Google announced in July that textbooks and rental books were coming to the Google Play Store soon. That day is today, as the application was recently updated and now offers textbooks for sale. Google is selling books from all five major publishers used by education systems and said that it offers up to an 80 percent discount over the cost of a print edition. Students can also opt to rent books for six months at a time for a discounted price.
Apple is already a major distributor of textbooks through its iBooks platform on iOS, so Google certainly has its work cut out. Still – as the two companies compete for student purchases we imagine this will help drive down the cost of textbooks to some extent.
There’s always one benefit to having a real book, however: the resale value at the end of the semester. We can’t imagine how useful it would be to carry all of our books around campus on a tablet instead of in a backpack – enjoy it kids!