CNET First Look
Nook Color update Version 1.2For $250, the Nook Color may now be the Android tablet for the masses, thanks to a software update that gives the vibrant reader e-mail and many more tablet-esque capabilities.
-Hey, I'm David Carnoy and I'm here with the new update for the Nook Color. This is update 1.2 and includes Android OS 2.2 (that's Froyo) as well an app store that's not really called an app store, but there, you can now download apps to the Nook. There are also some other improvements and enhancements to the device that turn it into a more full-fledged Android tablet. It's still not a truly open tablet that has the Android Market and allows you to run whatever app you want. There's now an e-mail app integrated into the device. You figure that was a no-brainer at launch, but it is now here. It wasn't there before. You also get the Nook Friends app integrated onto the device. That is a new social media app from Barnes & Noble. It is in beta right now. It allows you to share books; essentially start books clubs with your friends; show your lendable e-books; and also share across Facebook and Twitter, whether that's highlighted quotes from books or just where you're actually in a book, so your friends can see what you're reading right now. The app store itself doesn't feature a huge number of titles at the moment. You're really looking at about a little bit over 125 apps. Probably that's a lot better than what was there before, which was nothing. A lot of people, of course, have rooted the Nook Color and really opened it up to the full Android Market. This, however, is a curated market. It does have plenty of decent apps though and we'll just scroll through here and show you some of the apps. Angry Birds is here. Also in the news, you have Pulse. There are a mix of free apps. There are more paid app at this moment, but there are some free apps on board. Another key feature that's part of this update is Flash support. We did run some Flash sites on this. It's a little bit choppy in some cases, but with Flash video, it seems to run pretty well as long as you get the right site. There is a mode now where you can switch between the desktop, the full website, and mobile sites. Barnes & Noble has made that easier. There's also a new page turn, an animated page turn feature, that users were asking for. There was supposed to be a landscape mode in this update. However, that's coming a little bit later on. People want to view their books in landscape mode. That's really about it. There are a few other enhancements that Android OS 2.2 brings to the table but, really, what this does is allow you to now download apps to the device. It isn't a full-fledged Android tablet, but it certainly is a more full-featured e-reading tablet, and that's gonna make a lot of people happy who wanna go with the official version of the Nook Color and not have to root the device and open it up. I'm David Carnoy and that's a quick look at the Nook Color version 1.2 update.