The Google Play Books app for iOS is now offering textbook rentals.
Several weeks ago, Google during its Nexus 7 and Chromecast presentation announced that it was planning textbook rentals and sales for the month of August.
Most of the titles available in the Google Play Books store are provided with a six-month rental period. The books are meant to allow college students to use the material for a discounted price over a single semester of coursework.
Customers can access their rented and purchased books directly from their Google Android and iOS powered devices.
The new platform places Google in direct competition with the Apple iBooks platform, which also offers its own textbook options.
Along with the Google Play textbook rentals, the app has added a new sepia reading mode into the mix. Customers can also highlight passages and use note-taking features to enhance their textbook experience.
The new Google Play Books app is available with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad support for device running iOS 5.0 and later.
With the cost of college tuition continuing to rise at record rates and more students gravitating towards smartphones and tablets, we can probably expected to see more competition in the electronic textbook space.
The real question now will be whether or not prices remain stable for e-Textbooks. When Apple entered the e-book market, the company engaged in illegal price fixing which ensured customers were forced to pay a premium for all of their e-books.
Will you be renting your next set of textbooks from the Google Play Book store? How about purchasing digital copies of the books you require for school?