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 is a slick device for sure. It proved to be much more popular than the bookseller expected leading to big delays in shipping the product this Christmas. A cool as the Nook is, there are some issues that need to be addressed and a new firmware for the device has been released.
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.
Another week come and gone, time for a week in review so read along! It's been a busy week (as always) with some cool stories you may have missed. We posted up our hands on review of the Barnes & Noble Nook last Sunday and it's so cool. I want one of those so bad maybe I'll break down and buy it if they ever get them in stock.
Taking a stand, however short-sighted, against buyer expectations of ebook pricing, publisher Simon & Schuster have announced that they will be delaying the release of ebook versions of around 35 new titles in 2010 for roughly four months after the hardback edition is put on sale. The move is being echoed by the Hachette Book Group, who as of January 2010 will delay ebook release of "the vast majority" of its new titles for three to four months after the hardback version. According to David Young, CEO of Hachette, the company is "doing this to preserve our industry," adding that he "can't sit back and watch years of building authors sold off at bargain-basement prices. It's about the future of the business."
As the ebook wars hot up, Adobe are pulling out the stops to position themselves as the better long-term alternative to the Amazon Kindle. The company have announced that more than 100 publishers, book retailers and libraries are using their Content Server 4 software for distributing DRM-encrypted ebooks in either PDF or ePUB format, including 17 ebook reader manufacturers. Setting Amazon's closed AZW format as used on the Kindle in their sights, Adobe's senior business development manager for digital publishing, Nick Bogaty, is quoted as saying "customers want to decide which devices they read their e-books on ... That's in direct opposition to closed approaches like the Kindle, where you don't have alternatives"
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.