Nook Color Gets Apps, Email, Web Upgrades

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NEW YORK –

Barnes & Noble expanded the capabilities of its Nook Color last week, effectively turning it into a tablet PC.

The Nook Color e-book reader is now running the Android 2.2/Froyo operating system with Flash support for a better video performance, the company said. In addition, users can access free and paid apps and various web email services using the devices fullscreen virtual keyboard.

This has all been accomplished through a free firmware download.

The Nook Color Wi-Fi device carries will retain its $249 suggested retail price.

The Android 2.2 OS improves the Nook’s web browsing ability and an enhanced pinch and zoom feature on the 7-inch touchscreen, the company said.

The Nook Color also has an upgraded reading experience with more interactive content and a sliding page turn animation that the company said was requested by its customers.

The Nook Color apps store now contains 125 apps. These range in price from free to $5.99, the company said, with the majority costing $2.99 or less.

Other changes include Nook Books Enhanced, which include embedded video and audio in 225 multimedia titles such as Knitting for Dummies and Workout Yoga with Brooklyn Decker.

Barnes & Noble also increased the number of periodicals available or the Nook Color to a total of 150 titles.

The bookseller also expanded the Nook Kids feature adding 15 Read and Play digital book titles for a total of 350. Nook Kids books allow children to interact with the story, which is read to them by the Nook.

To support these improvements Barnes & Noble has created a new marketing campaign. It will include advertising spread over broadcast, cable, digital and social media along with radio. The campaign, dubbed Read Forever, and will attempt to attract customers by portraying intimate portraits of people who love to read, the company said.

The spots will hit the air this week.

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