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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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New Kindle Lineup to Debut September 6?

Amazon has a big media even scheduled for September 6th.  Speculation points to the debut of this year’s Kindle refresh.  The new lineup could include a larger Kindle Fire, and updated version of the current model, and backlit e-ink Kindles.

The Kindle Fire has some serious competition now from Google’s Nexus 7,  the rumored iPad Mini, and the Nook Color and Nook Tablet.  One of the keys to the Kindle Fire’s success last year was price, and the competitors have recognized that.  So, what will be this year’s big idea that will cause the Fire to leapfrog over its competitors?

A larger Kindle Fire can undercut the iPad in price, and Amazon has the means to make a good quality tablet.  We’ve seen a lot of attempts to dethrone the iPad, but no one has really come close, yet.

Amazon has a robust collection of books, apps and videos, plus the Prime perks, Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, Prime Instant Video, and a free app a day from the appstore.  Good covers could be key: one with a keyboard built in, or one that can help boost battery life.

Moving on to the e-ink Kindles.  The biggest upgrade this year will be the backlight.  This is pretty much a given because of the release of the backlit Nook earlier this year.  I am really excited about this development because I will be able to read comfortably in all lighting conditions.  No need to worry about carrying around external light attachments.  Preserving the long lasting battery life will pose a challenge, however.

The Kindle Touch is currently available to purchase from Amazon directly.  So, that is a clue that something new is coming.  The Kindle Touch should see an update in touch interface quality.  By that I mean smoother navigation and page turns without previous page remnants.

So, the lineup should look like this:

Kindle Fire: 7 inch and 10 inch models, which older version at reduced price

E-ink Kindles: Lighted version of the Kindle Touch and basic model.

Older models: Selling at a reduced price until inventory runs out.

There will most likely be 3G and wi-fi only options, as well as models with or without special offers. This lineup should appeal to the broadest audience possible, remain competitive across the board price wise, and stay on top of the competition in terms of features and accessories.

Stay tuned.  It will be a wild couple of weeks.

 

 

Nook Simple Touch and Color go on sale for Mother’s Day

The ranks are closing in on Amazon and the Kindle.  Barnes & Noble is currently holding a Mother”s Day Sale on the Nook Simple Touch basic model, and the Nook Color.  This is apparently a push on its the less popular models.  The sale ends May 12.

Most e-reader fans are more intrigued by the new Nook GlowLight and the Nook Tablet.  The GlowLight includes a cool, more readable light that enables readers to still read at night comfortably.  It doesn’t cause eye strain or suck up battery life like the LCD tablets do.

So the sale brings the Nook Simple Touch down to $79, and the Nook Color down to $149.  Both $20 less than they are normally.

I don’t really see these models as a huge threat to their Kindle counterparts, however, I do think that the Nook Simple Touch at $79 is a better deal than the $79 Kindle, which is not touch screen.

The Kindle Fire is also in more direct competition with the Nook Tablet than the Nook Color.  Refurbished Kindle Fires go for $139 occasionally.  These offers go quickly, so you have to watch closely, or you’ll miss them.

So, in short, if you’re looking for a bargain and a good gift idea for Mother’s Day, this is a good option to consider.

Barnes & Noble has really ramped up the competition with a backing from Microsoft and with the introduction of a Nook with a built in light.  So, it will be interesting to see how Amazon responds.

The leapfrogging between Amazon and its competitors is likely to happen again this year.  Usually the Kindle competitors start the new trend of the year, and Amazon picks up on it, and makes an even better product with it.  Amazon will come up with its own GlowLight Kindle, and I’m sure this year’s refresh of the whole Kindle line up will go at the price to beat.

 

Kindle Fire was Top Selling Item on Amazon This Holiday Season

It shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, but the Kindle Fire took the top spot as the bestselling, wished for, and gifted item on Amazon.  Right behind the new Kindle tablet were the Kindle Touch, and regular Kindle.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN)  is keeping quiet about exact numbers, but reports are going around that they hit around the 4-5 million mark.  Around a million Kindles were sold each week in December.  The prices are said to be one of the biggest reasons for the record breaking sales figures.

