View Full Version : NOOKcolor - News on 2.2 and Android Market?


ypocaramel
12-14-2010, 10:33 AM
If you've been wondering why Barnes & Noble's full color e-reader, the Nook Color, was running yesterday's Android OS, have no fear-2.2 is almost here!

I spoke today with a Barnes & Noble representative who showed me the forthcoming update on his company Nook which is slated for this January. The 2.2 Android update is a game changer and literally turns the e-reader into a near full Android tablet device.

The 2.2 update, or overhaul if you prefer, will give you access to a retooled Android Market, the typical Android home screen and even has pinch zooming with the browser. The Android Market app was still under development and was not on the device to see. I was told that Nook users may not have access to the full market. The Nook I looked at had apps loaded via the SD card slot and seemed to run fine. The device will still give you access to all of your Nook material via the current interface that will be swicthable for the user.

The update addresses performance and battery life concerns according to the rep I spoke to. The update on his Nook was still in beta so it lacked some polish but seemed to work smoother than the stock device. The graphics performance still seemed sluggish even with 2.2 when scrolling through magazines and web pages.

The best news is that Nook Color owners will be able to use their new Nooks as a full tablet device that rivals any other Android tablet currently in the consumer arena. Even iPad users may turn envious at the smaller form factor and $249 purchase price.
Link (http://www.smartphonemag.com/cms/blog/6847/nook-color-getting-android-22-treatment-january), obtained through Engadget (http://www.engadget.com/2010/12/14/nook-color-getting-android-2-2-and-market-in-january-current-ha/)

So is the Nook market a modified version of Android Market then? It seems the 2.2 update will be more extensive than I'd thought, if this is accurate.

UPDATE: See clarification in Engadget article to B&N market.

SCION
12-14-2010, 10:48 AM
Sounds like they took their lead from those who rooted their NOOKcolor. I think the key wording is "Nook users may not have access to the full market".

jasonkchapman
12-14-2010, 10:50 AM
So is the Nook market a modified version of Android Market then?

It would almost have to be, rather than have people installing apps that need GPS or camera capabilities and thinking the NC is broken. It will also allow B&N to sell and highlight NC-specific apps. The materials with the developer's kit are really pushing for reader-centric apps. If they're NC-specific, they become a selling point for the platform.

ypocaramel
12-14-2010, 11:00 AM
The SDK press release made it seem like they were pushing developers to make full-featured apps that served what I think was the NOOKcolor's original target market - late 30's to 50 year olds who would normally shop at B&N brick and mortar. Figure they would need to push that market since Android is skewed towards the 20-30s and techies.

wxgeek96
12-14-2010, 11:02 AM
Interesting that the Engadget link seems to suggest that the Kindle app will be one of those offered on the Nook/Android Market.

Oh, and hi!

iandix
12-14-2010, 11:14 AM
I found this interesting
"I was told that Nook users may not have access to the full market."

I bet it will allow most things but not ebook reading apps such as kindle. The idea as I see it would be If you allow most apps then why root your nook and if you don't root your nook then no kindle.

ypocaramel
12-14-2010, 11:38 AM
It would almost have to be, rather than have people installing apps that need GPS or camera capabilities and thinking the NC is broken. It will also allow B&N to sell and highlight NC-specific apps. The materials with the developer's kit are really pushing for reader-centric apps. If they're NC-specific, they become a selling point for the platform.
When they mentioned Nookstore, I always thought it would be a separate app apart from Android Market. This took me a bit by surprise - I guess we'll see the listing procedures for this modified market in due course.

SCION
12-14-2010, 11:39 AM
When they mentioned Nookstore, I always thought it would be a separate app apart from Android Market. This took me a bit by surprise - I guess we'll see the listing procedures for this modified market in due course.

I was under the same impression. Now it's simply access to a subset of the Android Market?

Edit: Not that being a subset of the Android Market is a negative thing.

Apikoros18
12-14-2010, 11:50 AM
Either way, sounds good to me! (And I am in the 30-50 market who would normally shop at the Brick and Mortar)

French
12-14-2010, 12:04 PM
Hmmm...so we might see an increase in battery life? I'm down with that!

slayda
12-14-2010, 12:04 PM
The SDK press release made it seem like they were pushing developers to make full-featured apps that served what I think was the NOOKcolor's original target market - late 30's to 50 year olds who would normally shop at B&N brick and mortar. Figure they would need to push that market since Android is skewed towards the 20-30s and techies.

And where does that leave me at 68 years old? ;)

tubemonkey
12-14-2010, 12:22 PM
I was under the same impression. Now it's simply access to a subset of the Android Market?

Hope so. If it's strictly a B&N app store, then I'd expect most of the apps to cost money. If it's just a smaller version of the Android Market, then I'd expect to see quite a few free apps.

