Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had scanned and made available free on PCs were now accessible on mobile devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1. Open up your web browser in your iphone or Android phone and go to http://books.google.com/m to try it out.
Also Thursday, Amazon said titles for its e-book reader, the Kindle, will soon be available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.
Google’s move greatly expands the number of e-books that are available for reading on the go, says the NY Times. The Kindle currently offers about 230,000 titles.
The public domain books available through Google Book Search are not likely to be the most popular titles, as they are older books for which copyrights have expired. In contrast, the Kindle library includes scores of newly released books, including many current best sellers.
Google said it would like to make other books available on mobile devices in the future, including out-of-print titles and current books it scans with the permission of publishing companies. Google uses Optical Character Recognition to change their scans into text. Analysts estimate that about 500,000 Kindles, at $359, have sold so far. But Apple has sold over 13 million iPhones by the 4th quarter of 2008.