Nook App Update Brings Full Color Magazines and Newspapers To Android Tablets

A week ago when we compared the eReading experience on the Nook Color to that of the Galaxy Tab with the Nook app, one of the biggest drawbacks we noted was the lack of ePeriodicals on the Android tablet. With today’s update to the Nook app, Barnes & Noble has erased that particular drawback. Now Android tablet owners can read their Barnes & Noble magazines and newspapers on their devices.

There’s no special Nook app for tablets — it’s the same across all Android devices. However, if said device has a 7-inch or higher display with a resolution of 800 x 480 or more, and runs Android 2.1 or above, users will now see magazines and newspapers in the Library and can purchase them from the Shop. All the same features apply, such as 14-day free trials on subscriptions and single issue purchases.

I downloaded the new version this morning and took it for a test drive on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

In the Library, periodicals with more than one issue available show up as a stack. Tap the stack, and a smooth animation then expands it to show all available issues. It’s very similar to the animations on the Nook Color.

The experience inside magazines is the same as well. In landscape mode the app showed two pages, in portrait mode just one page. Tapping the center of a page once brings up the page slider, which shows thumbnail previews of every page for fast navigation. There’s also a Contents pop-up that lists articles as text.

(click to see hi-res images)

You can zoom in on a page to read the text or hit Article View to read just text without the magazine formatting. Pretty much everything I like about reading magazines on the Nook Color.

(click to see hi-res images)

On a 10.1-inch screen I still needed to zoom in a bit to read text in normal mode, though not in Article View. But since the screen is so big, I didn’t have to zoom in as much as I usually do on the Nook Color.

Overall, this new update is definitely welcome. Though it takes away one of the big advantages the Nook Color has over other Android tablets, it expands the ePeriodical reach and potential customer base of all the publishers with color magazines, which should make both those companies and Barnes & Noble happier.

Download or update your Nook app today and try a few magazines. You’ll get 14 days free, so the test drive won’t cost anything but time.

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