Google Play, Boundless increase eTextbook options

The books can be bought or rented for as much as 80 percent off the purchase price, Dougall said.

Some of the choices are only available to rent. The eTextbooks are kept in the cloud and can be viewed on the internet, an Android tablet, an Android phone, or an iOS device.

While Google Play, primarily a mobile platform, is jumping into the textbook market, a company that specializes in digital textbooks is making a larger push toward mobile.

Boundless Learning uses a process called “alignment” to pull together open content to create a free, digital version of an existing textbook. It’s now expanding its mobile presence by launching premium textbook options with a variety of new features using Boundless Learning Technology.

Two primary components of the new custom textbooks, which will cost $19.99, are what Boundless calls “active recall” and “spaced repetition.”

The digital textbooks frequently summarize information and provide quizzes at important parts of the reading to improve a student’s memorization, the company said. Using an algorithm designed to detect when a student may forget specific points of the material, the eTextbook will provide quizzes and flashcards to help cement the lessons in a student’s memory.

All of the eTextbooks and features can be accessed through Boundless’ new iPhone and iPod Touch apps, which are free.

“Today’s students expect more,” Ariel Diaz, founder and CEO of Boundless, said in an announcment. “They’ve grown up with amazing technology but are burdened with poorly-designed products or ancient technology when they get their education.”

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