This post was published 6 years ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
Google Play Books has just received a major redesign that it has needed for quite some time now. I use the app a lot for both studying and leisure reading, and all of the little niggles I’ve had are now gone.
The new ‘Material’ Play Books looks beautiful compared to the previous version. From the icon, all the way down to the page selection menu, the app looks lovely. Also the placement of things now just makes more sense.
One annoyance I always had with Play Books on Android was underlining text. If you highlighted text near the top of the page on the old app, the action bar would cover the text and you couldn’t see what you were doing. Now the action bar is done away with in this view in favour of a floating text option bubble. Much better.
The app is functioning much better than before. I upload and study a lot of EPUB files on Play Books, and the process is much faster now than it was before. They’ve also added a feature iBooks has had for a long time. If there is a reference, you can click it and see it in a small pop-up. Before, it would take you to a separate page which would get very confusing.
Creating bookmarks is also much easier now too. Before it was easy to accidentally create bookmarks when turning pages, but now this doesn’t happen anywhere near as much. All in all, this app is much nicer to use.
So far all of the Google apps that have received their Material updates have been much improved at a functional level too, which is a trend I’d like to see continue. Everyone loves an app when it gets a facelift that brings aesthetic improvements but it’s even better when those changes improve useability and come along with new functionality as well.
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