May 3, 2013
The Nook line of Android tablets, spun off from Barnes & Noble’s line of e-readers (though some models, like the Nook Simple Touch actually do run Android), has just gotten a nice little update from B&N that makes it infinitely more useful. Or at least 700,000 times more useful, as Google Play is now on the Nook HD, both 7-inch and 9-inch models. Barnes & Noble says that they’re not getting rid of their Nook store for apps, but that it will be a curated list of apps – same for the movie and book selection. But the music selection is now dramatically improved as well.
For Nook HD owners, this is a great thing – it means that no longer will their available content be artificially held back by what the manufacturer offers. Now the entire range of apps, plus the additional media is available to Nook HD owners. It makes the device a better value proposition, and that’s only a good thing. It also gives the device a selling point over the Kindle Fire. While that device has a bigger brand name and the backing of Amazon behind it, its more limited app selection will still lag behind the Nook’s, though most if not all of the ‘major’ apps and games are on Amazon’s store. Don’t expect Amazon to be making the same move as they have had bigger success with the Amazon Appstore.
The device is still not a stock Android device, and Google Play (and its requisite content apps) will merely exist on the device as separate apps, but at least the option is now there to get the same content that a stock Android device would have. It interestingly gives the device an added selling point compared to the Nexus 7, where its budget price but also massive content library put it head-and-shoulders above the Nook and Kindle in this category. With high-resolution screens, this could give comparison shoppers a reason to buy the Nook HD instead. However, with sales reportedly being disappointing, this could just be a desparate last-minute move, or one way to make sure owners of the Nook HD stay happy down the road.