This Sunday the US citizens will witness the birth of yet another eBook ecosystem. The iriver Story HD is the first e-reader integrating direct Wi-Fi access to Google’s eBooks open platform and it’s bound for a Sunday release over at Target stores all over the country.
The iriver Story HD, will retail for $139.99 and will offer over-the-air (Wi-Fi) access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free. As long as you are hooked up to a Wi-Fi network you will be able to browse, buy and read Google eBooks without the need for a computer for uploading them to the device.
A really cool feature lets you store your personal ebooks library in the cloud – picking up where you left off in any ebook you’re reading as you move from laptop to smartphone to e-reader to tablet – something Amazon Kindle has been offering for a while via their proprietary Whispersync tech.
According to Google, its eBooks platform was designed to be open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers. This means that there is a good chance many will follow iriver in releasing a Google-powered e-reader.
Specs-wise, the iriver Story HD is on par with the pricing of the competing basic e-readers on the US market – the Kindle, the Kobo, and the Nook and even bests Sony. But we are yet to see what its specs will turn out (not published yet) and whether the slow page refresh rates have received a boost since the original iriver Story. The addition of touchscreen functionality wouldn’t hurt either.