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Barnes & Noble Adds Google Play Store To the Nook

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the tear-down-this-wall dept.

Android 82

An anonymous reader writes "When Barnes & Noble first released its Nook tablets, one of the big problems with the devices was that their custom version of Android only had access to the Barnes & Noble app store. They took the 'walled garden' approach, preventing users from accessing Google Play, which had a much larger selection of software and many more options when it came to free apps. Now, the company is reversing that decision. A software update is being rolled out to give the devices access to Google Play. 'The bottom line: if something's available for Android, it's now available for Nook, assuming it's compatible from a technical standpoint. Among other things, that means you'll be able to install Amazon's Kindle app on a Nook and read books you've purchased from Amazon. For the first time, the notion of someone with a heavy investment in Kindle books buying a Nook doesn't sound completely impractical.' The company is gambling that the devices' increased utility will make up for the loss in app revenue. Either way, it's good news for Nook tablet owners."

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That's fine... (1)

Nate T (2879435) | about a year ago | (#43619093)

so long as you can choose to uninstall those google apps if desired.

Re:That's fine... (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43619301)

Yes and bring the Nook back to a crippled Android device state again.

Re: That's fine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619815)

but you will never be able to delete them from your history.

Too little too late. (3, Informative)

janeuner (815461) | about a year ago | (#43619153)

Our Nook Tablet ran the stock software for nearly a year. It was terrible. I finally gave up on them rolling out a decent update and installed Cyanogenmod back in December.

It is an excellent bit of hardware, but management got in the way of the software. Too little to late; good bye Barnes and Noble

Re:Too little too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619225)

Hah,
Dual boot; the nook color's performance on cyanogenmod was unfortuante, so I used nook mode when I wanted to read on an airplane, and cyanogenmod for the kids to play games and stupid shit. Never did figure out how to get the bluetooth headphones to work with netflix though, which limited its usefullnes.

Re: Too little too late. (1)

edumacator (910819) | about a year ago | (#43619341)

The nooks have a Bluetooth chip, but no antenna. That's why you can't recognize the headphones.

Re: Too little too late. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43619571)

The nooks have a Bluetooth chip, but no antenna. That's why you can't recognize the headphones.

can you just solder in a wire, or are there more components missing than that?

Re: Too little too late. (2)

ajlitt (19055) | about a year ago | (#43619979)

That's a load of crap. They share the antenna with an antenna switch on the module. The reason it sucks is likely due to lack of calibration being done for the BT side of the controller.

Re: Too little too late. (1)

Rogue Haggis Landing (1230830) | about a year ago | (#43620611)

The nooks have a Bluetooth chip, but no antenna. That's why you can't recognize the headphones.

This was the case with the Nook Color. It had a bluetooth chip that wasn't activated by the stock software and didn't have an antenna. Cyanogenmod eventually got BT working, but the range was terrible. This wasn't a problem if you were just connecting a keyboard that would sit six inches from the device, but you couldn't wander around the room with headphones on.

The Nook Tablet didn't have bluetooth at all.

The HD and HD+ both have bluetooth enabled by default, but it can be pretty wonky [barnesandnoble.com] .

Re: Too little too late. (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43621205)

The nooks have a Bluetooth chip, but no antenna. That's why you can't recognize the headphones.

False. They use a combo WiFi-Bluetooth chip, which, since both WiFi and Bluetooth use the 2.4ISM band, use the same antenna.

In fact, there's actually a protocol call Coexistence that combo chips use to help prevent Bluetooth and WiFi from interfering with each other (they're both aware of each other and what frequencies they use and actively avoid trying to interfere).

This is how most embedded devices do it - unlike PCs where the WiFI and Bluetooth boards are typically separate chips connected to separate antennas.

The big problem is the Bluetooth part isn't calibrated so its signal is terrible (radios typically need calibration to ensure they're on spec frequency wise and power wise so they're not attempting to overdrive the amps or emit tons of crap lowering signal quality immensely).

Re: Too little too late. (1)

edumacator (910819) | about a year ago | (#43621449)

I stand corrected. Thanks for the info.

