Through an agreement announced Tuesday, the Alex e-book reader from Spring Design will be able to access and download more than a million books at the Google Books project.
Alex, a dual-screen electronic book reader, is based on Google's Android operating system and therefore can run some Android applications. The reader includes a Web browser, wireless networking using Wi-Fi or 3G, and audio and video playback.
"We are excited to be part of Google's initiative to digitize and deliver the world's books and look forward to the markets and opportunities these efforts will open up for readers as well as independent authors," said Spring Design Chief Executive Priscilla Lu in a statement.
Spring Design touts the fact that hyperlinks in the Alex's primary reading screen at the top can be viewed in a browser in the smaller color screen below. The reading screen measures 6 inches diagonally and the color screen 3.5 inches.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based start-up had planned to release the Alex "for selected strategic partners" by the end of 2009; the Alex product page still says "coming soon." Spring Design sued Barnes & Noble over its rival e-book reader, the Nook, but did not prevail in the first round of the case.