Readers here know I am a big fan of my Barnes & Noble Nook and even with the iPad I will not be giving up this outstanding ebook reader. We heard this week that Barnes & Noble is kicking off a media campaign for the Nook that will include TV commercials, radio, print, and online ads. The folks at B&N stated this is the first B&N television ad in more than 10 years. You can view the first TV ad on the Barnes & Noble site. It tells a story and tries to show how you can grow up with a Barnes & Noble experience.
We also received a press release (PDF file) announcing that a firmware update is now available to Nook owners that takes the Nook from 1.2 to 1.3. Last night, the site to download version 1.3 was apparently inadvertently made public and the folks at nookTalk were able to get it downloaded and installed. One aspect of the update was support for in-store ebook reading and they wrote up a trip report from their first retail experience with firmware 1.3 loaded up. My update is downloading right now and I will follow up later this weekend with some experiences.
Here is what the press release states about the new in-store experience:
In Barnes & Noble stores, NOOK automatically connects to the fast and free Wi-Fi where NOOK customers can tap on the Shop button to now enjoy the beta Read In Store feature. Customers can read many complete eBooks available in Barnes & Noble’s expansive eBookstore of more than one million digital titles, even if the physical book is not in stock. From current bestsellers to classics, customers can enjoy a wide variety of eBooks from hundreds of publishers, including all the major publishing houses. Soon, in-store visitors will also be able to virtually flip through leading daily newspapers and magazines covering news, finance and technology available in the eBookstore.
NOOK customers can explore the content of as many digital titles as they wish, on any given day, including any available eBook for up to an hour per day; and to come, current-edition newspapers and magazines in the BN eBookstore will be available for up to 20 minutes per day. NOOK’s Read In Store experience is another first for the retail and eBook arena, like the More In Store™ experience which offers NOOK owners access to free, exclusive content from leading authors and special discounts and promotions when in Barnes & Noble stores.
Here is an extensive list of what they found in version 1.3:
- Scrolling Launcher.
- Menus slide in/out differently - smoother.
- New top level icon for wi-fi.
- New Audio icon
- Single click for Airplane mode.
- REQUIRES wi-fi hotspot - no free 3G browsing as I expected.
- Better than the web browser with nookdevs.
- Pan with the color screen. Zoom in/out with icons.
- Favorites menu.
- View Promotion Menu Option.
- Collections (Top 100, New Releases, etc.)
- Sudoko. Uses both screens, works pretty well I guess except my LCD stopped working in game and had to restart.
- Chess, Seems nice. Dual screen. eInk is for the big view.
My Library / Reading
- No consolidation of B&N and owner content. Check for new items took minutes for My Documents.
- Opening a book speed same or slower based on a few trials.
- Page turns faster, and looks different (the way text dissolves).
- Text resize seems much faster.
- Holding arrow down in book browser goes to last item.
I understand some people want the web browser and other additional features, but I am primarily interested in having the best ebook reader and really do not want to see Nook developers focusing on all these other additional nice-to-have features like the web browser and games. Let's get the essential down and as nookTalk states there is still no new fonts and no way to simply enter a page number to jump to on the Nook.