Re:Too little too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619299)

I jailbroke my Nook the day I got it. Took inserting an SD and rebooting.

Odd thing though...I mostly use it for reading.

Re: Too little too late. (3, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year ago | (#43620149)

You say it's too little too late, but what does that even matter? Sure, I doubt that you will revert your tablet to the stock software, but you far outside their target market. You are also a member of an astonishingly small community with respect to the overall size of the eReader market. (I'm running CM on all of my tablets and phones, so I'm part of that community, but it IS tiny in comparison)

Honest question, how is your statement any different than this situation:

"Car Manufacturer X's audio system is terrible. I gave up waiting on them updating the firmware and have now replaced the stock system with a new audio system. Too little, too late."

Yes, I can see how it might sour YOU to buying another car from Manufacturer X, but when you consider that 90% of people never even knew your issue existed, and that the issue is now moot, why would that even matter?

Re: Too little too late. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43621325)

You assume janeuner was talking "too little too late" and referring to the market as a whole, rather than janeuner talking about janeuner's nook. This is odd to me. Granted, not as strange as how everyone here assumes that everyone is a lawyer talking in legal terms, but still.

New slashdot rule: if in doubt, assume someone is expressing an unprofessional opinion, is referring to him or herself, is making a normative statement rather than a factual statement, and/or is drunk.

Re: Too little too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627575)

You say it's too little too late, but what does that even matter? Sure, I doubt that you will revert your tablet to the stock software, but you far outside their target market. You are also a member of an astonishingly small community with respect to the overall size of the eReader market. (I'm running CM on all of my tablets and phones, so I'm part of that community, but it IS tiny in comparison)

Honest question, how is your statement any different than this situation:

"Car Manufacturer X's audio system is terrible. I gave up waiting on them updating the firmware and have now replaced the stock system with a new audio system. Too little, too late."

Yes, I can see how it might sour YOU to buying another car from Manufacturer X, but when you consider that 90% of people never even knew your issue existed, and that the issue is now moot, why would that even matter?

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Re:Too little too late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43620441)

My wife has one that is stock. I have one modded with CM10. I showed my wife mine and she prefers the stock software. This is just my anecdotal evidence but it is twice as good as yours since I am talking about TWO devices compared to your ONE.

You got a small brain so can't comprehend that some people actually like the B&N ecosystem. They are behind Amazon and Apple in overall sales, but have still sold several million units. Their sales are down due to increased competition for others such as Samsung and Asus.

Still, this is still good news for them since it opens up more choice.

Now even Article posters are Too Lazy to RTFA (3, Informative)

celtic_hackr (579828) | about a year ago | (#43620633)

It should be noted, since the Soulskill didn't, that this update is ONLY for the newer HD series tablets.

Existing owners of older, and even the new lesser, tablets need not apply.

I'm still really pissed at B&N over this. "Oh, you'll be able to install anything you want on it."

So I bought one as a gift and immediately downloaded some apks (notably a decent browser).

Then they came out with that damn update that locked the Fucker down.
I can't even apply updates to the installed Opera browser. Without wiping/cryogenning the fucker.

Never again will B&N trick me into buying into their locked down hardware. My cheap, unlocked, rooted, Chinese Tablets work just fine.
When they become old, useless or die (from being prison made hacks), I'll discard them and still be better off price and content wise.

Re:Now even Article posters are Too Lazy to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43621495)

I don't care to run apps on my SimpleTouch device -- it's a fine e-reader that is easy to carry, has a big enough screen, and had a great price point when I got it as a Chrismas gift a while back. BUT I do wish that they hadn't crippled the WiFi capabilities on their fork -- I have an old Android phone (currently running without SIM card as a cheap iPod Touch type device) that can connect to WiFi nodes that require a specific property that is neither UID nor PW which are the only things that the Nook GUI provides as inputs. Not a killer, but an annoyance.

Surprised, but happy (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year ago | (#43619161)

I own an older Nook, having picked it over the Kindle due to the 1985 scandal and Amazon's DRM systems. Also, the Nook supported the eBook lending system my local library used. I'd have gone with Amazon if not for those issues.

