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Summary:

Barnes & Noble is integrating many Google services — including Google Play, Gmail, Google Maps and the Chrome browser — into its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets.

Nook HD with Google Apps

Barnes & Noble is adding Google Play’s full complement of videos, music and apps (and ebooks) to its Nook HD and HD+ tablets. The tablets will also include Google services like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and the Chrome browser.

The end result is that Nook HD users will have access to a broader media ecosystem, but the move seems a bit odd for a company that has a strategic partnership with Microsoft. However, Jim Hilt, B&N’s VP of ebooks, said the move only shows that Barnes & Noble remains committed to the Android platform. The company has done a “tremendous amount of work with Windows 8,” he said, and the decision to further integrate with Google is “consistent with our business, which has always been to bring the Nook reading or content service to all the platforms available.”

Google Play also sells ebooks and digital magazines, but Hilt said that B&N isn’t worried about that: “We’re incredibly confident that when people pick up a Nook device, they’re going to use the Nook shopping experience.”

Nook Video, which sells movies and TV shows à la carte, will continue, the company said.

Current Nook HD owners will receive an over-the-air update to their devices.

  1. Paul Frank Friday, May 3, 2013

    I searched a video regarding this article, which came from CNet, and review and comparison videos. Watch these if you are interested in this product. http://www.zeeik.com/znode/-1483757692/-1483757670 . Nook HD seems to made web search available. Is it a kinda iPad? The price range is something between $199~$250 depending on size and storage space and there is a valuable software inside it such as parents~kids share (observing) function, i like it, however, should i buy another tablet again? If I were afford to buy an iphone, ipad mini,a macbook, gal note, kindle and so on so on.. I would buy one.

  2. Jamison Gray Friday, May 3, 2013

    This must have been a tough decision for B&N, but probably the right one – these days, you buy a device for its associated media ecosystem as much as for the hardware itself, and this gives Nook tablet owners access to a much richer music & video ecosystem than they can get from B&N directly. The market may have space for three music/video ecosystems (iTunes, Amazon, & Google Play), but B&N has little chance of breaking in as a fourth.

    It’s certainly a risky move to bring Google Play’s e-book ecosystem onto their device; I”m curious what they’ll do in their UI to steer users toward their own store. But B&N’s e-book ecosystem is in a safer place, because they also have e-reader apps for iOS and Android (and the web). I would be hesitant to buy a video from B&N, because I might not have a device to play it two years from now; but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a book from them, as I can read it on any iOS or Android phone or tablet.

    1. Agree this was a smart decision, not that B&N had much of a choice. As an owner of the HD 7″, it’s a very welcome improvement. My ebook reader just got a lot more useful! Most of the apps I’ve downloaded from Google Play work great, including HBO GO, Netflix, You Tube, and Gmail. A couple apps were inexplicably not compatible, including Peapod and SiriusXM. Not sure if updates are being made in Google Play to fix this.

      Most people I would think would prefer the ‘embedded’ experience of reading an ebook through the B&N store, vs. opening a separate app to read a book or magazine you buy on Google Play. Most people buy a Nook as a dedicated reading device, and this is what the B&N store brings, vs. those who buy an all-purpose tablet where ebook reading is more of an after thought, sequestered away in a separate app along with all the others.

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