Review: Nook eBook reader for Android

23Jul10

As I’ve already reviewed the Kindle and Borders ebook readers, I thought I’d better follow up with the newly released Nook app from Barnes and Noble.

Nook

Much like the Kindle app, Nook sends you to a mobile site in order to purchase books.  Again, the store is priced in dollars not sterling for the moment.  You can download samples of each book in the store, which is a nice touch; books get sent to the Library front screen inside the app where you can then download them easily.  The store might actually be the most fully stocked of  the readers I’ve checked so far.  To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t present but I’m starting to think this is a general problem, no one has a eBook version.  All my other test books were present, though a tad on the expensive side compared to the other readers.  Twilight $9.99, The Hobbit $9.99, To Kill a Mockingbird $, Girl with a Dragon Tattoo $7.16.  I guess this is the price you pay for actually being able to get hold of the books in ebook format though.  None of these readers are going to catch on until you can get any book any time.
Once purchased online you have to go back into the app’s Library screen to sync and download your purchases.
The reader itself is quite polished again.  The page transitions are either an animated page turning (which I find a little anachronistic) or a nice slide to the next page, like the Amazon app.  You can select font size inside your book but there is no night time mode I’m afraid.  You can skip to a certain page using a slider when the screen is tapped, or using the “Go To” button in the menu that lets you select from the contents or your bookmarks.  Interestingly you can touch the corner of a page to “dog ear” it and make a bookmark, a really nice touch.  You can select orientation of the page as portrait, landscape or automatic.
Like the Kindle app, your book position is synchronised across devices if you install this on another phone, Nook hardware or PC.
There is apparently a LendMe feature that allows you to share books for up to 14 days with other Nook users (either hardware, Android App or PC software) but I think this is only available if publishers allow it.  I didn’t find it on any of the books I tested with.  If enough publishers allow this, it could be a killer feature that sets the Nook apart from the competition.
Overall, ignoring my love of night modes, this is a very nice start.  I stand by my original summary, I can’t pick a favourite eBook app as all have their pros and cons in the apps/ stores.  There is no reason you have to pick just one, in fact you’d be missing out on certain eBooks if you did.  Certainly, the Nook is worth a look, especially as Barnes and Noble appear to be thinking out of the box with the lending aspect.  Hopefully it won’t get buried by lack of publisher support.
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