A few months ago, Google introduced the option to upload PDF and EPUB files to its Play Books portal on the web. This allowed users who bought books elsewhere — Kobo, for example — to download DRM-free material and read them on Google’s apps and services.
The company has now brought the same functionality to its Android app, letting users tap on an EPUB or PDF file in their favourite file browser and add it automatically to the Play Books library.
The update also brings performance improvements and increased book opening speeds, though we haven’t noticed anything tangible in that regard. We have, however, been enjoying Immersive Mode on the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7; when reading books in Play Books, the status and navigation bars are consumed by content, leading to a much less distracting environment. This is quickly becoming our favourite part of Android 4.4 KitKat and we hope game developers jump on board as soon as possible.
Play Books is rolling out slowly on Google Play, but Android Police has kindly provided a mirror to the APK.