With the recent launch of Google Play to replace the Android Market, it seems clear that Google is planning some major moves, likely to compete with its most obvious competitor, Apple’s iTunes and iBooks. This doesn’t require much explanation as to why, since it would be a vital move for Google to expand its services in order to remain in a contending position. It seems that in addition to offering apps, movies, music and e-books, Google is planning to offer audiobooks, magazines and newspapers as well.
The initial sighting was in the in the Google Play Help Center by Google news site Google Operating System, with empty pages for “Audio Books” and “Magazines and Journals”. Also noted is Google’s registration of several place holder domains such as googleplaymagazines.com, googleplaynewspapers.com, googleplaynewsstand.com and googleplaytv.com among various other iterations of these themes. Looks to me like Google is planning another major update to its services, and I for one will welcome them with open arms when they’re released some time in the future.
Every now and then a really interesting and useful app comes along. Kooaba Paperboy happens to be one of them. With Kooaba Paperboy, you take a picture of any article you are reading in a newspaper or magazine, and it will match the photo to the images in Kooaba’s extensive library of printed media or from NewspaperDirect’s inventory of over 2,000 digital newspaper replicas. From there, you will be able to share it via Twitter, Facebook, email, or archive it for later.
Paperboy has been around for a while, but it only supported 85 titles in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The big news is that they just started the second global rollout which includes hundreds of new titles from the US, UK, and Canada. Some of the bigger newspapers include USA Today, The New York Post, The LA Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, and many more. Later in the year, they will add Russian, Asian, and other European papers, as well as papers in Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. The complete list can be seen here. I was shocked at how extensive it was as a few of the local papers in my area are on the list as well.
Checkout the video demo, download links, and full press release after the break.
Newspapers are a dying bread, but the tablets could save them. Developing applications for Android and Apple doesn’t seem to be enough for the Tribune Co, one of the largest U.S. news enterprises. They are working on a tablet to offer to subscribers.
The Tribune Co. owns many major newspapers like, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Baltimore Sun, along with 23 television stations.
The tablet is expected to a run a modified version of Android along with software for the owner’s hometown paper. They could offer the tablet for free to customers who agree to extended subscriptions to one of its papers. This is no different then what the carriers offer, but the Tribune might also partner with a carrier to help subsidize costs.
Google looks to be building its own relationships with major publication companies so it can launch its own digital newsstand to rival Apple, to run an Android smartphones and tablets. Some of the publishers Google has initiated talks with is Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst Corp.
WSJ was told that when we’ll see this rolled out to Android OS is uncertain and “vague”. Also, WSJ acknowledges that this may never actually launch because it comes from anonymous sources. Google is apparently promising publishers that it will take less than Apple’s 30% cut of periodical app sales through iTunes App Store, and Google will also give the publishers data about app buyers for marketing similar products to its readers.
Google had this statement;
We’ve consistently said we’re talking with publishers about ways we can work together, including whether we can help them with technology for subscription services. We have nothing specific to announce at this time
Well, we know that when a story comes out with any sort of detail, it usually has some relevance and likely will show its head in some form or another in the near future.