However, I always expected the systems to remain rather closed. I'm guessing that Nook is really feeling pressure from 'good enough' tablets and realizing the same problems that occur with also-ran App stores: Achieving critical mass.

Like it or not, an App store has to have a sufficient amount of Developers otherwise you just end up with frustrated users who wonder 'Why don't WE get what THEY have?'. Google Play, while still the second choice for app development, is large enough that no sane developer would just ignore that market. Conversations at an App Developer might never switch to 'Lets develop a commercial App for Android, and then develop it for iOS' (at least for now), but it was going to be very unlikely for that developer to follow up with 'And we MUST make sure it gets on the B&N Nook market'

So I'm pretty glad this is happening, but it was a little late for my family as when I cashed out my bitcoins last month, one of the purchases was an iPad mini. (I still prefer eInk for readers though)

Surprised, but happy...HD only. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619187)

This update only appears to be for the HD versions anyway.

Re:Surprised, but happy (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43619265)

You've been able to root the e-Ink Nooks for absolutely ages. My NST is overclocked, has USB host mode, has a fast screen mode, and has the Android Market app. (Play store won't run on such an elderly device.)

Bootstrapping (0)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43619271)

Conversations at an App Developer might never switch to 'Lets develop a commercial App for Android, and then develop it for iOS' (at least for now)

At a startup company trying to pull itself up by its bootstraps it might. Consider a tiny company that already has the hardware to develop for Android (non-Apple PC + Android tablet) and plans to use revenue from its first application to buy the $1,100 iOS devkit (Mac mini + iPad + developer license).

Re:Bootstrapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619623)

or the developer would rather build something for android first, as it's development model lends itself to cross platform compatibility vs IOS's "if it compiles, it ships" mentality.

Re:Surprised, but happy (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about a year ago | (#43619405)

Google Play, while still the second choice for app development, is large enough that no sane developer would just ignore that market. Conversations at an App Developer might never switch to 'Lets develop a commercial App for Android, and then develop it for iOS' (at least for now), but it was going to be very unlikely for that developer to follow up with 'And we MUST make sure it gets on the B&N Nook market'

I think for startups/small companies, this may well still be true. iOS users still tend to have more apps and pay more for them than Android users. In the large corporate world, though, that's already changed long ago. There are two fundamental applications here:

  • provide easier access to something I already had (e.g. BBC android app makes access to their site better)
  • interlink with a product idea (e.g. barcode-scan -> product-id -> you already know the history of the wing component).

Sometimes of course a combination of the two (provide a more secure access to my customer's bank accounts). In both cases the question is not "where will I get the most money from selling the app". The questions are "where can I get the largest audience to access my system", "which BYOD devices will my users insist on using" and occasionally "how can I avoid having to distribute special client hardware just for my app". In this case the order is Android, then iOS then, in certain special corporate environments possibly even Blackberry.

In these cases the mobile devices are typically supplementing web pages or replacing legacy Windows clients where something more available, more modern or more secure is needed.

Gardening (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619163)

One walled garden for another. It's Google, though, so you all will be fine with that.

Re:Gardening (5, Insightful)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about a year ago | (#43619477)

Well, with the Play Store on the Nook you can buy books, music, and films from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and Google, so that's three choices instead of one. I'd consider that a small improvement.

Of course thanks to DRM that's just three walled gardens, or maybe more descriptively you could say three "content silos", instead of one. So it's not a huge improvement. However, the villains here are not Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Google. If they didn't use DRM on content, the content owners (movie companies, music companies, book companies) would not allow them to sell their content. There are other reasons to dislike B&N, Amazon, and Google, but in this case we should be directing our ire at the MPAA and RIAA and spending our efforts and money on public domain and creative commons license content.

Re:Gardening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619701)

No points today, but +1 insightful if I did have 'em.

