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Barnes & Noble Nook

Barnes & Noble's Nook Android-powered e-reader just got itself another update. Here's what's new in version 1.3:

  • Read in Store: Just like it sounds, it gives you access to entire books while you're at a Barnes & Noble store.
  • Sudoku and chess.
  • The Daily: Kind of a daily BN news hub, letting you know about new content.
  • Browser: Still in beta, but it gives you basic web access (sans Flash and Java).
  • Better WiFi hotspot access.

A decent update, indeed. Check out more at Barnes & Noble, as well as manual download instructions. [Barnes & Noble]

 
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Android-powered Barnes & Noble Nook gets browser, games, 'Read in Store'

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It also speeds up overall responsiveness of both the touchscreen and eink display. Also, I have had occasional freezing which seems to have gone away also.

I am excited about this update. I was getting soooooooo close to rooting it just to put on a web browser (now I get one without voiding the warranty).

And thank you Magellan. I too had my Nook lock up to the point where I had to remove the battery to reset the sucker. So fixing that bug is music to my ears.

Speaking about music, did this update enhance the player so you can sort by album/artist?

Installed the update and I like it! If I had to guess the real intent behind the update I'd say it was:

1) Reduce the Reliance on the AT&T 3G Network:
- - Providing a simple browser to login to hot-spots in public locations.
- - Requiring WiFi for any Web Surfing (not via 3G).
- - Making update only available via PC or WiFi (not via 3G).
- - Adding a WiFi Icon to the main menu (rather than hidden under settings).

2) Encourage in-store shopping by:
- - Adding the "Read In Store" option on books.

3) Improve overall performance and usability by:
- - Making page changes faster (especially in Illustrated books).
- - Eliminating UI lag.
- - Improving touch-screen "swipe" sensitivity.

4) Begin to differentiate it more from the Kindle by:
- - Adding games to the device.
- - Promoting WiFi & Web browsing capabilities (yes, browsing available on the kindle but hidden in the menu maze).
- - Use the full color touch screen within the web browser (rather ingenious).

As many have speculated there is likely a WiFi-only version of the Nook on the way and this update would pave the way nicely. I've got to admit, the web browser implementation is pretty neat. It's certainly no replacement for a PC or even a smartphone for that matter, but it works better than I expected.

The update does not meet every customers' expectation. . .but that shouldn't surprise anyone.