Barnes and Noble has announced today that the company is implementing the Google Play Market to the entire line of Nook HD tablets. This will allow customers to finally gain access to a non-curated app store that has almost 700,000 apps currently available. It also gives people the ability to download official Google branded applications such as Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Maps.
“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, NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices.”
In the next few days the Barnes and Noble HD and HD+ tablets will receive an official over the air update that will add the entire Google Play ecosystem to their tablets. B&N claims this is only relevant to tablets in the UK and US, but virtually anyone in the world with a Nook HD will be able to gain access to Google. Not only will you be able to download apps and games, but also music, videos, magazines, and soon newspapers.
I am very happy to see Barnes and Noble adding one of the most popular Android markets in the world. Most people assume that if a tablet does not have access to Google Play, then it’s more worth it to buy one that is. The Nook app store has a curated approach, which really limits the number of apps you can install. For example, you can’t download any of their competitors apps like Amazon, Kobo, or Sony. Now that you have access to Google Play, you do now.
The addition of Google Play should certainly revitalize their sales, as more customers are likely to switch over to that brand. One of the big advantages of Google Play is that international customers can finally use the Nook to its full potential. In the past, even if you had US credit card, and billing address you were limited in what you could buy.
Finally, Barnes and Noble confirmed to us that the company is not abandoning its current app store. It now has over 10,000 apps and will continue to maintain the Nook Developer program.