Amazon’s Kindle Fire isn’t the only device gearing up for a major software update. Barnes & Noble announced plans on Monday to roll out a series of performance improvements and entertainment features for its Nook Color ereader, including a variety of apps such as Netflix and Flixter.
The Nook Color’s 1.4 software update — which now resembles the operating system powering the Nook Tablet — gives readers far more options on how to interact with the device.
The company’s “biggest ever update” for its year-old Nook Color includes access to Netflix’s streaming service, allowing users to access popular movies and TV shows directly on the device. The update also features NookComics – which adds a large collection of full-color comics and Marvel graphic novels – and PagePerfect Nook Books with ebooks focused on images, such as cooking and art books.
The update also made various improvements to usability. The Nook Color now offers the flexibility to read books in portrait or landscape mode, adjust the text with additional font sizes and directly look up words in its internal dictionary. Viewing PDFs is also more interactive, as users can pinch and zoom in on images.
Although the company hasn’t unveiled a service that allows Nook Color users the ability to download or rent movies through the device, Barnes & Noble noted that more video services are in the works. Apps for popular music services such as Pandora and Grooveshark are also available for download.
Nook Color users can download the update now via its site or can do so through Wi-Fi when the company rolls out the option later this week.
Barnes & Noble is giving shoppers the opportunity to receive a free $25 gift certificate to the store when a Nook Color, Nook Simple Touch or Nook Tablet is purchased with a MasterCard. The offer is only valid for today, Monday Dec. 12.
Will the updates give the Nook Color a new advantage over the competition or is it still playing catch up?