In addition to the Kindles themselves, sales of accessories and apps got a big boost.

With all that said, the holidays are now over, and we’re firmly into 2012.  2011 was the year of the tablet, and 2012 will most likely continue that trend.

I think the Kindle Fire will continue to be very successful.  Reviews went up after Amazon released the update that improved navigation.  Amazon is good at listening to its consumers, so more improvements are sure to come.

I think that the tablet market has already and will continue to split.  The Kindle Fire is much smaller than the iPad and is geared for consumers who want a multifunctional, portable tablet without too many bells and whistles.  All tablets will compete for the market share, and the Kindle Fire has definitely taken a hit at the iPad’s sales.  However, the direct competition for the iPad is projected to be the new Asus Eee Transformer Prime.

The reason for this is that the Prime and the iPad have much more powerful processors, and can be used as a makeshift laptop.  They are both compatible with external keyboards.  The decision on what tablet to buy simply depends on what you want to use it for, and how much you’re willing to pay.

There are rumors about a bigger Kindle Fire, and smaller iPad in the works, but any concrete details on them are yet to be seen.

Tablets in general has a solid foothold in the market, and now it is just a matter of seeing how they will continue to develop competition and feature wise.

 

Nook Tablet’s Larger Storage Offers Less Than Kindle Fire

In the eyes of many, the Kindle Fire didn’t have much of a chance of competing with Apple’s technically superior iPad tablet.  That remains to be seen in the longer term, of course, but for now it’s all just speculation.  Regardless, this shifts the focus of people watching for active competition to the Kindle vs Nook battle.  They have been ongoing rivals in the eReader world, of course, and now they both offer budget priced tablets that will do a lot more than help you read.

On paper the Nook Tablet is quite possibly the better device.  It has the same processing power, more RAM, and most importantly twice the local storage of the Kindle Fire.  This last alone was enough to get many people to declare it a clear winner before either device hit shelves.  Now that we can use them both side by side, the situation has drastically changed.

The Nook Tablet, despite having 16GB of storage space (~12GB available to users), severely restricts what users are able to do with that space.  To such a degree that the idea of purchasing the device as a video player without the intention of rooting it is fairly laughable.  Users will find that Barnes & Noble has chosen to allow a mere 1GB of storage for the loading of outside content.  While the remainder can be filled by anything B&N sells, the fact of the matter is that right now they don’t offer nearly enough content to justify the choice.

There is not, for example, a video store for the Nook Tablet.  Neither is there an MP3 service.  You can, of course, access services like Netflix or Pandora for all your media consumption needs, but should you desire to watch or listen to things that you yourself own already then chances are good there is a problem.  Basically the only thing available in any quantity besides apps, and the scarcity of Nook apps is another complaint to address at another time, is reading material.  It simply does not justify this.

While I think that anybody would agree that the Kindle Fire‘s 8GB on-board storage is one of its weak points, Amazon at least manages to expand your options.  Sure you might have trouble loading everything that you want onto the device at once, but you can always stream it or store in their provided cloud storage until it is needed.  This is in addition to also offering equally functional access to Netflix, Pandora, and basically everything else that the Nook Tablet is using to make up for its lack of media store integration.

What probably should have been a clear win for B&N has turned their device into a joke for many prospective buyers.  We can hope that as time goes on this will be changed via a software update of some sort since the Nook Tablet is honestly a decent piece of hardware for just $250.  It is ridiculous that to get any decent amount of storage space a new user should feel compelled to purchase a memory card when the drive is just sitting there more than half empty.

Kindle vs Nook: DC Debacle Spurs B&N To Dumb Move

It’s no real secret that Barnes & Noble has quickly come to depend on their Nook eReader line, which by extension means it isn’t really too surprising that they might overreact when that is threatened.  A recent spat with DC Comics over a limited term of Kindle Fire eComic distribution exclusivity for a segment of the publisher’s current titles has resulted in just such an overreaction, though, and their failure to see the mistake may well provide difficulties going forward.

The underlying complaint on the part of Barnes & Noble is that DC has had the audacity to offer eReader exclusivity on 100 or so titles to Amazon as a temporary means for Amazon to promote the Kindle Fire.  While there is no information yet, to the best of my knowledge, as to how long this deal will remain in place, both DC and Amazon have acknowledged that it is not intended to necessarily be a long term arrangement.

As a result, Barnes & Noble has pulled all DC titles from their stores.  This includes every physical copy of the Amazon digital exclusives from DC Comics.  No notice was given to customers initially, simply a blanket email to all stores requiring them to remove the books.  To pull the gist of the eventual published statement from the Brick & Mortar book giant: “Regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format.[...]To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms, and not have the eBook available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.”

On the surface, one has to applaud the effort.  Maybe this was an instance of Amazon throwing their weight around that required a significant response from a major retailer to help publishers see that such behavior is unacceptable.  That sentiment lasts right up until the realization that at this time Barnes & Noble does not in any way offer electronic comic publications.

The chain has decided that they are so dedicated to the principal on this issue that they are willing to turn away customers at the door rather than allow Amazon’s Kindle Fire access to something the Nook Color has not even tried to exploit after a year on the market.  Now not only with B&N customers not be able to download their comics, they can’t get physical copies except through the B&N website.  Stores have even been instructed to turn away special orders.  No copy will be allowed to enter the store, no matter how much you want to give your money to Barnes & Noble.

In the end, I see this hurting nobody but B&N, their customers, and the creators of the works in question.  Nobody wins but Amazon and customers have one more reason to avoid dealing with anybody else.  While this could have been quickly remedied with a quiet apology for initial overreaction, there is no excuse for letting it continue and treating customers this poorly, especially at a time when they are faced with a superior competing product.

Barnes & Noble Targets Kindle Fire With New Nook Tablet

With the Kindle Fire making such an impression on the Tablet PC marketplace, Barnes & Noble has been placed in a tough spot.  They are quickly coming to rely on their Nook product line and such a thorough triumph over their popular Nook Color would certainly be a tough blow to take.  They had to either put out something big or be left behind.  Fortunately, they’ve managed to come up with an answer.

The new Nook Tablet (that’s it’s name, not a generic designation) amounts to basically a point by point comparison to the Kindle Fire and may go a fair way toward explaining some of the popular bookseller’s more unexpected moves lately.  Here’s what we know so far:

Specs:

Display: 7″ VividView IPS LCD Multi- Touch
1024 x 600, 169 PPI
Processor: 1GB Dual-Core TI OMAP4 Processor
Memory: 1GB
Storage: 16GB Internal (~12GB Available)
Expandable Storage Slot via microSD Up To 32GB
Free Cloud Storage via Nook Cloud
Audio: Stereo Speakers w/ Mic
Dimensions: 8.1″ x 5.0″ x 0.48″
Weight: 14.1 ounces
Battery Life: Up To 11.5 Hours Reading
Up To 9 Hours Video Playback
3 Hour Charge Time
Bundled Apps: Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and More
Price: $249
Release Date: 11 / 18 / 2011

Selling Points

Sounds a lot like the Kindle Fire, even if it looks identical to the existing Nook Color.  It might be 25% more expensive, but for that money you get a device that’s lighter, faster, and holds more.  Sounds great, right?  The differences are not extreme.  You save about half an ounce in terms of weight, 6GB of usable internal storage space, and a bit more RAM.  Even the advertised battery life is just slightly better, offering perhaps 90 minutes more video playback time under ideal circumstances.

What Amazon has been pushing, however, is the media.  Barnes & Noble has not been able to offer comparable content so far for their Nook Color’s App Store, so it was important that they be able to bring something to the table here.  Bundling with Hulu and Netflix will go a long way toward making up for the lack of an integrated video store, of course.  That was the whole point of pushing them, despite the fact that they will also be available for the Kindle.  The bookstore is obviously pretty good already, and they’ve been at the color eBooks game a bit longer than Amazon so hopefully they have a good grasp on things there.  Even music is covered thanks to Pandora and other similar services.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is the idea of Nook Cloud Storage.  We don’t have many details on that yet, but it accomplishes another aspect of the Amazon comparison in a vague fashion.  Chances are good that this will not be available for anything besides content purchased through B&N, but that is just speculation so far.

