A new version of Google Play Books is rolling out today and it brings some good changes to both the app and its notifications. The big change in this release is an overhaul of the Library page, where several tabs have been removed and a new "Shelves" tab has been added. Users experimenting with Android O can also take advantage of some newly added notification channels. As usual, there's a download link at the bottom if you want to jump the line and get the latest release a bit early.
Unofficial Changelog: (the stuff we found)
New: Start Reading, Continue Reading, and Finished shelves
Android O Notification Channels
Left: Previous version. Right: Latest version.
The Library page went through some significant changes in this update. Four of the five tabs from the previous release have been scrapped in favor of just two: Shelves and Books. The Series tab remains in its previous spot and looks basically unchanged.
Shelves are meant to be the new place for getting quick suggestions for books to begin reading or books you've already started but haven't completed. The first two rows are dedicated to getting you reading, while a third row is available for the books you've finished.
Books added to the Finished shelf are automatically removed from the device (but remain in your library, of course) and shouldn't appear in recommendations. You can find a new command in the overflow menu on each book that can be used to put it on the Finished shelf or return it to the Start Reading shelf. Once you reach the end of a book, the Home page will also have a recommendation to mark it as finished.
Everything provided by the removed tabs can now be found in the Books tab; though, it might not be entirely obvious at a quick glance. All of the previous tabs were basically filters on the books on your account. The new Books tab contains a full list of your books, but you can hit the filter button at the top right of the page to now the list to your uploads, purchases, or those in the family library.
The story with notification channels should be pretty familiar by now. With the latest update, Play Books joins the list of Google apps with a good list of notification channels. Users can now customize settings for four different types of notifications, including: library additions, download status, assistive, and audio controls.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.