The Nook is getting a makeover courtesy of Samsung
Talk of tablets rarely falls on the Nook, which fair or not has been largely overshadowed by competing slates. Looking to change that, Barnes and Noble has teamed up with Samsung to develop co-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets featuring B&N's digital reading experience. The new device will mesh Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4 hardware with customized Nook software.
As 2013 came and went, there was nary a new Nook tablet in sight. It would be easy to assume Barnes and Noble had given up on tablet hardware, but apparently that's not the case. Instead, Barnes and Noble confirmed it's planning to release a new Nook model sometime this year, though details are sparse -- about the only thing we know is that it's going to be a color device (tablet) as opposed to a black and white model (e-reader).
There's nothing wrong with owning a Nook, though if you've outgrown the custom OS and want to transform it into a standard Android tablet, you have options, one of them being a Nook-to-Android (N2A) card. Even better, the N2A team just updated its software to Android 4.4 KitKat, which is the latest version of Google's open source mobile operating system currently available.
It's not easy being a mother, that's something every human on the planet can agree with, regardless of gender. She's the one who put Band-Aids on boo-boos as opposed to dad who would just tell you to man up (again, regardless of gender) and rub some dirt in it. She's the one who sewed up your tattered Star Wars blanket long after it had seen better days, and she's the one who couldn't sit and relax for an evening to watch a recorded movie because you broke the VCR by shoving toys and peanut butter sandwiches inside.
Barnes & Noble welcomes Google back into their version of Android.
Barnes & Noble knows that the Nook is in an awkward position these days. The company’s name has become synonymous with bad news, and getting users to buy into their ecosystem is becoming increasingly tricky. Nobody wants to buy a dedicated tablet from a company that might not be around this time next year. This could help explain the disappointing sales the company has experienced as of late, but at least they finally have a plan. In a free update, B&N is adding Google Play to the Nook HD and Nook HD+, instantly making them viable platforms.
The tablet market is a pretty cut throat place to be these days. On the high end Apple simply dominates with the iPad, on the middle ground Google’s new Nexus line carefully appeals to those with a strong sense of price vs. performance, and Amazon fills out the low end. This isn’t to say Amazon’s tablet offerings aren’t well spec’d, but simply put, they aren’t worth the investment if you aren’t willing to commit to Amazon’s content ecosystem. Barnes & Noble has found itself awkwardly positioned against the competition these days, and are likely hoping a price cut on its older tablet lineup will help set them apart.
At this point, Barnes & Noble isn't fashionably late to the streaming video party, it's just downright late. Better late than never, though, right? Along that line of thinking, B&N today announced its Nook Video service, which will premier sometime this fall. B&N already has movies and TV shows lined up from major studios, including HBO, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, STARZ, Viacom, and Warner Bros. Entertainment, to name a few. The service will also stream select Disney titles, the company said.
They won’t come right out and say it, but a recent price cut on the Nook Tablet family can only mean one thing, Nexus 7’s are back in stock. The Barnes and Noble devices aren’t even close to being the best Android tablet option out there these days, however for those invested in the B&N platform they are still a very capable device. Additionally, if reading is going to be your primary use for a tablet, these budget devices will fit the bill quite nicely.
Your friendly neighborhood Target store is getting ready to give Amazon a brick-and-mortar sized wedgie as it tosses the e-tailer's entire Kindle line right out of its stores. Even Amazon's Kindle Fire, Target's top selling tablet device on Black Friday last year, will be extinguished from Target's chain of stores, and it appears it's all due to a conflict of interest with Barnes & Noble and its Nook line.
Print media hasn't fared super well in the face of digital distribution. Turns out, a lot of people prefer live pixels to dead trees. So what's a company like Barnes & Noble -- with serious cash invested in both brick-and-mortar stores and the digital Nook ecosystem -- supposed to do in this new era of reading? The answer, apparently, lies in spinning off the Nook into an entirely new subsidiary company -- and giving Microsoft a 17.6 percent stake in the fresh venture. B&N did just that this morning.