Whoa. Google just threw its ginormous hat into the eBook ring. The bell has rung, and the bout between the Kindle and Google Books has started. So, what do we here at Kindle Owners Blog think about it?
Here are my initial thoughts â€“ Google Books right now loses the battle when it comes to ereaders, but things could change in the future, making them even more competitive. Letâ€™s break it down based on the usual things someone is looking for in an ereader â€“
Here, we of course are talking about book pricing, not e-reader pricing, as there is no specific reader for Google Books. It appears at this point that pricing for books is essentially the same for any title that is available in both formats. Which brings us to the next category â€“
The Kindle is the clear winner here. Google and Amazon have about the same access to popular titles (although I think Kindle may still have a bit more), but Kindle blows away Google when it comes to independent books.
Amazon is the 800 pound gorilla of independent publishing and generally the first place independent authors go to self publish their books, so a large chunk of these titles are available on the Kindle. They do have some competition, such as Lulu.com, but a good chunk of those books are available on Amazon as well, making them available on Kindle in many cases.
Google has some fancy apps for Android, iPad, iPhone, desktop, Nook, etc. This makes it uber-portable. But, Kindle has all of those things, too! So, another tie in that category.
Google Books Big Downfall â€“ Lag Time
The final category â€“ and the one that really hurts Google for now in my opinion â€“ is the way the books are stored. On the Kindle, your books are stored directly on your device. They pull right up.
On Google Books, your books are stored on Googleâ€™s servers, meaning each page you pull up has to be downloaded on your device. Ouch. Users have been complaining loudly about the â€œlag timeâ€ it takes to pull up a book. What a hassle!
And that, for me, seals the deal â€“ Google Books is good, Amazon Kindle is still better. With no lag time, better book selection, and virtual ties in every other category, why go with anything but Kindle.
By the way, we didnâ€™t even mention the availability of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Kindle is the winner there, too.
Mind you, we may be a bit biased here at â€œKindle Ownersâ€ Blog, but I have tried to be as objective as possible, and I am personally a big fan of Google and have an Android phone. If it were better, even though I love my Kindle, I would reluctantly admit it.
I am sure the Google Books system will continue to evolve, and if it does, we may post an update here. In fact, soon, we will unveil our overall Kindle vs. Everybody Else page that we will keep updated.
Until then, Kindle 1, Google Books 0.