The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

Category: Nook

Barnes & Noble to announce new eReader on May 24


Barnes & Noble is set to announce a new eReader on May 24, according to a regulatory filing from the company.

"In a meeting with investor analysts on May 4, 2011, Barnes & Noble, Inc. ... indicated it expects to make an announcement on May 24, 2011 regarding the launch of a new eReader device," Barnes & Noble said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The bookseller and eReader maker didn't detail what the new device would be called, cost or look like.

But so far, Barnes & Noble's two eReaders have been called the Nook and Nook Color. The Nook, which sells for $149, features 2 GB of memory and a 6-inch eInk screen similar to that of the rivals Amazon Kindle eReader and Sony Reader.

The Nook Color has a 7-inch color touchscreen, 8 GB of storage space, runs on a limited version of Google's Android operating system and sells for $249.

Last month, Barnes & Noble released an update to the Nook Color that pushed it more in the direction of tablets, adding its own app store with games such as Angry Birds, a native email app and a Nook Friends social network, which allows users to see what their friends are reading, check out book reviews, loan or borrow eBooks, share how far along in a book they are and recommend titles to friends.


Nook Color gets Angry Birds, Nook Friends social network

Barnes & Noble says e-books outsell physical books online

E-book sales triple from a year ago, now top-selling book format

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: A Nook Color and Nook eReader side by side. Credit: Northeast Kansas Library System

Nook Color Android update adds Angry Birds, Nook Friends social network


Barnes & Noble's Nook Color gained a few new features on Monday that push the device more into the classification of a tablet computer and not simply another e-reader.

Among the additions is a store for buying applications, which Barnes & Noble is calling Nook Apps; apps for email, calendars and contacts; support for Adobe Air and Flash; and a new Nook social networking app.

One thing that isn't changing, however, is the price -- $249 for the 7-inch touch-screen device, which features 8GB of storage.

The updates come as the Nook Color is being switched over to a newer version of Google's Android operating system, called Froyo. Unlike the Honeycomb software, which was designed specifically to run on tablets, Froyo was designed for phones but is on many tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

But while the Nook Color can now run Android Froyo, it won't be running all Android apps. Instead, Barnes & Noble is asking developers to optimize their apps for the Nook Color and submit them through the Nook Apps store, rather than simply allowing users to download apps from the Android Market.

As of Monday, 125 apps were available in the Nook Apps store, including Angry Birds, one of the more popular games available on tablets and smartphones nowadays. Other apps include Pandora Internet radio, the game Uno, the cooking app Epicurious and the as-seen-on-iPad news app Pulse.

Barnes & Noble is also taking a stab at building its own social network among Nook users called Nook Friends.

Using a Nook Friends app, Nook users can see what their friends are reading, read reviews of books, loan books to each other, share quotes from a book, list their progress in a book and recommend a title to a buddy.

In another nod to social networking, Nook users can now "like" titles in the device's bookstore app, with the liking showing up on a person's Facebook page.

The Nook Color updates, which are free, are being pushed to users via Wi-Fi beginning this week or available for manual download at


Amazon Kindle to open up to library lending

Barnes & Noble says e-books outsell physical books online

E-book sales triple from a year ago, now top-selling book format

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: Angry Birds running on a Nook Color tablet from Barnes & Noble. Credit: Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble starts NookColor e-reader shipments early

Nookcolor Barnes & Noble is starting shipments of its NookColor e-reader device ahead of schedule as pre-orders flood in, the world's largest bookseller said Tuesday.

The company will start filling orders for the tablet, which features a 7-inch VividView color touchscreen and Wi-Fi Web browsing, on Tuesday. Shoppers who pre-ordered the product in stores and online should expect to receive it throughout the week.

Demonstration units will be available in most stores, the company said. A small number of the $249 devices will be available for sale at Barnes & Noble stores and also at retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Books-A-Million.

Barnes & Noble revealed the NookColor, a competitor to's Kindle, late last month. The tablet has already become the company's bestselling product, Barnes & Noble said.

The device will ship around Nov. 26 for customers ordering this week, the company said. The bookseller is also announcing a "major update" on the Nook 3G and Nook Wi-Fi readers next week.


Want to see the new full-color Nook?

Barnes & Noble shares soar on sale speculation

Amazon's new low-price Kindle raises stakes in e-reader wars

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo credit: Michael Nagle / Getty Images

Kindle drops to $189, Nook to $199 as Amazon, Barnes & Noble slash prices

E-reader competitors Inc. and Barnes & Noble Inc. collectively slashed the prices of their digital reading devices on Monday, exchanging blows in a price war that is making the devices more affordable.

Amazon's popular Kindle will now retail for $189, down from $259, while the Nook dropped to $199 from $260.

Barnes & Noble also introduced a lower cost WiFi Nook for $150.  Because the device does not work on a 3G cellular network, as its more expensive sibling does, users must be near an accessible WiFi connection to download books from the online store.

The companies are both battling against Apple's more expensive iPad tablet computer, which boasts a large, touch-sensitive color screen. The iPad starts at $499 for a WiFi only version. The 3G iPad starts at $629, plus a monthly data plan.

-- David Sarno

A look at the newest digital reader: A pro's take on the Barnes & Noble Nook

Barnes & Noble recently began shipping its Nook digital book reader. It was promptly trounced by reviewers, who have savaged it as "extremely sluggish" and "half-baked."

With no dearth of media reviews for the Nook, we instead turned to Garth Conboy, president of eBook Technologies, a La Jolla, Calif., consulting firm that specializes in digital readers.

Conboy has worked with e-readers for more than decade, having been vice president of software engineering in the late 1990s for SoftBook Press, the creator of one of the first dedicated e-book devices. He even co-owns several patents for e-book inventions.

Asking a grizzled veteran for his opinion risks several outcomes. For instance, they may be tough to impress, because they've "seen it all before." Or they understand how difficult the task is and may be more willing to forgive faults than the average gadget reviewer.

How does Conboy treat the Nook? You can watch his take on the device in the video above to find out.

-- Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.

Barnes & Noble's nook digital book reader to let users lend titles to their friends

Nook_one hand view
The $259 nook digital book reader. Credit: Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble Inc., looking ahead to the next chapter in digital publishing, this afternoon took the wraps off an electronic book reader, dubbed "nook." 

Anyone who has read Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish" will recall Theodor Geisel's Nook who took a look at the book on a hook. For Barnes & Noble's $259 device, the hook is its ability to let users lend their books to their friends for up to 14 days at a time. Using the LendMe feature, nook owners can send a copy of their digital titles to their friends' iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry or computer.

The second hook: The nook marries a gray-scale E Ink screen, which is standard with other digital readers such as the Sony Reader or the Kindle, with a separate color touch screen below the E Ink display (see photo to the right). As with the Kindle and the upcoming Sony Daily Edition, nook lets shoppers browse and buy books, newspapers and magazines wirelessly, and without a computer, by hopping on AT&T's cellular phone network.

The New York bookseller said it would start distributing the device in November (free shipping if ordered from the company's online store).

Barnes & Noble, which operates more than 777 stores in the U.S., in July re-launched its online bookstore, which carried 700,000 digital titles.

-- Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.


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Andrea Chang
Armand Emamdjomeh
Jessica Guynn
Jon Healey
W.J. Hennigan
Tiffany Hsu
Deborah Netburn
Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Alex Pham
David Sarno