Barns & Noble launches ebook store for iPad

The book-retailer giant Barns & Noble today announced the availability of a free ebook reader and bookstore application for the Apple iPad.

The application directly competes with Apple’s own iBooks store, that will allow consumers to purchase books, and magazines, among other media.

The Barns & Noble application offers various features, including a built in dictionary, syncing with highlights and notes, all across multiple platforms that support the application (including support for the iPhone that is scheduled for later this summer).

 The company hopes to make the application more attractive by being the first to offer the ability to share select books you have purchased with friends for up to two weeks with a feature called “LendMe”.

Currently, there are over 1.5-million titles available, including free of charge titles.

The company said it also plans to offer an Android version of the application.

Barns & Noble also said it would support the ePub ebook format that would allow consumers to read ebooks downloaded from other services or downloaded from the Internet. That feature will be added via a software update in the coming weeks.

The announcement comes as demand for the iPad remains very strong, and just as the device is set to launch in international markets, including in Europe and Canada tomorrow.

Google also offers an online ebook service, Google Books, that is completely free of charge, however, not all titles are available given publisher restrictions. Google could in the future create agreements with publishers to bring top selling titles to its service.

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Murad is an engineering graduate from Centennial college in Toronto, Canada. Write to [email protected]
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