Nook Color gets major software update, adds Netflix streaming

Barnes & Noble's $199 Nook Color got a big software update today that adds many features available on the step-up $249 Nook Tablet.

Version 1.41 software is now available for the Nook Color. It adds performance tweaks and feature enhancements. Barnes & Noble

Call it an early holiday gift or just making good on a promise, but Barnes & Noble has just released an expected software update for Nook Color owners that adds many of the features now found in the company's step-up model, the $249 Nook Tablet.

What does the update, which Barnes & Noble is calling the "largest ever for the device," add?

Well, beyond some "ongoing performance improvements," here are the highlights:

  • Access to popular movies and TV shows streamed through Netflix.
  • New Flixster app (allows you to access digital movies and TV shows on the go through the UltraViolet standard).
  • Nook Comics (Barnes & Noble says it has the largest collection of Marvel graphic novels).
  • PagePerfect Nook Books (this is a new category of image-centric e-books, which includes cookbooks, art books, and graphic novels).
  • More than 100 enhancements, including reading Nook Books in portrait and landscape modes, direct look-up of words in the built-in dictionary, increased font size selection, and more.

Barnes & Noble still hasn't added a service that allows you to rent or buy movies (on either the Nook Color or Nook Tablet), though it continues to hint that one is on the way, saying that more leading video services are "coming soon." The press release also talks up music services, including Pandora, Rhapsody, Grooveshark, and MOG, that are available as apps (subscription fees apply to some services) on the Nook Color and Tablet.

This is all good news for Nook Color owners, but we're sill recommending that if you're thinking of buying a Nook color device today, you opt for the $249 Nook Tablet, which is lighter, has a faster processor, more RAM, and offers significantly better performance.

That said, as soon as we upgrade our Nook Color review sample, we'll let you know how the experience compares with that of the Nook Tablet. As always, feel free to provide your own take in the comments section below.

Note: Today only, Barnes & Noble says customers who purchase any new $199 Nook Color online with a MasterCard will receive a free $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, along with free shipping. This offer also applies to the $99 Nook Simple Touch and $249 Nook Tablet.

 

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