Re:Gardening (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year ago | (#43620093)

I don't think 'walled garden' and DRM are pertinent to this topic for two reasons. First, most slashdotters are knowledgeable enough to install things like ignobleepub plug-ins into Calibre and be off & running. Second, unless you buy a reader that doesn't allow side-loading (if there still is such a beast), there's Gutenberg for free stuff and several third-party ebook vendors who sell nonDRM ebooks.

Re:Gardening (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about a year ago | (#43622535)

In order to do that you have to root your device, though. I'll do that for my tablet once I get one, but for now I'm just asked to advise friends and family on purchases. In the past I would steer them towards stock Android so they could buy from anyone they want (except, as far as I know, Apple). Now the Nook becomes an option.

Why bother with either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619165)

I bought a Nook and I bought a Kindle. Both are fine for reading, but neither really lives up to being a tablet. Bought a refurb Nexus 7 and it is tons better than the Nook or Kindle. I wished I had spent the $250 on a Nexus 7 before buying the Nook or KIndle.

Re:Why bother with either (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43619269)

Both are fine for reading, and neither really strains your eyes, sucks battery, or is hard to read in sunlight like a tablet.

FTFY.

Re:Why bother with either (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about a year ago | (#43619497)

If you just want to read books and magazines, a dedicated e-Reader is better. But if you want to play casual games, listen to music, and watch movies, then Amazon has the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble has the Nook Tablet, and as the Anonymous Coward said, for those purposes a regular Android tablet is better because you can access more browsers, buy content from more providers, and get something with a little more storage and computing power.

Re:Why bother with either (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43619641)

Either way, if you're not getting e-ink then you should buy something not sold by someone who is trying to sell you an e-book market, because you'll get a little more tablet for the same price, and you can install the nook and kindle apps on any android device.

If you are getting e-ink, then this is all moot, because none of the e-ink devices are particularly good as anything but a reader - though the NST has USB host mode, which covers most of the more unusual use cases, like as an embedded display.

Re:Why bother with either (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | about a year ago | (#43620599)

I don't think you do get more tablet for the price. Look at all of the 1920x1080 or better display resolution stock Android tablets on the market right now. There's the Nexus 10, which is a great machine but starts at $400. What else? The Barnes & Noble Nook HD Plus gives you 1920x1280 for $270. The Kindle Fire is 1920x1200 at the same price, $15 more without "special offers" (embedded ads on some of the content). Those are good deals. Yes, you lose on processing power - but a lot of people would trade processing power for pretty graphics in this kind of application.

The point is, depending upon your priorities the value for your dollar is competitive. It isn't enough to sway me, I simply decided to postpone getting a tablet until something like the next generation Nexus 10 is under $300. If that takes a few years, it's no bother - I have the rest of my life to join the tablet stampede, I'm in no hurry.

Re:Why bother with either (1)

mlts (1038732) | about a year ago | (#43622801)

You hit the nail on the head. The e-book providers have a vested interest in having their device locked down in some way, either to help reinforce their e-book DRM, or so they can have their device not lumped in with general-purpose tablets when it comes to hardware performance (allowing cheaper hardware to be used.)

A Nook or a Kindle Fire is tempting, but with the price of a Nexus 7 with built in 4G around three C-notes, it is hard to go wrong with that, as it is as open as any Android device can get. One more $100 and I can get a N10.

Why worry about "nooting" or dealing with various rooting/bootloader exploits when one can get a very solid tablet for an inexpensive price which does everything the non e-ink Kindle/Nook models do?

both? (4, Funny)

axl917 (1542205) | about a year ago | (#43619177)

Either way, it's good news for Nook tablet owners

I'm sure both of them will be overjoyed.

Re:both? (5, Informative)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year ago | (#43619237)

Be nice to Barnes and Noble. They stood up to Microsoft's patent racket attempt and they are/were trying to prevent Amazon from being an Ebook monopoly.

Re:both? (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about a year ago | (#43620079)

Good to know.

I'm not exactly interested in Nook OS, but wouldn't mind buying the hardware. Can it run stock Android, or are there plans to allow it going forward?