Barnes & Noble is claiming to have a screen superior to that on the Kindle Fire.  It is honestly hard to assess right now since they’re somewhat invested in the comparison.  It might be advisable to reserve judgement on that point until a side by side comparison can be arranged.

They are also making a big deal out of their new Nook Comics line.  This could explain a great deal of why they got so dramatically and publicly upset over DC Comics forming an exclusive deal of any sort with Amazon in preparation for the Kindle Fire launch.  B&N is now boasting the largest collection of digital Marvel comics brought together so far for a single device.  It’s an accomplishment, though there is no notice of exclusivity and therefore no reason to believe this will be a major factor moving forward.

Probably drawing on the same sort of technology that allows for those comics, though, is a new Nook Book category called PagePerfect.  Going off of what information is currently around, this is less an imitation of the new Kindle Format 8 and more a proprietary PDF imitation.  Static formatting, zooming, scrolling, etc.  The only obvious difference is that Adobe isn’t involved.

 Which To Buy

Now that we have a couple of competing budget media tablets to choose from, which is worth the money?  It depends on your needs.  The Nook Color, and by extension the new Nook Tablet since it is just a more powerful version of the same, is primarily an eReader.  Barnes & Noble has done a fairly good job of shoring up their shortcomings by bringing in excellent integration with other content providers, there is no substitute for direct support and every reason to believe that those same providers will be serving up media to Kindle Fire customers as well.

The price is a bit off-putting, now that we’re talking about tablets cheap enough for $50 to make a big difference, but you do admittedly get more power for the price.  While claims about the screen quality remain unproven, the extra RAM will make a difference and additional on-board storage will be a big deal for some.

As usual, which device you go for will depend on your needs as a consumer.  At this point it seems that Amazon is offering a clearly superior library of media to choose from, especially if you take all types of media together. They’ve also done a great job, by most preliminary accounts, of customizing and streamlining their Android Fork to make the Kindle Fire both look unique and perform more impressively than its specs might indicate.

On the other hand, Barnes & Noble is offering what is arguably the better dollar to power ratio.  This will be most important for people wanting to root the device and just exploit its most basic hardware capabilities.  That might be a smaller percentage of the intended user base, but it is worth addressing.  The Nook Tablet also comes closer to offering a stock Android experience, for those who are concerned about potential privacy concerns related to Amazon’s Silk browser and other cloud based services.  They are also more focused on building up the color eReader market, and you can count on Barnes & Noble to maintain the eBook as their primary concern for the indefinite future.

The choice will be up to you and the distinctions are honestly fairly slight right now.  What is most important is that the Kindle Fire might have some valid competition after all.  Competition always leads to improvement.  Just look at how far the Nook Tablet is beyond the Nook Color.

Nook Color vs Kindle: Does B&N Still Have A Shot?

The Nook Color was not the first color eReader by any stretch of the imagination, for all it beat out the Kindles to that point.  Even if you exclude all of the PDAs, Blackberrys, and smartphone types of devices in general that gave the Microsoft LIT format a space to thrive in, there were others that came before.  Credit where credit is due, however, B&N created the first reading tablet that was worth owning.  Its value might just not come as much from the pure quality of reading experience as it could need to to remain competitive as an eReader.

Analysts have regularly indicated that the appeal of the Nook Color, for the average consumer, is in its ability to access magazines and casual games along the lines of the ever popular Angry Birds series.  The portability, full color display, and Android based operating system make it great for short periods of interaction and immersion, even if the screen is less than ideal for extended reading.  Now, with the release of the Kindle Fire, there is reason for Barnes & Noble to be concerned over their device’s future.

What it comes down to is a practically point by point feature trumping on Amazon’s part, plus a superior media distribution base to draw on in the areas where a tablet is most useful.  The points of comparison stand out a little bit when you consider the Nook Color’s superiorities over the Kindle 3 (Kindle Keyboard).

