It seems Barnes & Noble agree. Yesterday B&N announced a new LCD-based version of its Nook reader. The device has a claimed 8-hour battery life, and its seven-inch screen has 1024 x 600 pixels.
The previous incarnation of the Nook seemed like a crazy device to me. With a tiny LCD screen so you could browse your library of books with colored jackets, and shop in color – but an eInk screen for reading – it seemed to be neither one thing nor the other.
The Nook, which uses the Google Android operating system, has already come in for some criticism because it is not an open development platform, but will attempt to establish the kind of AppStore at which Apple has been so successful.
B&N isn’t Apple, which not only has millions of iPad customers, but hundreds of millions of iPhone customers who buy apps from the same store. It’s hard to see B&N’s closed app store effort succeeding. Only time will tell.
The device itself is attractively priced at $249. Be interesting to watch how this unfolds. I would not be surprised to see an iPad price drop eventually – although with devices flying off the shelves as fast as Apple can manufacture them, it doesn’t seem like there’s much incentive to cut prices at the moment…
Speaking of iPad and eReading, Amazon did a nice piece of work this week in improving its Kindle business on Apple’s device.
As I’ve already mentioned, I find the Amazon Kindle Reader app the best reading experience on the iPad so far. I use it every day.
One of the least satisfactory features of Kindle on iPad, though, was when you pressed the “Shop in Kindle Store” button, and ended up on the Kindle section of Amazon’s website. The website was fairly awkward to navigate on the iPad; its UI was definitely not optimized for that scenario.
Yesterday I installed Amazon’s new “Windowshop” app on my iPad – and that’s a pretty, easy-to-use way to shop for books that’s much more suited to the iPad’s touch screen.
My theory is that Amazon has seen a huge uptick in sales of Kindle books due to the appearance of the iPad, and it’s going full-out to capitalize on that.
Another great new reading app on the iPad is the full version of the New York Times, replacing the former NYT “Editor’s Choice” app. Now you get a full newspaper, with all the different sections. I’ve been reading it every day, and it’s a joy!
The New York Times on the iPad is currently free. They plan to start charging for it sometime next year. Not sure how well that’s going to fly. It is good enough that I’m almost tempted; we’ll see what price they plan to charge…