Create your own Google Play Books library

Last week Google decided it was time to grace more countries with Google Play Books. One of the countries that now can enjoy books in the Play Store is Sweden, yey!

Google Play Books

More or less no Swedish books (not IN Swedish anyway) but that’s ok for a start I think. I tried it out the first day and bought “Lean in” by Sheryl Sandberg that I looked for without luck in the Swedish stores previously. Very easy and if you already use the Play Store buying apps you won’t have to think, it works just the same.

But…I don’t want to re-buy the ebooks that I bought previously and I would like to be able to keep on buying books in Swedish as well. Does that mean I have to use two different apps for reading them? Nope, it doesn’t! Just like with Play Music Google will allow you to upload books you already own to use with the Book app and sync between devices. I haven’t decided if I should give up Fabrik that I’m using today and that already have these features but at least I know the transition would be simple enough. Since the function isn’t promoted enough (in my opinion of course), here’s how it’s done:

To upload

Browse to http://play.google.com/books Select “My Books” in the left menu (below)

Select "My books" in the left menu
Select “My books” in the left menu

Now you get a new button on your right saying “Upload Files”…guess what to do next.

upload files
Click “Upload Files”

Which takes you to the familiar “Drag files here”

drag
Drag and drop or Select files

Drag and drop and your books will be added to the “My Books” section and sync with your devices (if sync is turned on of course). Supports epub and pdf.

Have a nice read :-)

My library with books from both Google Play and uploaded from another store
My library with books from both Google Play and uploaded from another store

Spotify for Android preview

I rarely do app reviews, there are many other sites that does this all the time with nice comparisons and all. But, I’ll do one today since this soon-to-be update is such a leap forward.

If you’re a Spotify premium user you can get a preview of the coming app for Android, and I really recommend that you do. I’ve been having some serious issues with the “stable” version and app: just shuts down after login, playback stopping suddenly (my iPhone version does the same now and then by the way). Not every time but often enough to be annoying. That’s why I jumped on the opportunity to try the brand new before it being released on Google Play.

I absolutely love it. Except from working properly and being way faster there are a lot of nice details. So here comes a few!

Grouping of offline and online playlists, on my mobile device I’m less keen to stream so nine times out of ten I want the offline playlist – they should of course then be on top. Simple but lovely. Here’s the playlist view.

Nicely grouped playlist view

The menu is collapsible from the left (just like some social network app you’d recognize, hmm…). Works nice and quick, much quicker then the official app from mentioned social network :)
They added some social sections here that works quite well and the app actually made me aware of a new album that I missed.

Collapsible menu

Without knowing for sure, search must be improved. So much smoother and faster than before, with suggestions and a result view that makes perfect sense, at least to me. From there it’s a breeze to add your result to a new playlist. For some reason I can’t seem to find how to add anything to an existing playlist, hopefully they just forgot it in this preview because anything else would be plain weird :)

Where’s my add to…option?

Last but not least, the actual player looks better, never had any issues with the old one but this is more modern and fits into the Android 4.xx interface perfectly. It also has some smart shortcuts directly to artist, album, share and so on that I haven’t noticed before.

Neat shortcuts!

There are some issues, after all it’s not released yet. Besides the missing add to any playlist function I had one major crash requiring me to restart (when subscribing to a playlist while listening, haven’t been able to reproduce), it also seems to forget my settings for shuffle/repeat at almost every launch. There are certainly other things as well but I haven’t found them yet. Still, as I stated above: this is a huge leap forward!

Get your own copy here: http://www.spotify.com/se/download/previews/

By the way, album that shows inmost of the pictures, Linn Öberg – Parades, is so good that it requires a link of its own: http://open.spotify.com/album/5MpFqBFTUAj0Njdg2J1dcD