While you would think that Barnes & Noble would focus most of its attention these days on the newer Nook Tablet, it seems that the one year old Nook Color is actually receiving an interesting update to its firmware today.
The upgrade includes several additional features that can move NOOK Color much closer to the NOOK Tablet, at least in base functionality.
Beneath the custom e-reader interface, the Nook Color actually had real Android power and function, something that many developers of custom ROMs have known since day one.
It’s good that Barnes & Noble recognizes it as well, even if a little late.
New features include:
- Netflix app with a free 30-day trial comes preloaded. This has become the Holy Grail of all the recent “e-readers” and now it has found its way into the older tablet as official NOOK Color app.
- New NOOK Comics app and support for reading and purchasing comics.
- New Page Perfect e-reader app for enhancing reading experiences of digital copies of richly published art albums, culinary books, and other books lavishly illustrated and set with artful layouts in their printed versions.
The upgrade is rolling out and installs as an OTA (Over-The-Air) update right now. It’s too early to make any comparisons just yet. The CyanogenMod 7 community for NOOK Color is not very much excited: they have enjoyed the same, or similar functionality on their NOOK Colors since last summer. Then, the upgraded firmware doesn’t include the upgraded kernel: it’s a Froyo-based old 126.96.36.199 kernel still.
NOOK Color is discounted to the $199, the same price shared by the more powerful Kindle Fire. I somehow doubt this new update will bring in more NOOK Color buyers, even with the new additions.
Instead of focusing on the dying, under-powered Nook Color, Barnes & Noble should really spend their efforts working to build up the popularity of its more powerful Nook Tablet.