Friday, May 03, 2013

Barnes & Noble adds Google Play to Nook HD, HD+ tablets

The Barnes and Noble Nook tablet, at least in its Nook HD and Nook HD+ forms, will now sport the Google Play Store, it was announced on Thursday. Until now, the device has gone its own way, with its own app store, but its prior access to Google Play was considered a dealbreaker for many.

It's biggest non-standard rival, the Kindle Fire, still is Google Play-less, but has a large app store of its own, one that serves "well enough" for its users: the Amazon Appstore.

Current owners can get the update over-the-air. Newly shipped devices will have the software pre-installed. The new software also includes Google's Chrome web browser.

Barnes and Noble's Nook tablets, although well-regarded critically, were in trouble sales-wise, as other tablets, such as the iPad mini, the Google Nexus 7, and the Kindle Fire offered much better app store experiences. The advent of lower-cost Android tablets that included the Play Store placed the Nook under considerable sales stress.

A look at Google Play on the device seems to show that Barnes and Noble culled nothing from the Play Store app. You can even buy e-books, which is somewhat surprising based on Barnes and Noble's core book-selling business. And yes, the store even has the Kindle app in it.

Barnes and Noble's HD and HD+ tablets have the following specs:

  • 7-inch screen (1,440 x 900)
  • Android 4.0.3 with customized UI
  • Dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 @ 1.3GHz
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8GB ($199) or 16GB ($229) internal storage
  • microSD slot
  • 9-inch screen (1,920 x 1,280)
  • Android 4.0.3 with customized UI
  • Dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 @ 1.5GHz
  • 16GB ($269) or 32GB ($299) internal storage
  • microSD slot

No comments: