Google Play Books won’t upload PDFs from Android devices anymore

December 19, 2013
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It seems it was a bit too early to rejoice over the news that Google Play Books would allow uploading of books directly from Android devices. While the feature still works for EPUBs, a recent update to the app has removed support for uploading PDFs.

The change was made rather quietly and without warning. The only visible indication that such a change happened was that the word "PDF" was removed from the sentence describing the feature in the changelog. An APK teardown and code comparison also revealed how PDFs were removed from the supported file types.

This doesn't spell the end of the world, however. Those who want to upload their PDF documents to Google's cloud storage can still do so, but they'll have to once again resort to the web interface just like in the old days. A bit of an inconvenience for sure, but considering the new feature is just over a week old, it probably isn't ingrained in users' psyches yet.

What is somewhat more bothering is how Google just suddenly yanked out the feature with nary a word. Since it doesn't really break any important functionality, probably it was determined unnecessary. A Google contact mentioned that the PDF upload feature was experimental, which is why it was suddenly pulled. Somehow, we've heard that explanation before. A heads up would have been nice indeed, but unfortunately it's not how things usually roll.

VIA: Android Police


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  • boonesimpson

    probably at the behest of publishers since ebook piracy is usually PDF.

    Or Google could have seen that it was predominantly being used to upload pirated pdfs / text books and yanked it so they wouldn’t be a target.

    • Nick V

      But you can still upload from the site, as well as locally. Pirating will happen no matter what. I loved it because I buy a lot of books form the Publishers, and I download the three files (mobi, epub, and pdf), and I was able to click and upload right from the download.

    • digi_owl

      Huh, i could have sworn that ebook piracy happens more in epub form these days.