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Image Gallery: Hands-on with the Barnes & Noble Nook 1.3 firmware update

Barnes & Noble was quick to roll out an update when the Nook was first released last Fall. This current update continues to improve a great ebook reader device with games, a web browser, in-store reading support, and overall bug fixes and improvements. You can now browse when connected to a WiFi network and you don't have another device around.
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1 of 52 Matthew Miller/ZDNET

Barnes & Noble was quick to roll out an update when the Nook was first released last Fall. This current update continues to improve a great ebook reader device with games, a web browser, in-store reading support, and overall bug fixes and improvements. You can now browse when connected to a WiFi network and you don't have another device around.

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2 of 52 Matthew Miller/ZDNET

There is now a dedicated WiFi icon on the main color display that lets you access your WiFi settings.

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When you first turn on your Nook's WiFi radio in a physical store this display lets you know what you can do in the store.

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You will see new promotions on the bottom of the eInk display when you are in a physical store.

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After logging in at a store you have the option to read any of these 100 books for up to an hour.

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You can read a book in the store for free and if you like it you can then choose to purchase it and take it with you too.

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As you can see, in the upper title of the book you selected it lets you know that you can read this book in the store for free.

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As you can read, you can read an ebook for up to an hour. Features such as bookmarks, highlights, and notes are not supported at this time.

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You need to tap on Accept or Dismiss after you choose a book to read in the store.

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Reading the book in the store.

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You are not allowed to change the font size or type in books you read in the store.

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The font size for in store reading is a bit larger than I would like, but you can't really complain when you get to read the book for free.

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When you are in the store and connected to the B&N network a banner appears across the shop icon to let you now you are in the store.

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At the top of the in store book selector you can see more about the books available to you.

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There is more in the store than just the ability to read ebooks for free. You can read exclusive content too.

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This is a typical page showing what content is available in the store.

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All content in the store is available for free and some is available for you to take with you.

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I had a free cookie coupon a couple months ago and the current offer is $5 off of $50 that you spend.

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Barnes & Noble provided Sudoku and Chess for Nook owners.

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Sudoku is easy to play on the Nook and works very well.

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The bottom color display is used for entering numbers in Sudoku.

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Here you can see the selected square on the eInk display.

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Directions for the game appear at the bottom of the eInk display.

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There are difficulty options available in the two games.

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Available game options in Sudoku.

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First screen of settings in Sudoku.

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As you can see there are a few more settings in Sudoku.

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Page of chess instructions on the Nook.

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You will find conversation bubbles appearing on the eInk display when you play chess.

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The lower touch color display is used quite a bit for chess.

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Pop ups appear on the top and bottom of the chess board.

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Here you can see the eInk chess board and the lower color display view of chess.

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The square you select on the bottom display is highlighted on the top eInk display.

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Some options available in chess on the Nook.

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There is a new icon for Audio on the Nook to more quickly access the music player and listen to music in the background.

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There is a slider bar for navigating your music.

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Favorites in the web browser appear as book covers on the lower color display.

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The lower color display works well for navigating in the browser.

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As you move up around the page a block indicating what you see on the lower color display appears on the larger eInk display.

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You can tap the upper left of the color display to access the toolbar in the display.

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Tapping on Go To... gives you choices to search, view favorites, or view history.

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There are a few settings available within the web browser.

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More available web browser settings.

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You can zoom in and out within the web browser.

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Color and eInk comparison image.

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Google Reader performs well in the web browser.

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Here is Google Reader in the lower display.

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The search box appears quite generic in the browser.

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Being that the Nook is based on the Google Android OS, it makes sense that the default search engine is Google on the Nook.

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Browser history screenshot.

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