Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-reader will soon look more and more like a full-fledged Android tablet when a software update is released this spring that brings applications to the device. Both the bookseller and its HSN (NSDQ: HSNI) retail partner teased a new “major update” (according to B&N’s press release) that will bring several new apps and e-mail, including the most important app of all: Angry Birds.
CNET notes that this is not really a surprise, but it’s an interesting development as the industry tries to figure out how people want to use devices like e-readers: do they want the simplicity of a single-function device or the practicality of a multifunction device that has an excellent e-reader? The Nook is up against a host of challenges, with the popularity of Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad forcing tough decisions about how best to compete in a new market.
In addition to the new apps, Barnes and Noble (NYSE: BKS) said the update will bring Adobe’s Flash to the device as well as an enhanced browser. The company also plans to promote the Nook as a device for kids, highlighting new content in its press release such as Dora the Explorer and Barbie.