Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Google Play Books Update Adds Geographical Lookup, Translations

Google is arming Android users with more tools to enhance their reading experience with an updated version of its Google Play Books application.

The most interesting feature of the update is the ability to get more information about a geographic location. Now you can tap on the name of a country, city or region, and the app will display a small information card with the location pinned on Google Maps and the option to search Google or Wikipedia for more details.

I gave it a quick whirl, selecting a reference to the Arctic Ocean in Tom Avery’s “To the End of the Earth,” and the feature worked as advertised. Sadly, it does not recognize fictional places like Mordor from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy — I tried.

The app also now offers in-text definitions and — c’est magnifique! — translations for more than 50 languages, including French, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese. You can mark your e-books with notes and highlights, as well, and all will be synced across your various devices.

The Google Play Books update is available now.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald