Google transforms iPhone into eReader

6 Feb 2009

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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