It’s a great idea if we could access literature’s greatest works right from our iPhone, right? Thanks to Google Book Search, over 1.5 million public domain books in the US (and over half a million outside the US) are now available for perusing on iPhone.
There’s an interesting story behind this mobile book search project:
If you use Google Book Search, you’ll notice that our previews are composed of page images made by digitizing physical copies of books. These page images work well when viewed from a computer, but prove unwieldy when viewed on a phone’s small screen.
Our solution to make these books accessible is to extract the text from the page images so it can flow on your mobile browser just like any other web page. This extraction process is known as Optical Character Recognition (or OCR for short).
Just point your mobile browser to http://books.google.com/m. Happy mobile reading!
[via Google Mobile Blog]