Barnes & Noble rolls out second Nook update

As promised, Barnes & Noble is again upgrading the software for its Nook e-book reader. Version 1.2 is considered a major upgrade.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
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Barnes & Noble says its version 1.2 software upgrade adds features to the Nook and improves performance. Barnes & Noble

A new software upgrade is now available to owners of Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book reader. This is the second upgrade since the device launched in early December and it appears to be more substantial than the first, which arrived shortly after the product shipped and addressed a handful of small but pervasive bugs.

Barnes & Noble notes that version 1.2 "continues to improve Nook performance to provide enhanced overall reading experience and in-store connectivity for Nook customers to enjoy exclusive content and promotions in Barnes & Noble stores."

Here are the key updates, according to the FAQ at www.nook.com/support. Alas, you still can't stream full e-books to your Nook free of charge in a Barnes & Noble store (the company says that capability is coming in a future update).

  • Enhanced in-store seamless connectivity to enjoy free Wi-Fi, with more in-store content and promotions exclusively for Nook owners
  • Improved opening of e-books and periodicals
  • Improved response to Reading Now & Settings buttons
  • Current reading page and bookmarks on all e-books is properly saved when your nook is powered off
  • Bookmarks display page number
  • Eligible LendMe e-books in My Library include a LendMe flag
  • Easier navigation of daily subscription with issues rolled into one folder
  • Improved "back" button functionality for navigating e-books and periodicals
  • Personal files downloaded onto nook and displayed in My Documents can be sorted by author and title
  • Overall system improvements and battery optimization

You can either download the update manually from www.nook.com/support (there's a download link along with instructions) or just turn on the device's wireless connection and wait for it to be updated automatically.

"Automatic over the air (OTA) updates, which do not require any action from nook customers, are under way and will be conducted seamlessly over the next week," says Barnes & Noble spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating.

We'll take a trip over to a Barnes & Noble store and check out the in-store features as soon as we get the update loaded onto a Nook. In the meantime, if you've got a Nook and have updated it, let us know what you think.