The Nook will have an eInk display, and a color touchscreen below the main display. This may have something to do with the price. The new device will also have an, as yet unspecified, wireless connection for downloading books. Apparently the Nook will allow users to, “lend eBooks to friends”. If true, this could be a killer app. With the Kindle having solid control of 60% of the market, the Nook will need all the differentiation it can get. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to get all the deatils. So... interested?
Spring Design unveiled an Android power eReader device dubbed “Alex,” today. The new eReader is powered by Google’s Android OS, features dual screens (!), SD card reader and a Wifi/3G network connection.
There is no question the most unique feature of “Alex” is its multiple screens. It features a 6 inch monochrome display optimized for reading text. However, it also features a color 3.5 inch display allowing the user to simultaneously browse other content. The two screens have been optimized to work together.
"Users can capture and cache web content from their online experience on the LCD screen, and toggle to view it on the EPD screen without taxing the battery life," explained Spring Design CEO Dr. Priscilla Lu. "Browser features such as bookmarking, history, and security settings are built in, and the device with full Android browsing capability, is mobile enabled with smart phones capabilities."
Spring Design is currently shopping for content providers and hopes to be shipping the device before the end of 2009.
Fresh from the rumor mill comes word that Barnes and Noble’s upcoming eReader may be running Android. This would certainly be a nice change of pace from the fairly low-power operating environments in other eBook readers.
Android seems like a great fit for eBook readers. It already has built-in support for wireless technology, and being open-source, a custom eReader interface could easily be added on top of Android. There could even be eReader specific apps in the Android Market. Not to mention, the modding possibilities are endless. This could mean a much more open environment than the tightly controlled Kindle model Amazon has gone with. Even if it isn’t so out of the box, it is Android. Someone will come along and hack it.
Barnes and Noble has released apps for both iPhone and Blackberry, but not Android. Perhaps this is why. The mysterious eReader may be announced next month, so we could know the truth soon.
In the last few weeks, competition in the eBook market has heated up. Sony has announced new eReaders at competitive prices. Amazon has also cut the price of the Kindle slightly, while introducing an international version with GSM 3G data. These developments, along with the increased media awareness of eReaders caused Forrester to make their predictions.
Forrester also expects next year to be even better for eReaders. The Barnes & Noble backed iRex 800 will be an additional challenge to Amazon’s dominant Kindle. If Apple’s tablet ever materializes, and is a decent platform for reading books, it may also have an effect. With this rapid growth, you might as well just pack up your paper books now. Who wants to read books made from dead trees anyway?
For some time now Barnes & Noble has been a WiFi hotspot for hipsters with ironic t-shirts all across the nation, however these hipsters have had to create accounts and pay in order to reap the benefits. But, thanks to a recent desire to push a fledgling online bookstore, the prices and account requirements have been lifted.
Barnes & Noble struck a deal with AT&T to provide free Internet access to those within their walls, all thanks to an online bookstore that they hope will compete with Amazon. They’re so confident, in fact, that they’re in the process of developing a reader of their own (currently in development with Plastic Logic).
Barnes & Noble is boasting that their eBookstore is launching with 700,000 titles (500,000 of which were public domain offerings from Google), compared to Amazon’s launch catalog of 300,000 volumes.
Should you find yourself in a Barnes & Noble enjoying the free WiFi, feel free to check out the online bookstore here. Or, if you’d prefer, continue to spend time with us. We prefer the latter.