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Old 10-21-2009, 04:13 PM   #1
sforce
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Barnes & Noble mulls Android SDK for Nook, says web browser "if readers want it"

Barnes & Noble mulls Android SDK for Nook reader

Blasts Kindle's 'clumsy' text-to-speech


"Barnes & Noble.com president William J. Lynch has hinted the American bookseller will one day open up its Android-based ebook reader to third-party developers.

But you have to wonder how far off such a move might be.

"We haven't announced anything regarding putting out an SDK or setting up a developer environment, but we do think Android offers some exciting opportunities in that way," Lynch said this morning during a conference call with reporters. "We do think - just because of all the excitement and all the development around Android - we do think that putting out an SDK and a developer environment would be something exciting for us and our users."

The company officially unveiled the Nook yesterday afternoon - yes, the Nook - calling it the world's first Android-based ebook reader. The $259 device is set to go on sale in the US at the end of November in the run-up to the all-important holiday shopping season. The company is taking pre-orders now at nook.com and across its network of more than 40,000 retail stores.

That's all Lynch offered on the possibility of a Nook SDK, but with Barnes & Noble scrambling to catch the Amazon Kindle, which has a two-year headstart in the fledgling ereader market, such an SDK is one means of making up lost ground. If Barnes & Noble taps that already percolating community of Android app developers, the Nook could offer a range of possibilities unavailable on the Kindle.

Of course, in opening the Nook to developers, Barnes & Noble could also force Amazon into a similar move. The difference is that the Kindle doesn't run Android.....

.....Today, the Kindle at least offers an "experimental" web browser for accessing webpages and downloading files directly onto the device. But if you're interested in moving non-B&N content onto B&N's ebook reader, you'll have to either connect the Nook to your PC or shuttle files onto an microSD card.

But Lynch indicated he wasn't necessarily opposed to the browser. "Could we have one in the future? Sure," he said. "We're looking at all kinds of different feature sets for our road-map and that's certainly one to consider.

"I think if you look at the book reader market and at our consumer research, what people want to do with these devices primarily is read...But if readers identify that [a browser] is something they want in their readers, we'll make sure to include it."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10...ook_open_hint/

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Old 10-21-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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I think I want one of these readers
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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It is cool, but until it gets OI or something on it, not interested really. Not a fan of B&N, and their ebook store isn't anything to write home about.
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:49 PM   #4
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Well if it's Android based that puts it ahead in the game imo. With Google's backing android will develop quickly and have a large number of features constantly added.

Amazon have a team of competent software developers, but they can't match the skills and resources brought to the table by google and deployed with android.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:21 PM   #5
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It looks like B&N has certainly raised the bar. I am very interested in seeing what others will do. Amazon and Sony are among the leaders of the pack in offering cludgy firmware on unsophisticated underpowered ugly hardware to what they consider tech non-savvy book worms, and I for one resent it. Of all of the readers I’ve seen, only software readers that run on other platforms e.g. PCs, PDAs, SmartPhones, etc have any degree of sophistication at all.

This Android based device is exciting, but I can’t help but think there is much more to be offered in the run up to Christmas. Then comes the after Christmas lessons learned period. What sold and what didn’t.

I have two dedicated readers and several devices that can be used as readers, I think I’ll just bide my tome and see what develops.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #6
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I think I’ll just bide my tome and see what develops.
Is that an intentional pun or just a serendipitous miskey?
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:32 PM   #7
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I don't see how the reader OS makes one whit of difference. I don't even see why anyone is getting excited about it.

Anything written for Android would likely need some serious rewrites for the dual screens, one of which is eInk. The Kindle runs off of Linux; some wag even got his Kindle to run a straight Linux OS install. So it's not like there's a total dearth of possible developers or apps.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
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Is that an intentional pun or just a serendipitous miskey?
I'd like to claim it, but alas, t'was only a typo!
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:06 PM   #9
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It looks like B&N has certainly raised the bar. I am very interested in seeing what others will do.
As am I, though Sony's track record is somewhat skewed. Yes, their PS3 had some open functionality (parts of it are an open linux distro to my knowledge), but the core functionality was still closed off and they have some serious protection in place against custom software that wants to utilize the full potential of said hardware. The PRS-505 was modded easily enough, but the PRS-600 firmware in turn is completely inaccessible.

Will they listen to the requests of personal software developers? I doubt it - after all, it was Sony a few years ago that installed rootkits when you used their music, with the excuse that "most users would not even know what a rootkit is anyway".

Of course, with all the DRM restrictions etcetera Amazon has put up I would be mildly surprised if they thought differently on 'open' soft- or hardware. We'll see
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:44 PM   #10
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Will they listen to the requests of personal software developers? I doubt it - after all, it was Sony a few years ago that installed rootkits when you used their music, with the excuse that "most users would not even know what a rootkit is anyway".
Sony music. The other parts of Sony are far less dumb, and have far better corperate citizen and openess records.
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Old 10-21-2009, 11:05 PM   #11
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i think i would also want to give those readers a try too.

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Old 10-22-2009, 12:01 AM   #12
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Sony music. The other parts of Sony are far less dumb, and have far better corperate citizen and openess records.
While I agree that Sony is like a huge octopus, and you can't necessarily blame all of Sony for one extraordinarily massive blunderbuss of an error, I don't see their record as consistently open. They're rather fond of proprietary formats, format wars (2 major ones in fact), DRM, copyright, home-grown devices (Memory Stick™ and Minidisc™ anyone?) etc. As far as I can tell, the extent of their "openness" is tolerating Linux on the PS3 and releasing a handful of niche video open source tools... in 2009.

Not that the competition is any better in this respect, of course. Heck, B&N has been in the ebook business for what 3 months, and has already introduced two new DRM'ed formats, one of which was a completely proprietary format, correct?
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:19 AM   #13
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More than 2. VHS vs Beta, and the camcorder 8mm vs VHSC, Digital Audio Tape vs Digital Compact Cassette vs Minidisk (Sony had both DAT and Minidisk in that war), MultiMedia Compact Disc vs Super Density CD, which later rolled into VideoCD vs DVD, AudioDVD vs SuperAudioCD, MemoryStick vs SD and the other flash media, of course Bluray vs HD-DVD. Those eight are just the format wars Sony has participated that I can think of off the top of my head.
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:50 AM   #14
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I think I want one of these readers
funny you say that because i'm thinking the complete opposite. I might cancel my preorder and get a kindle because their ebook prices are so much cheaper.
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Old 10-22-2009, 02:27 AM   #15
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Hm, Kindle (Amazon store)... or virtually every store out there (ePuB). Also, looking at books other than the bestsellers, I'm not seeing things nearly as favourable for the Kindle.

Hellmark - And a lot of those were not only Sony-developed, some were standards...

KaliYuga - Er...I think you're taking one example I gave and saying that's all they've done. They've used quite a Linux quite a few times in their devices, and have been very good about observing the GPL (except, again, for Sony Music). Then there's Collada 3D, Sony Ericson's leadership of Symbian and push for uising Android, the open-source libraries for the Cell chips, their embracing of ePub... and much more. They've done a lot you're apparently not aware of.

Last edited by DawnFalcon; 10-22-2009 at 02:33 AM.
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