E-book readers, also called e-readers or e-book devices are electronic gadgets specially designed for reading e-books. Thus, they provide a reader friendly format, as opposed to a regular laptop or book which has smaller, less accessible fonts and formats, to read digital or soft copies of books. It’s similar in form to a regular tablet, but provides additional features of electronic paper rather than merely an LCD screen, which can cause eye impairment due to strain. The first ever e-book reader in the world was Sony librie, launched in 2004. In future we may see Google E-book reader tablets to read Google play books. But first lets look at the development of e-book readers over the year and what future hold for google e-book reading tablets.
Amazon kindles are perhaps the most famous and popular e-book readers ever. But apart from these, Barnes and Noble Nooks, Sony Reader and Pandigital also have their own eBooks readers. Apple includes iBooks, which is available on any IOS device from an iPhone to an iPad or a Macbook. However, these do make use of LCD screens. Plus, they allow for the usage of multiple apps for audiobooks on the device. Google Play Books is another e-book distribution service, allowing users to access over five million books, audiobooks, magazines and other written material. Here, books are available in the pdf format with skim modes, vertical scrolling, nightlight and bubble zoom features.
However, one thing that Google does lack is an e-ink e-reader. This means, it does not make use of electronic ink. E-ink is an e-paper display technology brand of the E-Ink corporations. Most e-book readers make use of this very display technology. This was designed in order to give a more authentic reading experience, as opposed to the feeling of just reading on an electronic device. For this, there is no inherent lighting app, rather they are backlit. Basically they are reflective displays rather than the emissive displays of LCD screens. This exerts less strain on the eyes, avoids glare in bright areas or direct sunlight and also improves battery life.
You might ask, if there are so many benefits of e-ink e-readers, why hasn’t google (the giant-est corporate giant) capitalized on it yet? In fact, why does Google resort only to selling e-books rather than making an e-reader which can do that AND so much more? Certainly they have the resources to do that?
There could be arguments like they don’t have their own hardware team. Or that they own a relatively less (2%) share of the e-book market so it isn’t worth it. There arguments don’t make much sense. This is because Google does have the money to outsource a hardware team. (And they have done it before as well). And maybe this very step could be the boom in Google’s e-book market, spinning off crazy profits, because they could definitely be innovative and make the e-reader unique.
Our hunch is that we may soon see e-book reader tablets coming from Google soon. Maybe they’re working on a brilliant new technology that will outdo everything else we encounter in the e-book market – they have surprised us before. Maybe this e-book reader will also support kindle books, in addition to the Google Play Books that are already available. Or perhaps, they’ll introduce a new feature on Google Play Books that will make their shares skyrocket. This would then give impetus to introduce an e-ink e-reader.
Nobody really knows what’s going on under the wraps, but it isn’t too crazy to expect an e-book reader tablet from Google. This especially makes sense considering that all of Google’s competitors, such as Amazon, have done this. That too, a long time ago. This would be a great development in the trajectory of Google’s career. It would be a great shift in the e-book market as well. We’re not only expecting this introduction, we’re actively waiting for it. What about you?