Nook Color gets Froyo update and app store

B&N also launches developer program for Nook apps

Barnes & Noble announced a major update to its Nook Color tablet Monday that includes access to a new app store, including an email app for organizing Web mail accounts. The upgrade also has Android 2.2 (Froyo) with Adobe Flash Player for video viewing.

Also, important to developers, Barnes & Noble announced a Nook Developer program for building Nook apps.

With these enhancements, the 7-in., Wi-Fi-ready Nook Color tablet, with a price tag of $249, "presents the best value of any tablet on the market," at about half the cost of other popular tablets, Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch said in making the announcement. The Nook Color first went on sale Nov. 19.

By comparison, the popular Apple 9.7-in. iPad 2 starts at $499. But the iPad 2 has a tremendous head start in the market over the enhanced Nook Color and recent entries such as the BlackBerry PlayBook. IPad 2 also has access to many more applications -- about 65,000 compared to about 125 from Nook apps so far.

"The Nook Color with its new Froyo upgrade is not an iPad -- not even close," wrote Gartner analyst Allen Weiner in a blog posted Monday, after trying out the device with the new version's 1.2 enhancements.

"But those who are looking for a great cross-media reading device with some nice new multimedia bells and whistles, it remains a go-to device," Weiner said.

Weiner said the best things about the improved Nook Color "are all reading-related." He said one of the better new features is a beta version of Nook Friends, a social app for sharing, buying and recommending books.

Weiner was also unsure how many developers would build apps for the Nook Apps app store.

The new features come in the Nook Color version 1.2 upgrade that is available free today online for manual download or over-the-air via Wi-Fi starting next week.

Barnes & Noble is also starting a new advertising campaign for the Nook Color that was developed by the Mullen advertising agency to include broadcast, print and online ads.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile and wireless in Computerworld's Mobile and Wireless Topic Center.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardwaretelecommunicatione-commerceapplicationsMobile and WirelessMobile Apps and Serviceshardware systemsMobile operating systemsmobileinternetBarnes & NobleAppleMobile OSessoftwaree-business

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?