Google To Launch Play Textbooks In August, Partners With 5 Major Publishing Houses

At its Android and Chrome event in San Francisco today, Google announced that it is bringing textbooks to the Google Play store so students will be able to purchase and rent their textbooks for their Android devices and for reading on the web.

The company has partnered with five major textbook publishers to launch this service. These partners are Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning. Google says it will have a “comprehensive selection” of textbooks from these publishers in the store that will cover subjects like law, math and accounting, but it did not announce exact numbers.

The service will launch in August.


While Google focused on the fact that students can rent their textbooks on Google Play, though, it did not announce any prices yet. The only thing Google would say is that it expects books to rent and sell for an 80 percent discount compared to regular retail prices (which tend to be very high).

One thing that’s also not clear is how publishers will author books for this service and how much interactivity there will be.

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What we do know is that the Android app for Play Textbooks will feature a night-reading mode and will allow you to create and sync bookmarks and highlighted passages between devices.