Kindle Keyboard Nook Color Kindle Fire
Display 6″ Monochrome E INK 7″ Color LCD 7″ Color LCD
Interface Keyboard & Directional Controls Capacitive Multitouch IR Multitouch
Dimensions 7.5″ x 4.8″ x 0.34″ 8.1″ x 5.0″ x .48″ 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″
Weight 8.5 Ounces 15.8 Ounces 14.6 Ounces
Battery Life 2 Months 8 Hours 8 Hours
Storage 4GB Internal 8GB Internal, Expandable Memory Slot 8GB Internal, Amazon Cloud Storage
Browsing Capabilities Basic HTML Experimental Full Browser w/ Flash Support Silk Browser w/ Flash Support
Price $99 – $139 $249 $199

That comparison is based on what features Barnes & Noble has chosen thus far to highlight on the device specs section of the Nook Color sales page, in an effort to present things fairly.  I’m ignoring the majority of software concerns, especially in terms of file type compatibility, since apps are theoretically able to make up for most any deficiency.  These would still, however, favor the new Kindle.  While the Nook Color is the only one of these with an expandable memory slot, which would seem incredibly useful to many users, this has proven a mixed blessing for the company since it provides people with a simple and effective way to bypass the Nook’s proprietary Android build.

Basically it appears that with the Kindle Fire Amazon has looked at what the competition was doing and improved on it.  No surprise, that’s what competing products are supposed to do.  They’ve essentially got a slightly smaller, slightly lighter 7″ tablet that they’re not hooked on the idea of presenting as an eReader.  Overall the technology behind the Kindle Fire is newer and more powerful in every way that matters and still comes in at a lower price for the end user.  The only real question now is what B&N does with this information.

We can take as a given that Barnes & Noble is not in a position to provide the same sort of robust media library that Amazon is bringing to customers.  Even if they were to start pulling in video streaming deals and other things along those lines to fill in the gaps, the time factor would be a problem.  What they can do is work to get Netflix, Hulu, or any number of other streaming services on-board as partners.  With Amazon poised to make a move into that market in a larger way than they have so far, it shouldn’t be too difficult.  It would mean giving up on potential media sales revenue, but it also eliminates the need to build up the infrastructure to support that media.  We know that rooted Nook Colors are able to access services like Netflix already, so it would only make sense to cash in on it given how easily root-able these devices have proven to be.

There is also the rumor of a new Nook Color that will bring hardware upgrades.  Now, this is pretty flimsy in spite of having seen posts declaring it would be released “any day now” since early September, but it could make a big difference to their presence in the device market.  While a price drop in the current Nook Color is a given, having a newer more powerful model available would work well whether it was a more expensive option or as an outright replacement.  In the former scenario it would highlight the fact of the low price point while providing options.  In the latter, there is room to hope that in some way the Kindle Fire will be inferior.  If the hardware option is going to make a difference, however, it needs to happen soon.  Once people start getting their hands on the Kindle Fire, barring major issues with them, the momentum is likely to increase leading into the holiday season.

What we do know is that the Nook line as a whole is pretty much the only part of Barnes & Noble that is growing right now.  They need to keep things going.  As a result, you can be sure that something is on the horizon to keep the situation competitive.  Tablet PCs just tend to be the most useful when it comes to things that aren’t reading, so it might take a bit of a shift for B&N to really make their presence known now that there are comparably priced options available.  Whether or not they manage remains to be seen, but hopes are high.  While the Nook Color has not been my favorite device personally, it did provide us with one of the first reasonably priced yet fully functional tablets almost by mistake (rooting is essential in a way that many are hoping will not be the case with the Kindle Fire).  It would be a shame to seem them fall aside now.

Barnes & Noble Already Prepping Kindle Fire Competition

Beginning just days before the press conference that revealed the Kindle Fire to the world, rumors started popping up that Barnes & Noble was nervously prepping their next tablet for a hurried launch to avoid getting shut out of the market.  Naturally they haven’t confirmed these rumors to any degree so far, but the latest reports indicate the potential for both a cheaper Nook Color hardware update and a larger, more powerful incarnation of the same at around $350.

