February 4, 2014 Last Updated 2:44 pm

Oyster updates iOS app to add in push notifications; Google Play books fixes bugs

Two book reading apps for iOS were updated last night: Oyster and Google Play Books.

Oyster-invitedOf the two updates, the Oyster update is the more important. Oyster has added in push notifications to its app, though what they really will be used for is hard to say – certainly the app description is not very helpful: “Choose the push notifications you want to receive to stay on top of activity.”

To me that sounds like it will be promotional only – though why that would be necessary, since Oyster is a subscription service, is hard to say. I know of no other book app using notifications.

Oyster’s service is unique in that it is like Netflix: for $9.99 one gets access to unlimited books. The catch, of course, is that like Netflix, most of the titles are not the most recent titles released. But like Netflix, if the service catches on, one might start seeing original works launched onto the platform, much the way Amazon has authors publishing direct to Kindle (and print, via CreateSpace).

Google’s book app is, to say the least, not very well thought of inside the Apple ecosystem. “Horrible,” writes one reviewer. “Can’t even highlight properly on this app.”

In comparison, the Kindle app for iOS is well thought of. Yes, there are a number of 1-star reviews, but those mostly complain about the fact that readers can not buy books directly through Amazon’s app – and that, of course, is not the fault of Amazon, but Apple’s in-app purchasing policies.

Update: Amazon released its own update to its Kindle reading app on Tuesday (February 4). The minor app update was for “performance and stability improvements.”

  • […] Oyster updates iOS app to add in push notifications; Google Play books fixes bugs But like Netflix, if the service catches on, one might start seeing original works launched onto the platform, much the way Amazon has authors publishing direct to Kindle (and print, via CreateSpace). Google's book app is, to say the least, not very … Read more on Talking New Media […]