I love free!!! :D

boswd
12-14-2010, 12:24 PM
Hope so. If it's strictly a B&N app store, then I'd expect most of the apps to cost money. If it's just a smaller version of the Android Market, then I'd expect to see quite a few free apps.

I love free!!! :D

then you would love Android phones, I think I paid for one app and all my Apps are mainstream ones

heck even Angry Birds is free on the Android Market Place.;)

SCION
12-14-2010, 12:27 PM
Hope so. If it's strictly a B&N app store, then I'd expect most of the apps to cost money. If it's just a smaller version of the Android Market, then I'd expect to see quite a few free apps.

I love free!!! :D

I agree. I think that if that was the intent all along and had been disclosed, many probably would not have rooted. They just would've waited.

Amafan
12-14-2010, 12:32 PM
I was under the same impression. Now it's simply access to a subset of the Android Market?
This is exactly why I bought a NC. It was inevitable the B&N needed to do something to counter the Kindle juggernaut and offering a tablet at an e-reader price was the obvious way to do it. I hope they fix a few minor things when they upgrade, like the lowest brightness setting being still to bright, and adding sideloaded docs to the home pages. Of course, better battery life is always welcome.

The Android Market is somewhat of a swamp. The Apple App Store is better since they at least insure developers stick to hardware guidelines when they develop apps. With the Android store it's hit and miss. Apps may look and work fine on one platform and not another. I hope B&N have the same philosophy when they introduce their own store as I am not into fixing stuff that should work but doesn't.

As for apps, I hope we see Skype, Netflix, an email client, and improvements to the browser running on NC. If so, I will be more than satisfied. I don't need another Angry Birds, or Resident Evil app. Sorry kids, but reading books and watching a little The Office is enough entertainment for me most of the time. I'm 59, BTW.

tubemonkey
12-14-2010, 12:46 PM
then you would love Android phones, I think I paid for one app and all my Apps are mainstream ones

heck even Angry Birds is free on the Android Market Place.;)

Forced 2-year data plans or overpriced contract free phones are deal breakers. It's why I don't have a smartphone.

tubemonkey
12-14-2010, 12:48 PM
I agree. I think that if that was the intent all along and had been disclosed, many probably would not have rooted. They just would've waited.

Are you gonna unroot?

SCION
12-14-2010, 12:52 PM
Are you gonna unroot?

I wasn't referring to myself; I would've rooted anyway. I just know that people were stressing because they couldn't get it to work. Others are having difficulty getting some functionality.

At this time I have no plan to unroot. I may have to, temporarily, to get the updated eReader functionality many seek.

soondai
12-14-2010, 12:56 PM
Holy cow. Gonna have to swing by B&N and take another look at this. Between this news and the fact I could effectively get 40 dollars off (40 dollars in free groceries if I buy 200 bucks in B&N gift cards there), I might have to take the PDN back.

Just wish the screen weren't so darn skinny. I want to read PDF books in landscape.

tubemonkey
12-14-2010, 12:58 PM
I don't need another Angry Birds, or Resident Evil app. Sorry kids, but reading books and watching a little The Office is enough entertainment for me most of the time. I'm 59, BTW.

I gotta have Angry Birds. :D

Someone needs to design a game for us book lovers:

Angry Books - somewhat content with Amazon's pricing, bibliophiles happily read their lives away ...until one day, a storm reared it's ugly head on the horizon - the Agency Model. Now watch as angry readers launch their books into the evil publishers in an attempt to crush this insidious evil wrought upon mankind. :D

Mr. Goodbar
12-14-2010, 01:01 PM
I gotta have Angry Birds. :D

Someone needs to design a game for us book lovers:

Angry Books - somewhat content with Amazon's pricing, bibliophiles happily read their lives away ...until one day, a storm reared it's ugly head on the horizon - the Agency Model. Now watch as angry readers launch their books into the evil publishers in an attempt to crush this insidious evil wrought upon mankind. :D

:rofl: Well said, you may have a winner there!

boswd
12-14-2010, 01:02 PM
Forced 2-year data plans or overpriced contract free phones are deal breakers. It's why I don't have a smartphone.

ahhh but that is all changing you can find more and more android phones being offered for no contract packages.

SCION
12-14-2010, 01:02 PM
...
Someone needs to design a game for us book lovers:

Angry Books - somewhat content with Amazon's pricing, bibliophiles happily read their lives away ...until one day, a storm reared it's ugly head on the horizon - the Agency Model. Now watch as angry readers launch their books into the evil publishers in an attempt to crush this insidious evil wrought upon mankind. :D

Too cute!

tubemonkey
12-14-2010, 01:24 PM
ahhh but that is all changing you can find more and more android phones being offered for no contract packages.

