Over the past couple of years, Google’s been industriously scanning, cataloguing and digitising millions of books whose content has passed into the public domain. These books have been available for a while on Google Book Search, but now they’re available on mobile too.
If you point your iPhone or Android browser towards http://books.google.com/m, then you’ll find mobile-optimised versions of the books which display text, rather than the digital images provided on the non-mobile edition.
I should admit, too, that the headline’s slightly misleading – 1.5 million books are available in the USA, with just half a million of those available outside the US. That’s a shame, but almost certainly due to copyright issues – books in the public domain in the USA may well not be in the rest of the world.
Google Book Search for Mobile (via Inside Google Book Search)