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Old 04-07-2011, 10:05 PM   #1
Dave_S
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Smile B&N Solicits Apps in Nook Color Tablet Transformation

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It seems as though Barnes & Noble is trying to get the Nook Color into the tablet market before Amazon makes its own push into the media tablet space, in hopes of wooing developers to fill up its curated app store. This may have been the plan all along, but the company’s actions are likely influenced by the number of Android enthusiasts that have rooted the inexpensive tablet in order to install their own applications.

http://gigaom.com/mobile/nook-color-android-apps/
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:17 AM   #2
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That's odd. I would have assumed they were accepting app submissions months ago considering the update is supposed to happen any week now.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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I frequent the developer forum for the Nook Color and it's a seething mass of frustration over there, as far as I can see. The B&N support for the developers has been almost non-existent and the current word right now is that B&N is only accepting apps that are already on the Android market for other devices - meaning that if you got into development just for the Nook Color, then you're out of luck for the initial market launch.

The biggest problem seems to be that the people in charge of communicating to the Nook Developers have been hamstrung from actually telling the developers anything pertinent or useful. Lately most of the posts in the dev forum seem to be people utterly fed up and/or rage-quitting the whole venture.

As a Nook Color enthusiast, it's been very painful to watch. I hope things will get better soon.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:16 PM   #4
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Definitely a bit late in the game to be soliciting apps for the new release. The upcoming update is probably going to disappoint a lot of people who have been waiting for months for what has been likely a highly over-exaggerated update. The over-exaggeration has been in the minds of the nookcolor owners who seem to have convinced themselves that this will be a major update which will turn the nookcolor into the best tablet ever. Those people will no doubt be very disappointed. I personally think the update will be rather boring and that we will never see a huge number of meaningful apps. Probably the best we can hope for are a bunch of games, which I could care less about, perhaps an email app which is very elementary in design and lacking in function.

In my opinion, B&N should be working hard to turn the stock ePub reader into a better app with more functionality and fewer quirks. It is currently a third rate reader app.
  • Add more fonts
  • Add more format settings
  • Add landscape view
  • Add 2-column landscape view
  • Add farthest read page function
  • Make the text selection like the iPad wherein your finger doesn't obscure what you are selecting--add a magnified view in other words
  • Greatly improve the dictionary lookup function. It currently chokes on words with accented characters. It often gets confused by plurals. It often shows duplicated entries. Dictionary needs a LOT of work!
  • Et cetera

I seriously doubt B&N will allow third-party readers to be installed as apps on non-rooted nookcolors, so they need to greatly improve their stock reader. Afterall, the nookcolor is still marketed as a READER.

I think the nookcolor is a great piece of hardware, but it is doesn't have the high quality of software that it should. Compared to other dedicated readers on the market, the functionality of the nookcolor's stock reader app is very lacking and rudimentary. Software is easy to fix, so I hope they hurry up and do so. The nookcolor has great potential as a reader, but only if B&N gets the software right.

Last edited by jswinden; 04-08-2011 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
The over-exaggeration has been in the minds of the nookcolor owners who seem to have convinced themselves that this will be a major update which will turn the nookcolor into the best tablet ever.
The Nook Color development statement has always been that the apps are meant to target a better *reading* experience. As a dedicated reader, I will be disappointed if the Nook market doesn't have:

1. Access to alternative readers. No matter how much they improve the stock app, people will always have other needs. B&N should not force people to stick with the stock app, because if they do, it will hurt sales. And, yes, I include allowing a Kindle app in the marketplace. (I realize this will be seen as a controversial statement.)

2. Access to catalog downloads and library apps. Aldiko (and others) provide OPDS catalog support. Overdrive allows you to download library books directly. These considerations were crucial in my decision to root - but not everyone wants to root their nook color. The best thing B&N could do is to allow these apps into the store.

3. Audiobook app support. Audible comes to mind.

4. Apps that provide better note-taking and highlighting abilities, either in the stock reader or in their own readers. The current B&N note-taking and highlighting abilities are terrible - there's no sync across devices (that I know of) and no way to save/backup/export notes.

5. Apps that provide better library management, either with the stock reader of in their own readers. This includes the ability to set any book - side-loaded or otherwise - on the home page.

6. Apps that are actually "interactive" reading experiences - the children's books are a good start at B&N but I've yet to find a good cookbook on their store that utilizes all the new bells and whistles. An app that filled the gap in the meantime (there are lots of android recipe apps) would be nice.

Again, not everyone chaffing for the update just wants a tablet to play Angry Birds. Lots of us - most of us, I'd guess - just want a better reading experience and we see the Nook Market as the best way to that. I'd personally rather deal with 100 android developers than a single B&N focal point that may not have the same priorities/motivations as me...

My two cents.

Quote:
I seriously doubt B&N will allow third-party readers to be installed as apps on non-rooted nookcolors, so they need to greatly improve their stock reader. Afterall, the nookcolor is still marketed as a READER.
And the nook app market is supposed to enhance the reading experience. If they don't allow other reader apps, and they are only allowing "already on an android market somewhere, and therefore not tailored to the B&N stock app" apps in this first run, then the only thing left IS Angry Birds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
In my opinion, B&N should be working hard to turn the stock ePub reader into a better app with more functionality and fewer quirks. It is currently a third rate reader app.
  • Add more fonts
  • Add more format settings
  • Add landscape view
  • Add 2-column landscape view
  • Add farthest read page function
  • Make the text selection like the iPad wherein your finger doesn't obscure what you are selecting--add a magnified view in other words
  • Greatly improve the dictionary lookup function. It currently chokes on words with accented characters. It often gets confused by plurals. It often shows duplicated entries. Dictionary needs a LOT of work!
  • Et cetera
I do agree that all this needs fixing yesterday, though. I'm really astonished that there haven't been more "mini-updates".

Last edited by anamardoll; 04-08-2011 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:53 AM   #6
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I rooted my NOOK Color primarily to use it as a reader: I just can't handle the stock app's limitations when there are so many good readers out there.
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:05 AM   #7
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At one time I cared about the the upgrade to 2.2 and the development of an app store, but B&N drug their heels on this.

Now that I'm rooted, I no longer care what B&N does. If their app store never gets off the ground, big whoop.
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Old 04-13-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tubemonkey View Post
At one time I cared about the the upgrade to 2.2 and the development of an app store, but B&N drug their heels on this.

Now that I'm rooted, I no longer care what B&N does. If their app store never gets off the ground, big whoop.
That's kind of where I am right now, too. We have 2 NCs in the house - one rooted and one not. We'll update the unrooted when the mythical update comes out, but I highly doubt it will be snazzy enough to cause me to unroot the rooted one.
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Old 04-13-2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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I think that we'll be pleasantly surprised by the official B&N update. Not that it will make rooting unnecessary, but by how much closer it will be to a true Android tablet.
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:18 PM   #10
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When the update hits, I'll probably un-root just to see how the update works and what features it actually has included. I'll more than likely root again to restore the other functions the update doesn't allow for.
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Old 04-14-2011, 12:04 AM   #11
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When the update hits, I'll probably un-root just to see how the update works and what features it actually has included. I'll more than likely root again to restore the other functions the update doesn't allow for.
I'll root my NC for the first time after the update comes out. At least that is what I am planning to do. I'm getting antsy for this thing to come out. I'm not a very patient fellow.
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