Google backs EPUB, kindles Amazon fight

Search colossus Google said that it will begin to offer downloads in the EPUB electronic book standard, backed by Sony and a number of other players.

The company said that EPUB is supported by a wide variety of applications, so downloading public domain books from Google Books will let people read it on devices that support it.

Amazon’s Kindle doesn’t support EPUB, so this is something of a slap in the face for that reader.

Google said it was helping to support open standards that let people access the million digitized public domain books on more devices and on more applications.

Another reason for supporting EPUB, according to Google, is because smaller devices including phones, netbooks and electronic ink readers have smaller screens that don’t render PDF versions of the books the company is scanned.

However, Google will continue to digitize books in the PDF standard, it said.