For the past couple months, it’s been pretty great to be Barnes & Noble.  They’ve been selling one of the most functional affordable tablets on the market, almost by accident.  They’ve had what was honestly the best eReader in the US market in terms of performance and readability.  On top of this, Amazon spent months seeming to ignore the world of eReading hardware aside from vague hints.  It couldn’t last forever, but they got to make a big splash with no significant recently released competition.

At first glance Amazon has now got a huge advantage again, especially in terms of the Kindle Fire.  While the Nook Color brought a lot of function for comparatively little money, its main value has generally been in how easily rooted it is.  Barnes & Noble has added an internal app store that has gotten quite a bit better over time, but they have nothing quite as robust as the Amazon Android App Store nor do they have the ability to offer the same kind of end to end experience that the Kindle Fire is anticipated to provide.  Simply put, the emphasis on the Nook Color as specifically a color eReader might have backfired.

Since B&N is experiencing a great deal of its current success (what there is of it) from the Nook line, they cannot afford to not respond.  Fortunately, from the sound of things, there were plans in place.  The Nook Simple Touch eReader shouldn’t have any real problems just now.  It might be slightly more expensive than the cheapest of the Kindle Touch models coming up, but the technology is comparable and for now we have to assume that the experience will be generally similar.  What they’re worried about is the Tablet competition.

A new, larger, more powerful Nook Color, assuming rumors hold some basis in reality, will be either announced or released before the end of October at around $350. This, along with a hardware update to the existing Nook Color, would theoretically have a chance of bringing them back to the front of consumer perception again in time for the 2011 holiday season.

Admittedly we’re talking about theoretical hardware at the moment, so as with most of the Kindle Tablet speculation it has to be taken with a grain of salt.  Still, if they can bring hardware and content availability anywhere near to in line with what Amazon is offering with the Kindle Fire it would be great.  Just the announcement of a $200 tablet from Amazon has already changed hardware prices in the market significantly.  Real, effective competition among budget tablet providers can only be a good thing.

Barnes & Noble to Release New Kindle Competition

There has been a lot of speculation going around about the possibilities for the next generation of the Kindle competitive Nook eReader.  Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) announced quite recently that on May 24th 2011 we will be hearing all about their new eReading device.  Other than that, there’s little to go on so far.

The Kindle vs Nook competition has been an ongoing factor in the advancement of the eReading industry as a whole.  Amazon finds a way to extend the Kindle’s battery life, and B&N follows suit.  B&N brings a couple games to their eReader and now you can find bunches of even better ones in the Kindle Store.  It’s all about one-upsmanship.  Though there were obviously other factors involved this was a major force in driving eReader prices below the $150 in the first place.  It has only ever worked out to the benefit of the consumer.

These days, B&N has been concentrating on the Nook Color for a while now and as a result is pretty much out of the game.  The Nook Color is an amazing mini-tablet and can be a lot of fun.  It even has some definite advantages over the Kindle for particular uses.  It does not push things very well in a one on one feature comparison, however.

I’m hoping that this announcement addresses that with the first major update to the monochrome Nook’s hardware.  At the moment the Kindle is significantly lighter, easier to read on, faster, and has far better battery life.  The comparison definitely stands a bit one sided at the moment.  That said, it is hard to imagine where there is room for enough improvement to put a Nook product back on top.  The shortcomings of the Kindle, such as they are, have more to do with the software end than the hardware these days.

It is more likely that we’ll be seeing an update to the Nook Color.  The most recent software update for that device has made it capable of taking on the iPad in a limited sort of way, opening it up to a large variety of apps and drastically improved functionality.  The whole Nook Color endeavor has been such a success for B&N that it seems difficult to imagine that they won’t seize the chance to capitalize on the success with a boost to the somewhat underpowered hardware.

There is a lot of money to be made in digital content beyond the eBook and with Amazon seemingly poised to drop their own Tablet PC by the end of the year, now is the time for Barnes & Noble to get the jump on a serious entry into the marketplace.  Who knows, we might even end up getting the first color eReader with an E Ink screen from them?  Even without that, if they can keep the price down enough it will be a big hit.

