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What if you could also access literature's greatest works, such as Emma and The Jungle Book, right from your phone? Or, some of the more obscure gems such as Mark Twain's hilarious travelogue, Roughing It? Today we are excited to announce the launch of a mobile version of Google Book Search, opening up over 1.5 million mobile public domain books in the US (and over half a million outside the US) for you to browse while buying your postage.
While these books were already available on Google Book Search, these new mobile editions are optimized to be read on a small screen. To try it out and start reading, open up your web browser in your iphone or Android phone and go to [books.google.com...]
It certainly does seam to be quite an acheivement. Basicaly Google books displays images for pages. With the mobile service all pages have been stripped to plain text using OCR systems them formated correctly for mobile browsers.
That, and Androids.
There's a lot of point in Google spending time and money supporting products in the order:
(1) the truly portable solution (e.g., Android)
(2) the proprietary systems that might matter (Apple) and don't compete with Google
I could see Blackberry happening in the future, depending on how open their development environment was, and how important the platform seemed. Google product development has taken the sensible attitude towards Microsoft: if you're trying to push the envelope of technology, Microsoft platforms simply don't matter. (Microsoft platforms are designed to lock developers into a black hole of endless rewrites to accommodate random changes in the environment, in another in a long list of schemes to suppress competition--in this case, by making portability impossible. Google--a well-known free software user--has not fallen, and probably won't ever fall, into that trap.