No, I was wrong. It turns out that the update did wipe all the apps I had installed; I didn't notice at first because they got replaced by a set of nearly identical apps! Hehehe They added a file manager, an office suite, and a link to SlideMe. This is actually a very nice start. It's not all the apps you need, but it's an improvement on the CA firmware.
This firmware might not be compatible with your black Novel, so you should first download the update app from Pandigital. I think you should use it to check which firmware is compatible with your particular Novel.
I've heard a few complaints about people having trouble with the update app so I'll give you a direct link to the download section for the updates. Before you visit the link you really should use the update app to find out which firmware is compatible. Don't mess with these files unless you know what you're doing. If you break something it's your own fault.
Curiously enough, I don't see a firmware update for the 9" Novel.