Barnes & Noble integrating Google Play into 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.

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