Barnes & Noble Adds Google Play Store to Its Tablets
Are we moving to an online marketplace where there will be Amazon, Apple, and everyone else will go Google?
Bowing to market pressures and customer demand for access to the full breadth of Android apps, Barnes & Noble has made the bold move of adding the Google Play store to its two latest tablets, the Nook HD and Nook HD+. The free software update, which also includes the Chrome Web browser, doesn’t turn the company’s tablets into true “open” Android devices, but it does make them much more open. It will be available today to download from bn.com and will be rolled out to devices in the coming days via an over-the-air WiFi update.
Despite positive reviews for its tablets, in recent months Barnes & Noble has encountered fierce headwinds as Apple, Amazon, and Google released well-regarded tablets of their own in advance of the 2012 holiday selling season. From a hardware and price standpoint not much separates the products, but Barnes & Noble’s app offerings have lagged behind the competition, even as it worked hard to expand its app store. Such a drawback can give consumers a reason to pause before buying.