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Textbook purchase and rentals coming to Google Play

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Google says that its new Nexus 7 tablet is perfect for students, and so it's going to be filling up the Google Play store with textbooks to make sure there's plenty to read. Starting this August, the company is planning to offer a "comprehensive" selection of titles that will be available for purchase and for rental over six-months periods — just longer than an average semester. Titles will be available from the five major textbook publishing houses, and Google is promising that they'll be available at discounts of up to 80 percent. Textbooks purchased through Google Play will be able to sync across Android devices, and can also be accessed on the web and through iOS.

Using tablets to address education has been a big deal for Apple as well, though no company appears to have swept away a large portion of the market just yet. In May, Google unveiled a tailored section of its Play store that would focus specifically on education. That education section is still scheduled to launch this fall, and it should pair nicely with Google's new textbook initiative.