No more loading up a custom ROM or rooting your Barnes & Noble Nook HD and HD+ devices, the company has just announced that Google Play is officially landing on the two tablets. A very surprising yet wise move from B&N shows the company’s desperation.
Despite being one of the first companies to launch a decent tablet with an aggressive pricing in the form of Nook Color, B&N was left behind in the market thanks to debut of Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, which have a more robust content ecosystem. Although Barnes & Noble tried hard and hard, the company’s content ecosystem wasn’t just growing at the right pace and consumers were going to the competitors to get a better value for money.
So, B&N has finally succumbed to the pressure, which is not really a bad thing. With just one step, its Android tablets are suddenly looking way better than Amazon Kindle tablets and are finally competitive.
It is also interesting to see how Google has bent its rules to bring Barnes & Noble on-board because Nook tablets run on a forked version of Android, which most probably does not line-up perfectly with Android compatibility requirements. These requirements are the prerequisites for getting Google apps and Play Store support for an Android device.
Anyways, today’s announcement is a gain for both Google and Barnes & Noble.
“By adding Google Play to Nook HD and Nook HD+, we are offering our customers even more great entertainment on our award-winning tablets,” said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble. “Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading experience available, both are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices.”
Coming to the news, Google Play and the other Google services will be available on all new and existing NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ customers in the US and UK through an automatic over-the-air (OTA) update that is rolling out starting today. You can also go to www.NOOK.com/support or www.NOOK.co.uk/support, to get the update even faster.
The Nook Store will continue to function as usual and will give access to apps and games that are perfectly compatible with Nook tablets.