Re:both? (1)

celtic_hackr (579828) | about a year ago | (#43626691)

No and yes. It can run stock Android, but you can't install it. The hardware is locked down and the only way to run stcok Android is by booting from an SD card.

to late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619255)

I added it myself years ago.

Bad Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619257)

Barnes and Noble should have added the Amazon store instead.

Re:Bad Move (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43619311)

Tentative LOL, I think you are being sarcastic....

Re:Bad Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619433)

I was.

Re: Bad Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619851)

RTFS, FFS.

Re: Bad Move (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43622833)

SMH. IDEK WTFAUS, LMFAO!

Not the Nook Simple Touch though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619261)

I rooted my Nook Simple Touch to make it more like a tablet. That turns it into quite an interesting device. Good for looking at email and reading mostly text stuff online. Haven't quite got a twitter client working yet, but that should work ok too. I'm surprised no one is trying to sell such a device.

Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (3, Informative)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | about a year ago | (#43619365)

I look at a computer screen all day and sometimes cannot be arsed doing it again at home.

I've ordered the Nook Simple Touch and it has 3 killer features for me:
    (1) Eink display is great even though it's only 800x600(?) - also means decent battery charge
    (2) Has an sd-card slot too - I'll be able to have all my ebooks on it
    (3) Can be rooted to enable Google Play (also install a proper PDF viewer too)

They've also dropped the price to £29 in the UK this week and they are selling fast (all shops in my high street have sold out this week).

Alas, it appears only recent versions of their tablets will have the restrictions lifted.

It's a shame really - If they official released a unrestricted Eink-based ebook reader it may improve their sales - they have a successful product in there somewhere.

(Currently an old version of android is installed - eclair and obviously the screen is not designed for games)

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (2)

supercrisp (936036) | about a year ago | (#43619443)

I bought a Simple Touch and thought I'd root it. But I didn't because it turns out that I like the way it works, and the simplicity of it suits me fine. I prefer to save my rooting and fiddling around for my phone, where I get more bang for my buck. I can't honestly imagine using the Simple Touch for more than reading because of the screen refresh rate. But, for what it is, it's awesome. One of the best things about it is that my wife no longer nags me about the big stack of books on my night table.

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619525)

That's the point. I rooted it to read more things. Twitter, web pages, my Gmail, Google Reader feeds using NewsRob which will sadly be going away...

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43619615)

(Currently an old version of android is installed - eclair and obviously the screen is not designed for games)

And there's little to no chance of it ever getting even an unofficial upgrade, because it has so little memory. Eclair is about it. However, if you go to XDA and get yourself a new kernel, you can use fastmode and you can, no lie, play Angry Birds. It runs like crap though, because even overclocked to 1 GHz it's still a slow processor.

One major advance of rooting your nook is being able to read email, for which it is perfectly well suited. It's not so good at other tasks you might want to do with it. The other is to run alternate reader apps. Installing Kindle on your NST means you can read damned near anything on it. Unlike the Amazon app store, Kindle is a well-behaved app. You also do get market access, though AFAIK you still have to use the "search market" app to search the market. Being able to install a decent calculator is a cool feature. As well, if you load a halfway decent keyboard (old versions of Anysoftkeyboard played well with the device, but new ones don't draw their menus, sigh) then it's a pretty good platform for SSHing due to the reasonably large screen. The resolution is not a serious impediment.

I don't know I'd buy one now, but I did get mine barely used with the charger for $70. However, I don't use it as much as I thought I would. Where I found it to be fairly handy was for viewing PDFs of automotive service manuals, but that makes me want a bigger display, and then I'm right back inside to use my 25" display. Still cool for reading in bed.

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (1)

rk (6314) | about a year ago | (#43619817)

I have an iPad from work, and I thought it would be useful at first, but I've found that for me anyway it's a solution looking for a problem. The problem I have with the tablet/ebook paradigm is they're too big to fit in a pocket like my phone (Galaxy Nexus), but still too limited and underpowered to really do anything that justifies carrying it. I'm not even sure where my iPad is right now. I don't think I've used it at all in the last 2 weeks. It's too heavy for me to even read in bed unless I'm propped up, which is not really comfortable for me. Aldiko on my phone is a fine e-book reader and I can hold it in my hand comfortably for hours.

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43619911)

If I had an iPad I would mount a dock in my car. I have long-term plans to replace the climate control unit with an Arduino- or MSP-based USB-controlled unit, but I'd step them up if I had something with a good enough display to fill up the 3 ISO DIN slot space I've got available if I delete climate control, stereo, and ashtray.

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43620607)

That sounds familiar, yes. I got an iPad for almost-free, but to take it anywhere I'd need a bag - and then it's not much more convenient than a laptop. At home I've got computers anyway.

I also have a 7-inch tablet, and as long as it's still cold enough to require a jacket, I can fit than in a pocket. Not surprisingly, I use it a lot more. (It's a nexus 7 - but I guess an iPad mini would also work.)

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43620185)

(also install a proper PDF viewer too)

What PDF viewer are you using, and can it chop the margins off each page automatically (or at least have a fixed viewport/zoom (bonus points if the viewport understands left/right gutters))

The problem I'm having is that most of my technical PDFs have giant margins so the viewers I've tried on the nook touch have the text scrunched in a tiny box in the middle of the screen and I have to zoom in every single page, individually, to read them. Turn the page and it goes back to "fit page to screen" and repeat.

Re:Nook Simple Touch is Awesome (eink) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43627603)

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an obvious shift (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43619501)

as people began to suddenly realize Amazon E-Books were actually more of a liability than their paper books, Amazon had to invent a new strategy to push them. Making them compatible with angry birds is a start, but its hard to avoid the fact you're just making an underpowered tablet now as opposed to an e-reader.

Re:an obvious shift (2)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#43619713)

Cool story, but what does this have to do with Barnes & Noble? Or was that a template rant? If so, you loaded the wrong (or at least, off-topic) value for $HATED_EBOOK_VENDOR.

Re: an obvious shift (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619957)

how are ebooks in any way a liability, or do you not know the meaning of the word? I've tried, but I cannot imagine my purchases doing me harm, is it possible for them to assemble themselves into an ai bent on my destruction? are they going to be used in court against me? are they going to be parsed for insurance purposes?

I'm assuming that you're implying that someday amazon will go belky up or revoke my license somehow, to that I say big freaking deal! I have about 140 books from the amazon store and I have invested maybe 10 or twenty dollars. I have bought the girl with the dragon tattoo, a cookbook or two and some technical journal. And a chess and math app. Everything else was free.

If I lose access I'll move on with my life.

Google play tech support is good. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43619537)

I had a positive experience with google play store. I am a late adopter and got around to having data plan only recently. Bought a book in playstore. It worked fine in the google nexus 4 phone. But it was not displaying it correctly in my chromebook. I reported the issue, never expected to hear anything back. It was just a 10$ book, and they are multi billion dollar company, and million users might have reported it. So I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from tech support and we exchanged about six or seven emails in 20 minutes. (Turned out to be a corrupted cache). Wondering if nook tech support would be that good. Amazon kindle had a battery issue and they replaced it for free. Though the kindle e-ink display is phenomenal, I am sorely disappointed at the quality of the graphs, plots, charts, tables and maps in the books. They are abysmal. Google play version zooms and expands well. But still paper book beats them all in terms of user experience.

But the magazines in play store looks expensive. They seem to be asking for the rack rate and it is far cheaper to get the ink-smeared-dead-tree version than the cyber version. What gives? May be I am not looking at the right locations.

Re:Google play tech support is good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43619603)

BN has excellent support; something was corrputed on my daughter's simple touch, and they just swapped it out right there at the store.

Re:Google play tech support is good. (1)

Albanach (527650) | about a year ago | (#43620913)

Regarding diagrams in kindle books, this is a pervasive problem. I have purchased several academic texts that have been unusable due to the low resolution.

One book had a series of tables that had been printed landscape in the original, still in landscape in the e-book version. You can imagine what this means, you can't just turn your phone or tablet 90 degrees or it autorotates, so now you need to turn off the auto-rotation each time you read that book. What a pain.

Too many companies have tried to make e-versions of existing titles on the cheap.

B&N - Tablet War loser (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43619561)

Tablets have been out for a while now, and we're starting to see which ones are the 'winners' and which ones will be relegated to being future 'dust collectors'. Closed systems like the Nook seem to be headed for the latter.

In a year or two, I'll get a replacement for my $100 archos tablet. By then I expect tabs will mostly all be cheap, dual booting pieces of tech, rivalling desktop computers in capability, with large storage/ memory/ battery and fast cpu's. Barnes & Noble will be another app to download to them.

Yay! (1)

Yaddoshi (997885) | about a year ago | (#43619567)

That'll save me the hassle of having to manually update the unsupported Cyanogenmod fork for the Nook HD

Not mandatory, I hope (1)

coldsalmon (946941) | about a year ago | (#43619621)

I like the Nook tablets because they provide me with a functional, Google-free Android device (and because they're actually really good tablets for my purposes). If I have to link my Nook to a Google account, it looks like I'll have to take my tin foil hat elsewhere.

Isn't play walled? (1)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43619731)

Isn't Google Play a walled garden, just with a lower wall. There are policies and agreements that a APP must honor. A unwalled garden would allow any APP or book or music to be uploaded, and then let the users moderate quality.

Also, is this an issue with BN or with Google. It is my understanding that Google Play is one of the closed source features that Google uses to keep control over the Android platform. An OEM either does what Google says or it is not allowed to play all the reindeer games.

I have Kindle Fire and have had no issues getting the Apps I want from Amazon. Unlike my other devices, I mostly have free Apps on the Fire, and have filled it up to the point where I have to delete the Apps I never use.I dare say that the my issue with Nook is merely that I got fire refurbished for a much lower price. Access to content did also play a role, but it was Amazon content not Google.

Re:Isn't play walled? (1)

Wookact (2804191) | about a year ago | (#43620591)

Isn't Google Play a walled garden, just with a lower wall.

The store may be a walled garden, typically the devices allow you to install from other sources though. Kinda like having a gate in that walled garden, that the user can invite someone in at any time.

Re:Isn't play walled? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43622065)

I also use a fire and while it was decent in stock form, putting cyanogenmod on it turned it from a simple locked down machine into something I can actually use. Not everyone sees things the way I do but for me, the fire was (at the time) the best bang for the buck, especially rooted.

N2A (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#43619739)

Nook to Android (N2A) has a bootable MicroSD card that already allows this but it's nice BN finally figured it out.

Re:N2A (1)

ajlitt (19055) | about a year ago | (#43620023)

You mean those guys that package up the works of others with absolutely no attribution, specifically a complete lack of GPL compliance? Charming.

Why not get a better supported, free CM10.1 from here. [xda-developers.com]

This Could make a difference to me. (1)

yakovlev (210738) | about a year ago | (#43619805)

The nook HD+ now looks pretty interesting. I like the google apps, but could live with the nook launcher (or install a new one off google play?)

$270 for a 9-inch tablet with access to google apps is pretty compelling.

Re:This Could make a difference to me. (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year ago | (#43620029)

The nook HD+ now looks pretty interesting. I like the google apps, but could live with the nook launcher (or install a new one off google play?)

$270 for a 9-inch tablet with access to google apps is pretty compelling.

The ASUS memopro 10-inch tablet is selling around that price point. I'm not recommending one or the other; just suggesting it's worth comparing to see which has the features you prefer.

Re:This Could make a difference to me. (1)

yakovlev (210738) | about a year ago | (#43625267)

The MeMO Pad Smart 10 and the transformer T300 are both 720p screens rather than the 1080p on the nook.

Then again, the Tegra3 in the MeMO is better than the OMAP in the nook, so it isn't a clear-cut decision. If the MeMO was a 1080p, it would probably be a slam dunk for ASUS. However, I don't think ASUS wants to cannibalize their high-end tablet sales, which such a tablet might do.

Poor barnes and Noble (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#43619827)

They're trying.

I feel for them. I really do... I hope they can carve out a lasting niche for themselves in the evolving ebook retail world.

This move was good... it showed boldness. B&N will need to be bold to survive.

Good. They didn't seem to take it seriously anyway (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#43619993)

About 6 months ago at a reasonably major London Android convention which B&N heavily sponsored, they had a workshop on why their app store was better for your app (more women, higher average price paid). They then ruined their argument by taking us through the registration process which required a US tax number before it would let you publish anything. At that point the room guffawed and a few people (including me) walked out to go see something more interesting and less insulting.

Hint: if you're trying to woo developers to your niche product, don't require them to have to register on another country's tax system.

Re:Good. They didn't seem to take it seriously any (1)

thejynxed (831517) | about a year ago | (#43628327)

They did it that way because their corporate is in the USA and they, unlike Google and many others, pay their US taxes. Their app store, etc is all hosted in the USA, and whenever an app is sold, they have to pay US tax on it, not UK or France, or Germany.

Re:Good. They didn't seem to take it seriously any (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about a year ago | (#43628443)

They did it that way because their corporate is in the USA and they, unlike Google and many others, pay their US taxes. Their app store, etc is all hosted in the USA, and whenever an app is sold, they have to pay US tax on it, not UK or France, or Germany.

The standard way for multinationals to do business in foreign countries is to set up a subsidiary in that country. Operating like this means *everyone in their store* has to operate under US tax.

Upgraded from Nook to Nexus (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | about a year ago | (#43620037)

I enjoyed my 1st gen Nook Color, but I rooted it a month after getting it and kept it that way, with the play store, etc, for over a year. But when the Nexus 7 came out I jumped ship for the "full" ICS experience. It wasn't the lack of the Play store, or the other restrictions that led me to switch... it was the underpowered hardware and the old version of Android.

If they had made this change 6 months ago, before I bought my Nexus, I might have reconsidered. But honestly I think Google's offering is a better choice. The only advantage the Nook has now IMO is the ability to read enhanced eBooks that the generic android nook reader can't. And I only have one of those, which I ripped and converted with some utility so I could still access the content.

Right then.... (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#43621341)

...installing Kindle for Android....

.

Other tablet makers could learn from that (1)

bobjr94 (1120555) | about a year ago | (#43622465)

We bought a Nabi 2 tablet for our 8 year old as a replacement for a cheap low end and quickly broken tablet. I just assumed it worked with google play but didnt look into it before we bought it. Turns out it wont unless it's rooted, although you 'can' install it from an apk it wont work. They have their own app site they want you to rebuy all your apps from. That was kind of a pain since we already had bought a bunch of games and apps from google over the years. So I end up downloaded apk's from a pirate site, rather than pay again for apps I already own.

Now if Play would just allow F-Droid (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | about a year ago | (#43622999)

It's hard to tell people they need to "root" their phones to run F-Droid:

http://f-droid.org

And it's particularly unfortunate in light of the fairly dire need for open source apps to get popularized on phones.  Much less risk of malware.

This is actually huge (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year ago | (#43623289)

I was in a B&N store a few months ago and I overheard a conversation between a sales clerk and an older couple that went like this:
Customer: "So I can run apps on this?"
Sales clerk: "No, this is just for reading books."
Customer: "Oh, okay" and they walk away.

B&N has fixed that problem. That's a good thing.

I am rejoicing as an app developer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43623435)

O, what a great day! The sun has come out and the birds are singing! No more auto-rejection from B&N's stupid submission process. I hated B&N so passionately that I actually recommended to someone paying me good money to port an app to the Nook to just drop the Nook and save the headaches. My app triggered a platform bug in the original Nook fork of Android, and their brain-dead outsourced approval process always rejected it, I always had to open a support ticket, I always pasted in the same exception, and they always approved it and closed the ticket without even acknowledging it was a platform bug. How unfriendly can you get? It was like their brain-dead customer service process, only for developers. I love this news!!!

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