, you have an eReader!
There are over half a million ebooks to choose from (with 1.5 million books if you live in the US), a strong case against investing in an exclusive eReader like Amazon’s Kindle or the Sony Reader.
If you come upon a pag e that seems to display weirdly because of OCR failure, then you can double-tap on the screen to go to the original image. Happy reading!
By Marie Boran
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