May 03 AT 8:35 AM Nick Gray 6 Comments

Nook HD and HD+ gain official access to Google Play

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The Android tablets offered by Amazon and Barnes & Noble have always been regarded as good budget devices, but their closed app ecosystems have always kept them segregated as niche devices for tinkerers or those looking to get a little bit more than a main eReader. Barnes & Noble has decided to break out of that mold and make the Nook HD and HD+ into more appealing tablets by giving consumers access to Google Play and its 700,000 applications. Gmail, YouTube, Chrome and Google Maps are coming a long for the ride as well and help make Barnes & Noble’s tablet options infinitely more valuable than anything in Amazon’s lineup.

The addition of Google Play will allow Nook HD and HD+ users to download all of their favorite apps and games, but the Nook store will still be present to give consumers easy access to digital books, newspapers and magazines.  Barnes & Noble be delivering Google Play access to the two tablets in the near future through a software update. Details on when the update will be available have not been released yet, but we doubt you’ll have to wait long if you’re a proud owner of one of B&N’s tablets.

Do you think this move will make Barnes & Noble’s tablets a more appealing option for the general public?

Show Press Release

Barnes & Noble Announces Google Play™ on NOOK® HD and NOOK® HD+

NOOK Media LLC, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble,
Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today
announced it is expanding its extensive catalog of reading and entertainment content with the
addition of the popular Google Play digital content experience on its acclaimed NOOK HD and
NOOK HD+ devices. With Google Play on NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, customers have access
to more than 700,000 Android apps and games and millions of songs, and more. Barnes &
Noble’s highly acclaimed lightweight high-definition 7- and 9-inch tablets will also include
popular Google services like the Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps.

“By adding Google Play to NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, we are offering our customers even
more great entertainment on our award-winning tablets,” said William Lynch, chief executive
officer of Barnes & Noble. “Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading
experience available, NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ are must-see products for entertainment
lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices.”

Always a great value, NOOK HD, now with Google Play, is available starting at just $199 and
NOOK HD+ starts at only $269. NOOK products are available at the nearly 700 Barnes &
Noble stores, NOOK.com and leading retailers.

Google Play and the other Google services will be available on all new and existing NOOK HD
and NOOK HD+ customers in the US and UK at no cost through an automatic over-the-air
update that will roll out to all devices connected to Wi-Fi beginning today. Customers who
would like to enjoy the major new software update immediately can learn more at
www.NOOK.com/support or www.NOOK.co.uk/support.

More than 700,000 Android Apps and Games: Choose from more than 700,000 great apps
including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Temple Run, ESPN, TED, Netflix and so many more, all
ready to enjoy right away. The NOOK Store™ continues to feature a wide selection of thousands
of high-quality NOOK Apps™ tailored for the devices including the highest-quality educational

Faster Web Browsing with Chrome: As Web browsing continues to be among the most
popular tablet activities, NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ now features the Chrome browser for fast
start up and page loading and an unlimited number of tabs open at once. Customers can even
sync bookmarks across any device with Chrome.

Gmail™, YouTube™ and Google Maps™: Customers will have instant access to Gmail,
YouTube and Google Maps, now built in to NOOK HD or NOOK HD+. Sync calendars across
multiple devices and check email from any account including Exchange, Yahoo! and Hotmail.

Additional great tablet features include:
• Stunning HD Displays: Crisp text and beautiful graphics make books and magazines
stunning to read. With NOOK HD’s highest resolution of any 7-inch HD tablet and Full
HD at 1080p on NOOK HD+, videos and games look life-like from any angle, with rich
color, deep contrast and minimal glare.
• Light and Portable: Weighing in at only 11.1 ounces, NOOK HD was designed to fit
naturally in an adult or child’s hand for hours of enjoyment. And at just 18.2 ounces,
NOOK HD+ is the lightest tablet of its kind – more than 20 percent lighter than iPad 3 –
making it the perfect companion for movie watching, long reads, Sunday crosswords or
favorite games.
• NOOK Profiles™: A personalized experience instantly transforms the device in hand to
any family member’s very own tablet so only they can see their own content.
• NOOK Channels™: This pioneering recommendation system provides an easy way to
discover new titles by theme.
• The ability to sync the last page read on any NOOK Book across NOOK devices and
apps so customers don’t lose their place.
• Expandable memory on the devices and free unlimited NOOK Cloud™ storage for all
NOOK content.
• Adjustable fonts, spacing and themes for a customized reading experience.
• Powerful dual-core processors and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

UK Pricing:

For a limited time only, as part of NOOK’s involvement in the “Get London Reading” literacy initiative, NOOK HD is available starting at just £129 (down from £159), with the NOOK HD+ starting at only £179 (down from £229). NOOK products are available in John Lewis, Argos, Asda, Dixons, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Blackwell’s and Foyles and also through www.nook.co.uk.

Source: Engadget

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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