April 25, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The Barnes & Noble Nook Color launched as an ereader with tablet-like features. Enterprising Android users eventually rooted the device and brought up to tablet pedigree a little higher, but the vast majority of Nook Color owners probably have no clue that’s even an option.
Barnes & Noble announced today that it’s aiming to make the Nook Color “the best tablet value on the market at just $249,” by launching Android 2.2 and Nook Apps in a new update. These new apps add gaming options like Angry Birds and Uno, a great visual RSS reader in Pulse, and even get new cooking ideas with the Epicurious app. There are plenty of apps available for free, but B&N says that half of the paid apps are available for $2.99 or less, with the “vast majority” of titles coming in at less than $5.99.
The latest update also upgrades Nook Color to Android 2.2, which offers a better browser, improved performance, and the inclusion of Adobe Flash Player. These features and apps will be available through an update that will arrive over the air next week. However, you can download the Nook Color update right now and follow the instructions to update your phone. Here’s what else is new:
- NOOK Color now helps customers stay connected with the full-featured free NOOK Email application built in to organize Web mail accounts in one inbox.
- Surfing the Web is even better with the ability to easily switch between larger desktop or mobile Web experiences and enhanced pinch and zoom.
- Designed for people who love to read everything in rich color, NOOK Color now has even more engaging and rich content, plus a sliding page turn animation, requested by customers. Easily access personal files transferred to NOOK Color on your customized Home screen.
- Watch that appetizing recipe being made step-by-step or learn how to perfect yoga poses with embedded video and audio in cookbooks, health and fitness, biography, photography and travel books, along with other interactive content on NOOK Color.
- Dozens more favorite magazines and newspapers are now available on NOOK Color
The inclusion of apps opens up the Nook Color to several features previously unavailable. I originally called the Nook Color a great ereader and a so-so tablet because the performance simply didn’t stack-up against other options when it came to consuming media, browsing the web, playing games, or doing anything other than read books, which the Nook Color does exceptionally well. The Nook Color is still trailing all other major tablet options, but at $249, it may do just enough for people to seriously consider it for a basic tablet.