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Google Play Hubs, Part 1: Play Books

In part 1 of his series on Google Play Hubs, Eric Butow shows you how to get any of the e-books available in the Google Play Store. The preinstalled Play Books app on the Galaxy Tab 2 enables you to shop for e-books in the Play Store, download an e-book, and then read it within the Play Books app.
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With the introduction of Android 4.0 (also known as Ice Cream Sandwich), Samsung preinstalled four apps on your system that makes it easier for you to find and download media files in the Google Play Store. Each app focuses on one of the four categories of media files: e-books, magazines, movies and television shows, and music.

This article covers the first app, Play Books, which enables you to download e-books from the Play Store and read them on your Galaxy Tab 2.

You can open the Play Books app by tapping the Apps icon on the home screen and then swiping from right to left to view the second page in the Apps screen. Next, tap the Play Books icon as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The Play Books icon appears on the right side of the first row within the second page of the Apps screen.

When you open the Play Books app for the first time, you'll see three books that are downloaded to Play Books by default so you can start reading them. As you can see in Figure 2, the three books are Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Figure 2 Covers of the books appear above the title and author information on the Play Books home screen.

Read a Book

Tap the book cover to open the book. After a few seconds, the book front cover appears on the screen. Tap in the center of the screen to view the menu bar and the page slider bar at the bottom of the screen.

Figure 3 The menu bar appears at the top of the screen, and the page slider bar appears at the bottom.

In the gray menu bar at the top of the page, you can perform the following tasks that appear as icons from left to right in the bar:

  • Left arrow icon: When you tap the left arrow at the far side of the menu bar, the app returns you to the home page.
  • Search: Tap the Search icon to open the Search in Book area in the menu bar. Next, type the search term(s) and then tap the Search button in the keyboard. The app displays the page that contains the first instance of the search term(s) and highlights the term(s) on the page.
  • Information: Tap the Information icon to view a list of chapters, any bookmarks you have added, and any notes you have written about passages in the book. If there are too many items in the list you're viewing to fit on the screen, such as when you have too many chapters to list, swipe upward in the list to view the rest of the items in that list.
  • Appearance: Tap the Appearance icon to change the background theme, text typeface, alignment, font size, line height, and brightness of the book on your screen.
  • Menu: Open a menu of options to perform certain tasks. For example, you can view the original pages of the book as it was printed or have Tab 2 read the book aloud.

After a few seconds, the menu bar and Notification bar disappear, and the app enlarges the size of the book so you can read it more easily. You can swipe from right to left on the page to move to the next page.

Tap the center of the screen to view the slider bar that appears at the bottom of the screen above the Notification bar. You can move to a different page in the book by holding down your finger on the slider button and then moving back and forth in the slider bar. As you move the slider bar, a blue box appears above the slider button so you can see the page to which you're moving. When you find the page you want, release your finger and the app displays that page.

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