B&N to update NOOK Simple Touch with web browser, email client

Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Simple Touch is an inexpensive eBook reader with an E Ink display. It’s designed for reading ebooks and not much else… yet.

While the NOOK Simple Touch features WiFi, all you can do with it right note is browse the B&N book store and download content. But according to a leaked memo obtained by TechCrunch, you could soon be able to surf the web or check your email.

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The move reportedly comes at least partially thanks to the strong response B&N received after updating the software on the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ by adding support for the Google Play Store. Apparently people like devices better when they offer more functionality. Who woulda thunk?

The NOOK Simple Touch already runs an Android-based operating system, so adding web browser ans email clent apps should be pretty simple. Whether it’s easy to surf the web or respond to messages using an on-screen keyboard on a device with a grayscale display and a slow screen refresh rate is another question.

According to TechCrunch, the update will apply to both the NOOK Simple Touch and the Simple Touch with GlowLight.

Amazon has long offered a web browser as one of the “experimental” features on its Kindle eReaders. But the company has never included a dedicated email client.

  • http://profiles.google.com/rickvillela Rick Villela

    Even having paid full price for it a few years aback, I still consider my NST one of the best purchases I’ve made. I certainly got my money’s worth. At one point I hacked it to access the full android shell but was less than impressed with the result.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what a stock browser/mail client would look like.

  • svu

    It’s a shame the Nook Simple Touch is not selling as well as it should be. Having owned Kindle Touch, the Nook is a way better e-reader in terms of UI and hardware. The Nook actually uses page numbers and not the weird “location” to identify/number the pages.

    • toronado455

      Interesting. I use the Nook Android app to read eBooks on my Android phone. I like the B&N software much better than Amazon’s software, on both the Android OS and PC.

      Not sure where things are going for B&N. They seem to be on a rocky road.

  • fredlave

    The response to B&N adding Playstore would have been even better if they had upgraded to a full android version. The HD and HD+ can compete with other tablets that run the android OS and do well. It would remove them from their market niche and heighten desirability.

  • Nookie

    Apparently not, it is the sixth of June and you can’t find anything on the net about an update.