Barnes and Noble's Nook Color is an interesting device, albeit rocking an older version of Android (version 2.1) that might be holding the eReader back. Come January, B&N will give its newest Nook a makeover with Android 2.2, Smartphonemag.com reports.
"I spoke today with a Barnes and Noble representative who showed me the forthcoming update on his company Nook which is slated for this January," Smartphonemag.com's Steve Green writes. "The 2.2 Android update is a game changer and literally turns the eReader into a near full Android tablet device."
According to Green, Android 2.2 gives the Nook Color a boost in both performance and battery life, though he notes "the graphics performance still seemed sluggish even with 2.2 when scrolling through magazines and webpages." The upcoming Android update will also usher in a revamped Android Market, though it's still up in the air whether or not the Nook Color will have access to it.
As expected, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Color today at their event in New York. The device ditches the eInk monochrome screen used by the Amazon Kindle and regular Nook. In its place is a 7-inch IPS color touchscreen. The resolution is a very reasonable 1024x600, and it will come with a special anti-glare film. There is also Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, and no 3G right now.
This device is utilizing more elements of the underlying Android system, but it is thoroughly skinned. It is clear this is a reader first and foremost. But users will have access to music, the browser, social networking, and a few select apps like Pandora. Since this is significantly different from the stock Android platform, developers looking to get their apps on the platform will have to use a Barnes & Noble supplied SDK.
The Nook Color will sell for $249 when it comes out on November 19. The bookseller is looking to get people reading magazines and newspaper on this device, in addition to regular books. Barnes & Noble may be calling this part tablet and part reader, but they may find that it isn't good enough at being either. Do you think this device is going to succeed?