Barnes & Noble today announced enhancements to its Nook eReader that will come via a software update.
According to a press release, the new software, version 1.3, will include a beta version of Barnes & Noble’s Read In Store experience, which will enable Nook users to browse complete eBooks in Barnes & Noble stores at no cost.
The company also said the update will include the first Android applications available on the device, enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity and a basic Web browser.
At Barnes & Noble retail locations, the Nook automatically connects to the store’s free Wi-Fi, which is provided in most cases by AT&T. AT&T also powers the Nook’s wireless connection. Once connected, Nook users can use the Read in Store feature to read complete eBooks available in Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore, even if the physical book is not in stock.
Nook is based on Google’s Android operating system. The first apps come in the form of games like Chess and Sodoku. Nook v1.3 is now available via manual download at www.nook.com/update.
Enhancements to the Nook such as apps come as the iPad’s implications for the eReader market are still being assessed. Many believe that the iPad and other tablet devices could make the eReader a thing of the past.