As part of its initiative and lofty goal to scan every book ever made into electronic form, Google began by scanning in 1.5 million public domain books and making them available for download for PC users. Now, Google is taking that a step further as it recently announced that those same books will now be available for mobile phones such as the iPhone and the G1.
But wait, there’s more!
In a somewhat cryptic announcement, Amazon recently mentioned that it was working on creating a Kindle application for a number of mobile devices. It did not, however, mention if the iPhone was going to be one of the devices supported.
Readers, however, shouldn’t be jumping for joy just yet. 1.5 million books sounds like a lot. Hell, it is a lot. But public domain books tend to be extremely old titles, and generally don’t comprise some of the more popular books that people are actually interested in reading. Nevertheless, it’s clearly a step in the right direction for Google.
In contrast, while the Kindle only offers a smaller selection of 230,000 titles, its titles contain a number of new releases and best-sellers that customers are more likely to download than an old book whose copyright expired over 50 years ago.
The New York Times has more on the story over here.