Google announced the launch of offline support for Google eBooks for those using Chrome or Chrome OS, so they can continue reading books even when they’re not actually connected to the Internet.
“We’ve all been there: the Internet is suddenly down, and you can’t keep on reading your ebook to see what the character decides to do next,” says Google Books Product Manager Xinxing Gu. “Or you’re about to head to the airport and want to be able to dive into a newly-purchased ebook during a long flight.”
“Whether you are flying through the air, backpacking through the European countryside, or simply facing intermittent network connections, you can always read your Google eBooks in your Chrome browser or on your Chromebook,” says Gu.
Offinline access requires the installation of the Google Books app, which can be found in the Chrome Web Store.
Obviously you’ll have to download the eBooks themselves while you’re still online.
Mouseover the cover of books you’ve downloaded, and find the “make available offline” checkbox that pops up. This option can also be accessed by clicking the “i” in the right-hand corner of your screen.
In the Google Books Help Center, Google offers 5 tips and best practices for offline reading in the web browser:
1. You can only use this feature with flowing text (EPUB) books, as scanned pages (PDF) are too large for offline reading and not supported at this time.
2. If you encounter an error saying “Oops! There was a problem retrieving your bookshelf, please try again and reload the page later (when you’re online)” it is possible your network request could not be completed due to a slow connection. Please try to access your bookshelf again, or from a faster connection.
3. Publishers set limits for how many devices a book may be licensed to. If you receive error message, “Over device limits” please contact our support staff at this page.
4. At this time features in the web reader, such as margin notes, search in Wikipedia or Google, and translation, do not work offline.
5. If you have multiple windows open with the Google Books app, only one of the windows will show the percentage of Downloading completed. All other windows will simply display “Downloading”. Our engineers are aware of this issue and are working to fix it.
Offline reading is also supported in Google’s mobile apps.