Services & Software

Google updates Android books app to match rivals

Google Maps is the most prominent new feature in an Google Play Books update that also includes dictionary definitions, translations, and more.

With maps an improbably hot topic in tech these days, perhaps its no wonder that they're coming to more remote corners of Google services. Today's product: the Google Play Books app.

An update pushed today brings location awareness to e-books.

Google Play Books will now include information from Google Maps.
Google Play Books will now include information from Google Maps. Google

"Starting today, when you come across an unfamiliar geographic location -- a faraway city or distant mountain range -- you can tap on the location to learn more about it," the company said in a blog post. "You'll see an info card with a Google Map and the option to get more information by searching on Google or Wikipedia."

Translation features have also been added to the app -- just highlight words and phrases and tap to see an option to translate them.

Other updates help bring Google Play Books to parity with rival apps from Apple, Amazon and others. A dictionary feature allows users to define a words with a tap; highlights and notes can now be added to the app as well -- and they'll synchronize across devices. A sepia reading theme and new page-turn animation round out the upgrades.

Google Play Books is a free download.