Nook Color Firmware Update Moves it from Kindle Competitor to iPad Competitor

Recent news regarding the Nook Color‘s new features should go a long way toward illustrating the direction that the mini-tablet is likely to take in the near future.  While many have never viewed it as serious eReader competition for the Kindle, this seemed to be the hope that Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) had for the device.  It seems they’re coming to their senses a bit and realizing the real potential of their affordably priced tablet.

To sum the situation up a bit, a recent offering on the Home Shopping Network let slip certain information about upcoming features for the Nook.  Most notably, it will be the first tablet on the market to include Flash support.  In addition to this, there will finally be support for email, as well as an app store to expand the capabilities of the device.  It seems that a viewer managed to capture the segment and post it on YouTube, which then prompted Barnes & Noble to issue a press release confirming the email, though not yet the Flash.

This definitely seems like a divergence from the previously staunch position that the Nook Color must be seen as a reading device first and foremost.  It makes a lot of sense.  Users seem largely to value the newest Nook incarnation for either its tablet capabilities or its color screen rather than any percieved inherently superior reading performance.  Really, while I’m not a fan of it as an eReader, this should make Barnes & Noble into a major player in the tablet competition.

The press release also emphasizes the importance of the Nook platform’s magazine and children’s book offerings.  Since these are the areas where the color screen really shines, given the shortcomings of a monochrome display for such applications, it definitely makes sense to see the focus turn this way.  I think there’s a lot of future in the marketing of children’s books in particular, things along the lines of NOOK Kids, for the less expensive and versatile tablets on the market today even if they fall short in other areas.  Great for actually getting in the hands of kids.

The effect of these upcoming changes on the Kindle in the end seems destined to be fairly negligible.  There’s a good chance that this will end the direct Kindle vs Nook Color comparisons for many, since it indicates an emphasis on non-book aspects of reading as well as non-reading applications.  That’s something.  Really, though, it feels like this is more an indication of how successful the Kindle has been than anything else.  The rush to a color eReader hasn’t succeeded because it meant a number of compromises that Amazon didn’t make, so they’re moving into a slightly different field.  It could also be that this is meant as a means to get a jump on Amazon in light of the rumors that have been going around about a potential Kindle-related line of tablet PCs.

The software update is supposed to drop in April, by all accounts, so be on the lookout for it.  I believe that this will breathe new life into the Nook Color for existing users as well as bring in a large new audience.

Kindle KDK Rival – NOOKcolor SDK Released

The much awaited release of the Nook Color’s SDK has finally hit and it could mean big things for Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS).  While I will admit that for reading I strongly prefer the Kindle‘s eInk screen, there’s a lot of potential to work with on the cheap tablet side of the popular new device.  Now that we have the first step toward a potentially interesting dedicated app marketplace, there can’t be much doubt that Nook Color sales are going to take off a bit.  So, what exactly is the effect going to be?

There are a couple different ways of looking at things here.  For the majority of users, the app marketplace, in spite of being a closed system segregated from the majority of Android apps, will be a great thing.  Tablets, as with smart phones, thrive on optional applications to optimize existing abilities and introduce new functionality. There can’t be much doubt in anybody’s mind that we’ll be looking at streaming video, comic reading, tabbed web browsing, and word processing, at the very least, as B&N makes the effort to catch every potential use they can find from the complaints people have made about eInk device shortcomings.

Barnes & Noble has already stated, however, that they plan to moderate the app marketplace to make sure that apps that pass through will “enhance the reading experience”, which could very well mean that a great deal of the functionality one might expect if this were just another tablet will be blocked off.  While the Android Market review process is mostly just a quick check to make sure a given app is legal, this sounds likely to more closely approximate Apple’s rather more restrictive iPad app marketplace.  To what extent the vision of the Nook Color as an eReader will be clung to is a question that only time can answer for us.

When it comes right down to it though, this is a mobile device running Android.  It has already been rooted once, allowing the installation of unsanctioned third-party apps, and it will likely continue to have such options available, whatever the degree of difficulty involved, for as long as the Nook Color sticks around.  If you really want something, and have the tech savvy to work through the process, the ability is there to get it running.  I would find it especially amusing to see somebody playing with Kindle for Android on one of these, myself.

People are pretty much already decided one way or another what their opinion of this new Nook is with regard to its eReading options, myself being no exception, but you’ve got to respect the potential and admit that even if it fails as an eReader, the tablet market is booming right now and there’s nothing negative about being one of the first really affordable tablets on the market, whether that was your main focus or not.  Barnes & Noble might very well have hit themselves a somewhat accidental home run here when all is said and done.

Kindle 3G vs Nook Color Brief Feature Review

This post is a brief side by side Kindle 3G vs Nook Color feature review. I won’t put any comments in this post about each feature so you can take a look at all technical details review them and decide for yourself which product do you like the most.

Feature Kindle 3rd generation 3G Nook Color
Price 189 249
Screen Resolution 600×800 1024 x 600 pixel
Screen Diagonal 6 Inches 7 Inches
Screen Type e-Ink LCD
Colors 16 grayscale colors 16 million colors
Input Embedded Keyboard Color Touchscreen
Connectivity 3G Amazon Whispernet using CDMA/CDMA WiFi
Weight 8.7 oz (247 g) 15.8 oz (450 g)
Dimensions 7.5 × 4.8 × 0.34 in (190 × 123 × 8.51 mm) 8.1 in (210 mm) (h) x 5.0 in (130 mm) (w) x 0.48 in (12 mm) (d)
CPU Freescale 532 MHz, ARM-11 800 Mhz ARM Cortex A8 based TI OMAP3621
Storage 4GB Total / 3GB User 8GB internal, 32GB expandable
Power 3.7 V, 1530 mAh lithium polymer, BA1001 Installed battery
Battery Lifetime up to a month with wifi off 8 hours with wifi off
Operating System Linux 2.6.10 Android 2.1
Manufacturer Amazon Barnes & Nobles
Applications Several games approved by Amazon Several apps and games approved by Barnes & Nobles
File Formats AZW, PDF, MOBI, PRC, TXT, PDF EPUB, PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, PPT, TXT, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, AAC, MP4

Below is the same Kindle 3G vs Nook Color side-by-side feature review but in format which is easier to copy and paste.

Price:
Kindle 3G: $189
Nook Color: $249

Screen Resolution:
Kindle 3G: 600×800
Nook Color: 1024 x 600 pixel

Screen Diagonal:
Kindle 3G: 6 inches
Nook Color: 7 inches

Screen Type:
Kindle 3G: e-Ink
Nook Color: LCD

Colors:
Kindle 3G: 16 grayscale colors
Nook Color: 16 million colors

Input:
Kindle 3G: Embedded Keyboard
Nook Color: Color Touchscreen

Connectivity:
Kindle 3G: 3G Amazon Whispernet using CDMA/CDMA
Nook Color: WiFi

Weight:
Kindle 3G: 8.7 oz (247 g)
Nook Color: 15.8 oz (450 g)

Dimensions:
Kindle 3G: 7.5 × 4.8 × 0.34 in (190 × 123 × 8.51 mm)
Nook Color: 8.1 in (210 mm) (h) x 5.0 in (130 mm) (w) x 0.48 in (12 mm) (d)

CPU:
Kindle 3G: 800 Mhz ARM Cortex A8 based TI OMAP3621
Nook Color: Freescale 532 MHz, ARM-11

Storage:
Kindle 3G: 4GB Total / 3GB User
Nook Color: 8GB internal, 32GB expandable

Power:
Kindle 3G: 3.7 V, 1530 mAh lithium polymer, BA1001
Nook Color: Installed battery

Battery Lifetime:
Kindle 3G: up to a month with wifi off
Nook Color: 8 hours with wifi off

Operating System:
Kindle 3G: Linux 2.6.10
Nook Color: Android 2.1

Manufacturer:
Kindle 3G: Amazon
Nook Color: Barnes & Nobles

Applications:
Kindle 3G: Several games approved by Amazon
Nook Color: Several apps and games approved by Barnes & Nobles

File Formats:
Kindle 3G: AZW, PDF, MOBI, PRC, TXT, PDF
Nook Color: EPUB, PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, PPT, TXT, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, AAC, MP4