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Google Play Books adds beta features on the web, including ‘Custom shelves’

Earlier this year, Google Play Books received a Material Theme redesign on Android and iOS, with the service in 2018 gaining audiobooks. Play Books is now adding “Beta Features” on the web to let you test upcoming functionality.

“Beta Features” are only available on the Play Books web app that’s a part of Google Play. The settings icon in the top-right corner features the new section and opens a panel of experimental functionality to enable.

  • Custom shelves: Create shelves to organize your books
  • Searching/sorting: We’ll add icons at the top of every shelf to help you find books in your library
  • “Ready to read” shelf: You’ll automatically get a shelf called “Ready to read” that contains books that you haven’t finished yet

There are currently three options that load quickly after being checked, with the most compelling being custom organization. In the past, users could only sort by uploads, purchases, or finished status. This new option adds an “Edit shelves’ toggle to the overflow menu of every book cover.

Google Play Books beta

There’s also a blue “Create shelf” button in the navigation drawer, with your collections grouped at the bottom of the list. Unfortunately, these custom groupings do not sync over to the mobile clients.

Other additions today include sorting options — author, title, last read, and price — on every page, while books you haven’t finished will be grouped under a new “Ready to read” shelf.

Google warns how these Play Book beta features will “change over time as we continue to make improvements.” Additionally:

These features may lack a bit of polish; they might evolve, improve, disappear or transform into new Play Books product updates.

Google is also taking feature requests, with the Settings icon housing a “Send Feedback” option.

Google Play Books beta

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: