The Barnes and Noble nook has been available (mostly) for a few months now, so why shouldn't the rumors about what's coming next start up? Seems perfectly natural to us. And, after we reviewed the original and gave it a few high praises, we're just as interested as anyone else to hear about whatever it is that Barnes and Noble may be cooking up in the technological ovens.
It comes as little surprise, but Best Buy have announced that - as of April 18th - they will be offering the Barnes & Noble nook in their retail stores. The nook will be priced at $259.99, and be sold alongside B&N ebook gift cards for those wanting to give the dual-display ereader as a present (or if they're unwilling or unable to use their credit card).
An over-the-air update for the Barnes & Noble nook has begun to go out today, and according to at least one user with the updated firmware it leaves the ebook reader "noticeably faster" at loading pages, while the touchscreen interface "seems more responsive". nook firmware v1.2 also improves the general UI of the ereader, with clearer indications as to which ebooks can be lent to others, and more ways to sort side-loaded documents.
If you’ve been waiting to connect your Nook to Barnes & Noble wireless so that you can enjoy all the free browsing along with exclusive content and promotions – you can now do so after a quick over the air update with version 1.1 software. The update should also improve on core speed and performance improvements.
The Barnes & Noble nook continues to show its true colors as a curiously hackable platform rather than a mundane ebook reader, with the artful nookDevs team now having unlocked browser functionality. The hack follows on from Pandora streaming radio, which was added to the nook yesterday, and has allowed the nookDevs team to use Twitter, access Facebook and look at other sites.
Navigation is handled by the touchscreen, with the webpage content shown on the larger E Ink panel. Since the nook has both WiFi and 3G, it's possible to browse even outside of your regular WiFi networks; however we imagine AT&T, who Barnes & Noble partnered with to provide the cellular coverage, won't be too pleased if nook owners begin hammering their data network.
Points of note include Android seemingly being loaded onto a 2GB internal microSD card - potentially a cause of sluggish OS performance - and a Samsung S3C6410 processor that's actually capable of OpenGL ES 1.1/ 2.0 among other things. The Android install itself, meanwhile, is a generic OS 1.5 build with some B&N customization on top
What should be interesting is how the nook gets hacked, especially given the interesting hardware. The nookDevs contributors have already figured out a way to spoof the DNS and feed content to the nook as if it came from B&N.
Barnes & Noble have announced in-store demo unit availability for their nook ebook reader, giving those still undecided about the dual-display device an opportunity to go hands-on before dropping $259. However, as previously revealed, stock shortages means that only certain stores will have access to demo nook units; the retailer has set up a nook locator tool which allows you to search for the store nearest to you that's taking part.
Kindle beware: there's a new wireless-toting ebook reader on the scene. The Barnes & Noble nook packs not only the backing of a serious retailer but some interesting design and usability features like ebook loaning, dual displays and touchscreen navigation. The mere promise has been enough for holiday demand to exceed supply, but does the nook experience live up to hype? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.
Hoping to pick up a Barnes and Noble nook in time for the holidays? Don't count on it seems the message from B&N; not only have online preorders for the dual-display ebook reader sold out for December, pushing expected deliveries for orders placed now to January 4th, the company is now reducing its store roll-out. According to B&N VP Mary Ellen Keating, only "a very limited supply, along with demo units, will be available in our highest-volume stores" as of December 7th.
Back in the run-up to Barnes and Noble's launch of their nook ebook reader, hitherto-unheard of Spring Design grabbed some headlines with their Alex dual-display ebook design. At the time there was some speculation that the two devices were one and the same, though that turned out not to be the case; according to Spring Design and a lawsuit against B&N, however, the two do in fact share some design DNA. Spring Design allege that B&N knowingly "misappropriated trade secrets and violated the parties' non-disclosure agreement" in designing the nook.