New York — Barnes and Noble subsidiary Nook Media wants to boost sales of its Nook HD and HD+ tablets by enabling them to access the Google Play store and run other Google services.
Google Play access will substantially expand the number of apps that users can download. The tablets will also run Google’s Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search and Google Maps.
The company is rolling out the upgrades beginning today as an over-the-air download via Wi-Fi. Tablet prices remain the same starting at $199 for 7-inch Nook HD and $269 for the 9-inch HD+.
With the upgrades, Nook users can access more than 700,000 Android apps and games in Google Play as well as the more than 10,000 apps available from Nook Media.
Ironically, access to Google Play will let Nook HD users download Amazon’s Kindle app to read e-books sold on Google Play in competition with e-Books sold by Nook Media.
Nook Media didn’t extend Google Play access to its Nook Color tablet or dedicated e-readers.
Nook devices are sold through Barnes & Noble stores, online at Nook.com, and through such retailers as Best Buy, Walmart and Target.