But their prices are too high. They need to be priced in the iPod touch range.

geertm
12-14-2010, 02:01 PM
I found this interesting:
"The Nook I looked at had apps loaded via the SD card slot".

If installing APK files from an SD card is allowed, than even if you get no access to the full Android market, you can install any app as an APK file from the SD card.
If you have an Android phone you can create an APK file from any app that is installed on your phone. You can also find APK files on the internet.

SCION
12-14-2010, 02:17 PM
I found this interesting:
"The Nook I looked at had apps loaded via the SD card slot".

If installing APK files from an SD card is allowed, than even if you get no access to the full Android market, you can install any app as an APK file from the SD card.
If you have an Android phone you can create an APK file from any app that is installed on your phone. You can also find APK files on the internet.

Are you saying that a stock NOOKcolor allows installation of apps that are on a storage card?

geertm
12-14-2010, 02:44 PM
Are you saying that a stock NOOKcolor allows installation of apps that are on a storage card?

Not with the current firmware. But according to the article the Android 2.2 update NC does allow this.

SCION
12-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Not with the current firmware. But according to the article the Android 2.2 update NC does allow this.

Thanks. Just wanted you to clarify for our viewing audience. :)

tubemonkey
12-14-2010, 03:05 PM
2.2 will add a tremendous amount of value to the Color. If the Color would've launched with 2.2, I bet B&N could've easily sold it at a higher price; say $300.

jasonkchapman
12-14-2010, 03:58 PM
I hope we see Skype

This one might be a little tough to pull off.

KryptoNyte
12-14-2010, 04:05 PM
Did the revision on that Engadget article mention that we would definitely NOT have native access to the marketplace with the 2.2 update?

"Update 2: Barnes & Noble PR just got back to us to reiterate that Nook Color's own shop will begin adding apps in early 2011 and that there are currently no plans to enable Android Market. Move along, nothing to see here, folks."

Amafan
12-14-2010, 06:00 PM
(Skype)This one might be a little tough to pull off.
The IM version of Skype should work just fine.

SCION
12-14-2010, 06:02 PM
The IM version of Skype should work just fine.

That's what I was thinking.

LoganK
12-14-2010, 06:26 PM
But their prices are too high. They need to be priced in the iPod touch range.

Prices on T-Mobile start at $200 (outright) for Android, although you really have to pay $240 to get a decent handset. The optional data plans start at $10 a month (for 200 MB).

If you haven't looked lately, you might try again. They could be terribly tempting.

(My phone was "too high" for you at $500, but since the payments are split across 20 months (no interest) I hardly notice it. T-Mobile also gives you a discount for being off-contract. They are awesome as a provider in pretty much every way.)

Grimm
12-14-2010, 06:38 PM
I gotta have Angry Birds. :D

Someone needs to design a game for us book lovers:

Angry Books - somewhat content with Amazon's pricing, bibliophiles happily read their lives away ...until one day, a storm reared it's ugly head on the horizon - the Agency Model. Now watch as angry readers launch their books into the evil publishers in an attempt to crush this insidious evil wrought upon mankind. :D

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

jasoraso
12-14-2010, 06:58 PM
I take the original comment about the "market" with a grain of salt. I'm guessing that B&N will have their own market. I think it is more an issue of B&N only wanting apps which are 100% compatible with the NC to be on the Market. However, B&N may officially ALLOW sideloading of APPS that aren't from their market. If someone goes to the effort of SIDELOADING an app - then that person wouldn't be expecting support for that app from B&N. In this case, the Kindle app could even be installed.

slayda
12-14-2010, 08:20 PM
Why are they upgrading to 2.2 just when 2.3 has been announced?

s52m3
12-14-2010, 08:24 PM
Why are they upgrading to 2.2 just when 2.3 has been announced?

I am guessing they need time to fully test everything which means 2.2 at this point. Who knows, maybe 2.3 will come at some point also?

Bookworm_Girl
12-14-2010, 11:53 PM
The IM version of Skype should work just fine.

I also use Skype for international texting friends who are outside the US. It's like 2 cents per text instead of the 10 cents that my cell plan charges.

GreenMonkey
12-15-2010, 02:11 AM
Prices on T-Mobile start at $200 (outright) for Android, although you really have to pay $240 to get a decent handset. The optional data plans start at $10 a month (for 200 MB).

If you haven't looked lately, you might try again. They could be terribly tempting.

(My phone was "too high" for you at $500, but since the payments are split across 20 months (no interest) I hardly notice it. T-Mobile also gives you a discount for being off-contract. They are awesome as a provider in pretty much every way.)

