Barnes & Noble go up against Amazon in Blighty with Nook apps
May turn out to be more of a Niche offering really
Optimistic Amazon competitor Barnes & Noble has launched its Nook platform in the UK, in soft form for iOS and Android, but enough to start selling books to Brits.
Like Amazon's Kindle the concept behind the Nook platform is hardware used to sell digital content, with Nooks ranging from a basic e-ink model ($99) to a 9-inch tablet coming in at $269, but none of those are available on this side of the pond where we're stuck with iOS and Android apps to read Nook books.
The apps are nice enough, though we couldn't get the Android version installed on a Samsung tablet it ran well enough on a phone and has the best page-turning animation we've seen - if you select e-reading software on that basis then this is an obvious choice.
Nook does the cloudly synchronisation like Kindle does, but we couldn't get it to import any library books (which keeps Aldiko installed) and the browser version of the reader didn't work for us in Chrome at all (we had more luck with Firefox) so it's hard to identify the killer reason one would want this installed.
In use it works fine, presenting scalable text and remembering to price things in pounds (most of the time). Once the hardware arrives over here then there might be more reason to choose the Barnes and Noble platform, but by that time so many will have chosen Amazon it might be too late. ®
Nook HD and HD+ already on sale in the UK
It seems stunning that this article almost makes it sound like it could be months or years before we get the Nook e-readers in the UK and yet the IT press (except El Reg who seem to have ignored them completely) was full of the Nook HD(+) launch almost a week ago. Example:
As for the Nook app on Android, here's how to get a list of the free e-books:
1. Download the app (it's free on Google Play).
2. Register a Nook account (doesn't seem to have any e-mail verification).
3. Register a dummy method of payment in the settings (any old info, 4 and then fifteen 1's is a well-known test Visa credit card number (no verification of this)).
4. Go to the store via what looks like a broken padlock (or house?) icon in the top right.
5. Select the search icon and search for "0.00", which will display the free e-books, which you can download (no doubt in DRM-infested form even for a free book, ho hum).
When I did this a day ago, a lot of mummy pr0n e-books turned up, but repeating it today, they seem to have a wider range now (not that any of the free ones are any good of course).
Try a Kobo (Glo)
For a good Kindle alternative the Kobo or Kobo Glo are very good.
Amongst many other formats they do EPUB with either Adobe DRM or DRM-free sideloaded.
Good catalogue and a great screen, better than the paperwhite but that's just my own preference).
Plus they've been in the UK for years so have a much more complete presence and are far more likely to be a realistic competitor long-term given their massive Japanese backing.
Okay, my wife is american so I do know who Barnes & Noble are, but the majority of brits don't and will not associate the name with books in any way.