Have you been waiting to read NOOK books on your iPad or iPhone? The latest version of the NOOK app from Barnes & Noble has improvements for keeping your ebook library synced across multiple devices as well as improvements to the overall reading experience for users who enjoy reading magazines on the iPad. But, is it enough to tempt users away from their dedicated ereaders?
The various e-readers continue to dominate the electronic gadget retail industry, but leave many people wondering which device to choose. Fortunately, people with iOS devices don’t have to choose as they can download the reader apps for the iPhone and iPad that correspond to their favorite. The Kindle app has been available for a while, but the NOOK app only more recently appeared and it serves to sync users’ current Barnes & Noble library to their mobile Apple device.
Existing Barnes & Noble account holders merely download the NOOK app for iOS, sign in to their existing account, and sync away. If you don’t already have an account, or your account does not have a current credit card registered for default method of payment, you will have to take the appropriate set-up measures. Creating an account is quick and easy, but new users not wanting to use a credit card will have to do the default payment song and dance. Amazon allows users to enter an Amazon Kindle gift card for ebook purchases, but B&N appears to not have that option, though further research may prove otherwise.
The NOOK app has the necessary e-reader features and functions as you would expect, including the ability to change font size and adjust brightness and text contrast. There is also a bookmark function, highlighting option and the ability to tap and hold a word for dictionary, Wikipedia or Google lookup. The books that are available in your NOOK library are displayed — with cover art — on the library home screen, with the ability to sort the view by all or select only those downloads that are books, magazines or newspapers. Users are also able to sort by recent, title or author. As books are read, they are moved to the top of the display on the home screen.
The NOOK for iPhone and iPad has a pretty straightforward interface. The menu and page number scroll bar can be made visible by tapping once off text and when returning to the library or exiting the app, the current page is automatically bookmarked. The same is true if you exit the app to answer a call or text. There is no option for viewing digital textbooks on the NOOK app, but books, magazines and newspapers are available. The one downside to using iPhone as an e-reader alternative (besides its screen size) is the limited battery life of certain models, however shutting down other apps running in the background when reading will help in any circumstance.
NOOK for iPhone and iPad is a more than acceptable option for doubling your e-reader resources and is useful whether you have a NOOK or not. Some users report the need to re-download content after updating, but over Wi-Fi connections downloading is almost instantaneous. Whether your e-book source of choice is iBooks, Amazon Kindle, or Barnes & Noble Nook, iPhone and iPad users can have the best of three worlds.