Friday, April 23, 2010

Barnes & Noble updates NOOK OS; adds web browser, Read in Store streaming, and two Android games

Barnes & Noble released a significant update to its Nook reader OS, 1.3, adding a few features, and promising to release an app for the iPad in order to keep up with Kindle.
The NOOK has its fans, especially those who prefer the e-ink reading experience and are not looking for a device that can play the kinds of graphically complex games that Apple's iPad is known for.

The new NOOK UI includes additions to the five icons displayed along the bottom, adding Games, WiFi, Audio, and the browser.

The most significant addition is the WiFi-only web browser which is based on the Android web kit, bringing NOOK users an experience more in-line with some smartphones -- unlike the text based Kindle web browser.

The 1.3 update gives owners two Android based games, Chess and Sudoku, which gives you a bit of an idea of the kinds of games that will work best on the Nook. To exploit the update Barnes & Noble has produced a television ad, something of a departure for a company which has not been an aggressive marketer in the past.