Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nook E-Reader Update Version 1.5: Could It Get Better?

This photo has nothing to do
with the article at all.  But it got
you here, didn't it?
Now I was already a big fan of the Nook, but in a word, yes, the Nook did get better with this update.  The Version 1.5 update has made its debut, and I'm impressed--I didn't even realize I wanted half the stuff that was included with update Version 1.5, but some of the enhancements of the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader are terrific, and make it even more enjoyable to use.  I dropped into the B&N, saw the update was available on my Nook, and dowloaded it via Wi-Fi.  It took about ten minutes to download and reboot.  I'll give you a few of the highlights:

Turn the Pages Faster

As it was before the update, you could turn the pages faster than you could with a real book (if you try to turn pages that fast in a real book, you'll tear them out.)  Now, when you turn a page, it's nearly instantaneous.  Now, if you're like me, and sometimes you get sleepy when you read, it can cause a little confusion, because it changes so fast you think it hasn't so you turn the page again, and next thing you know, you're all confused.  I'm sure I'll get used to it. 

This photo does . . .  this is
a Nook!

Organize Your Library

The new Shelf feature is very nice, and it takes only a few minutes to organize your library like you want it.  I basically split my titles up between "Fiction" and "Non-Fiction" but you could be much more specific than that.  You could organize then by genre, or author, etc.  However you want.  It's a great feature, and makes it easier to find your books.  If only my library shelves at home were organized like this, because I can never find anything I'm looking for there. 

Battery That Goes On and On and On . . .

As it is, I'm lucky if I have to charge my Nook once a week.  But the battery life has been improved in this version.  More is always better.  One new thing is that the Nook will turn itself off after 72 hours on standby, so if you put your Nook down for a month instead of a day, you won't go back to it and find it dead as a hammer.  It was a good idea. 


This photo does not . . . do you
see the pattern?

Password Protection

 Previously the Nook didn't have Password Protection.  It does now, and you can set it up two ways.  You use a password each time you turn it on to unlock it.  That's kind of a pain for me.  I'll probably set it up the other way--password protection for any downloads.  That way, if somebody does swipe my Nook, they won't be able to rack up my credit card with Barnes & Noble downloads.   More security on a portable device like this is always a good thing.

Sync Feature

The Nook always kept track of what page you were on in each of the books in your library, but you can get Nook applications for many of your wireless devices, and even your PC.  Before this upgrade they didn't sync.  The new Nook 1.5 software will sync wireless with your other Nook programs. If you forgot your Nook, and were reading something from your library using your PC or cell phone, your Nook will know what page you left off on when you get home.  It's a very handy feature. 

And More . . . 

How about this one?
What do you think?

There are a few other bells and whistles with the update, including some enhancements to the online functionality, but these are the ones I thought were the best.  Basically, the enhancements to the Nook make an already impressive e-reader even better.  There is some argument over which e-reader is the best, and although the Kindle might have a slight advantage on the hardware side of the equation, the Nook I think has far surpassed any gains you get there in functionality and ease of use.  It's easy to use, and made not for the gadget aficionado, but for the reader--the really serious reader.  And this software update I think takes the Nook far beyond the Kindle. 

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