Google on Friday announced that digital textbooks from several big name publishers are now available for purchase in the Google Play Store. If you’re heading to college or have an offspring destined for higher education, the search giant claims you can save up to 80 percent compared to buying print textbooks this fall.
The new category was first announced during the second generation Nexus 7 and Chromecast launch event last month. Through the Google Play Store, buyers can elect to purchase digital versions of textbooks or rent them for a period of six months – roughly the length of a typical college semester.
Publishers onboard include Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, Random House, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning. Much like other book purchases through Google Play, any textbook you buy or rent will be stored in the cloud. Purchases can be accessed via Android phones and tablets as well as iOS devices and on the web. Naturally, Google Wallet is used for checkout.
Keep in mind that if you buy or rent through Google Play, you’re most likely to get an exact copy of the book in digital version, meaning pages have simply been scanned and digitized. That’s probably a good thing as the text won’t vary from what a professor would use in the classroom.
If you’ve ever had to purchase college textbooks, you’re already aware of the high price tag associated with them as well as the low buyback rate at the end of a semester. If I had it to do all over again, you can bet that I’d be renting a digital textbook at up to 80 percent off, but I digress.