Google teams up with iriver to release a $140 eReader while Apple works on interactive iBooks

Google and consumer electronics manufacturer iriver have joined forces to create the first Google eBooks-integrated eReader, the iriver Story HD.

The $139.99 eBook reader is the first to fully integrate Google's open eBooks platform, a platform that, like Apple's iBooks or Amazon’s Kindle store, enables readers to browse and purchase a wide selection of digital books over WiFi.

"The Story HD is a new milestone for us, as iriver becomes the first manufacturer to launch an e-reader integrated with Google eBooks," said Google Books product manager Pratip Banerji while noting that the iriver Story HD is the first of many more Google eBooks-integrated devices to come.  

The Story HD is lightweight (207g) and slim (9.3mm) and comes with a built-in QWERTY keyboard.

It has the world’s first high resolution XGA (768x1024) 6" e-ink screen that displays up to 63 percent more pixels than its SVGA screen counterparts. The battery lasts up to six weeks on one charge.

Through Google’s eBooks platform users can download "hundreds of thousands of eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free," said Pratip Banerji. "You can also store your personal ebooks library in the cloud—picking up where you left off in any ebook you're reading as you move from laptop to smartphone to e-reader to tablet."

Patently Apple, a blog that tracks and deciphers patent applications made by Apple, discovered that Apple is working on enhanced eBook features for its iBooks platform.

In a patent application published by the US Patent & Trademark Office last week, Apple "describes systems, methods, and techniques for interacting with text displayed on a touch screen, such as text in an electronic book ('ebook' or in Apple's case, 'iBook')," said Patently Apple.

"Apple states that future iBooks will allow users to call up images, animations, interactive content and video content to provide a better understanding of a word, phrase or item and so forth. Additionally, a reader will be able to have portions of the text read to them if they so choose," added the blog.

The iriver Story HD eReader will be available in the US from July 17.

http://www.iriverinc.com/

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