The Nook series of tablets are very similar to the Kindle series, because they both have very deeply customized UIs with custom app stores. They’re Android tablets only because they run Android, not because they even resemble Android anymore. So while they were great deals for the hardware, it was hard to justify the purchase because of the software. However, it looks like Barnes & Noble will abandon the idea of all proprietary services, as with the newest OTA to the Nook series, they will all get official Play Store access.
The OTA is version 2.1.0, and the official changelog states that the only changes are added Google services, like the Play Store and their array of standard apps like Gmail, Chrome, YouTube, Maps, and more. The OTA will be rolling out today to all Nook HD and HD+ users, but if you’re impatient, they also put up full instructions on how to install it manually. Hit the source links to take a look at that.
The question is, will this help Barnes & Noble? Sure, this will help them sell tablets, but will it help their business? They sell these tablets cheap in hopes that people will use their services so they can recoup the cost. Amazon and Google do the same. But with access to the Play Store, it’s easier to ignore B&N services altogether. Hopefully they know what they’re doing, but for the consumer, this is an excellent move. What are your thoughts on it? Leave a comment!