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Google Play Books Launches A New Way To Easily Read Marvel And DC Comics On Mobile

21 July 2016, 2:29 pm EDT By Lauren Keating Tech Times
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Google is tapping into the superpowers of technology to provide a more seamless experience when reading comics on mobile devices.

Google announced a new feature called Bubble Zoom for its eBook service Google Play Books on Thursday at San Diego Comic-Con 2016.

Instead of displaying the entire text of a comic that can be hard to see clearly digitally, Bubble Zoom works by presenting speech bubbles one tap at a time.

Bubble Zoom uses machine learning to recognize speech bubbles and automatically zooms in on and blows them up.

This allows the eye to focus on the text in a specific panel instead of scanning the various text on a full page and getting lost. The reader is able to see what's next when they are reading in the order in which the content was meant to be read.

"We wanted to use our other superpowers, like machine learning, to improve the digital comics experience even further," Greg Hartrell, Head of Product of Google Play Books said. "Machine learning is the technology that makes the digital things in your life more useful, like finding the right image in Google Photos by searching for 'hugs' to 'dogs.' So what happens when we bring our machine learning capabilities to the world of comics?"

The feature makes it even easier to read digital comics on smartphones and tablets by not only enhancing readability, but also allowing for a one-handed experience.

Bubble Zoom is the latest tool Google is using to enhance the digital comics experience on mobile. Google Play previously launched a vertical scrolling experience back in November 2015 that presents the pages in landscape mode when the user flips their device to the side. This mode also allows users to slide and scroll with vertical swipes so that they can more easily follow and enjoy the story clearly and at their own pace.

The new Bubble Zoom feature will begin rolling out today as a preview exclusively for Google Play Books for Android, starting with Marvel and DC collected volumes.

The company has plans to release this feature to all comics and manga available on its platform over time.

To check out the new comic reading feature for supported comic volumes, users just have to update Play Books.

Google Play Books is celebrating the feature by offering 50 percent off select Marvel and DC Comics in the Store from now until July 24 for those who use the Comic-Con code "SDCC2016" at checkout.

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