T-mobile doesn't have any coverage in my city of 12-20,000 here in mid-Michigan. I'd have to drive 30 minutes to get any sort of coverage. They're really a major city cell provider IMO. Their coverage

Boost mobile and Virgin are Sprint MVNOs - they use Sprint towers with no roaming. My wife and I are on them. The only Android device Virgin has is the intercept at $250 which has a terribly low resolution screen (still might get one eventually). Boost has the Motorola i1 but it's on the old Nextel iDen network - not even fast enough for streaming audio - my step-mom has one. You can get a Hero, Evo, etc onto Boost, but only through law-breaking ESN cloning.

Most prepaid still lacks a good android phone. They all come tethered to $60-$100 a month plans. It's ridiculous.

tubemonkey
12-15-2010, 03:18 AM
Prices on T-Mobile start at $200 (outright) for Android, although you really have to pay $240 to get a decent handset. The optional data plans start at $10 a month (for 200 MB).

Where are these Android phones with optional data plans? The ones I saw all required data plans.

LoganK
12-15-2010, 03:35 AM
Where are these Android phones with optional data plans? The ones I saw all required data plans.

The web site does not really cater to off-contract customers(*). However, the policy of the store is, you bought it, you do what you want with it. In other words, if you want to buy a smartphone but only buy voice from T-Mobile, they are okay with that. The data plans are $5 cheaper off-contract: $10 instead of $15 for 200 MB, $25 instead of $30 for unlimited.

(*) My personal belief is that customers were being overwhelmed with options and confused. Four different prices for phones, five different prices for service? Great for the informed customer, not so great for simple purchase decisions.

The other "dirty secret" (although less-so now that they have the lower data plan) is that you don't need a full data plan to get the subsidized price. You simply need a $14.95(?) or higher plan ... including the text messaging service.

As someone above pointed out, though, they may not have the best coverage of all the major carriers (possibly due to the limited spectrum available to them). I've never had a problem, but I generally bounce between high population areas.

Oh, and T-Mobile just dropped the price of the Comet, Vibrant, and Tab.

Of course, the best advice is to wait for the next best thing, but I wouldn't want you to hold back simply because of the mistaken belief that nobody sees you as their target market.

ypocaramel
12-15-2010, 03:40 AM
Actually, come to think of it, I don't care as much about Android Market (rooters will be rooters) as much as optimizing the stock B&N interface - it's got good management and social networking options, but it's slow and unreliable at times.

PurpleDog
12-15-2010, 10:48 AM
Holy cow. Gonna have to swing by B&N and take another look at this. Between this news and the fact I could effectively get 40 dollars off (40 dollars in free groceries if I buy 200 bucks in B&N gift cards there), I might have to take the PDN back.

Just wish the screen weren't so darn skinny. I want to read PDF books in landscape.

Hows does that gift card deal work ? I cant find anthing on the B&N site about it. Could you buy the gift cards - get the $40 - and then just use them to pay for most of the Nook Color on the spot ?

jasonkchapman
12-15-2010, 11:48 AM
Hows does that gift card deal work ? I cant find anthing on the B&N site about it. Could you buy the gift cards - get the $40 - and then just use them to pay for most of the Nook Color on the spot ?

That's what I did, but the deal was $300/$30 at the time. The $300 covered the NC, cover, and most of the sales tax. It was the sales rep who suggested it to me.

PurpleDog
12-15-2010, 12:11 PM
I called my local B&N in Roanoke VA, and they told me the gift card "deal"
was "buy 100 in B&N gift cards and get $10 free" but that the promotion ended
on 12/5/10. =(

A shame, because you could effectively get $30 off a Nook Color, case, and maybe screen protector.

I'd like to ask users of the Nook Color about their experiences with the browser and playback of video. Is the browser decent ? Ive tried the browser on the Kindle and its terrible; basically unusable.

Also, can you easily transfer videos from iTunes to the device ?

slayda
12-15-2010, 01:13 PM
NC compared to K1 - the NC browser is much better IMO. Don't know how K2 & K3 compare. Also the slight increase in screen size makes it better (especially in landscape mode).

SCION
12-15-2010, 01:53 PM
NC compared to K1 - the NC browser is much better IMO....

:rofl: Are you surprised? I had a K1 also, so I'm just messin' with you. :)

slayda
12-15-2010, 03:09 PM
:rofl: Are you surprised? I had a K1 also, so I'm just messin' with you. :)

Back then it was the only way to buy an ebook from Amazon & they had the cheapest 'first run' ebooks. :chinscratch:

My NC will replace most, if not all, the usability of the K1. It was very good for proof reading my scanned in books because I could highlight where the OCR errors were rather than just bookmarking the page. With NC I can highlight the exact point of the error. So, anyone want to buy a K1? ;)