In addition to the new accessibility options and other upgrades mentioned in the changelog, the update also quietly added a feature which gives me great hope that B&N is planning to launch their tablets outside of the US and UK.
The official changelog for the update says that it adds a new annual subscription option for newspapers and magazines, and that the Android accessibility feature Talkback has been enabled in more places, including Home, Library, email and the web browser. And last but not least B&N is now going to use “your” tablet to pitch deals for Nook ebooks,magazines, and more. (Luckily you can turn this off under the Settings/General/Nook Notifications menu.)
All in all there’s not much that’s newsworthy in the changelog, but luckily I had the good fortune this week to have a reader tell me about the unannounced part of this update. (Thanks, flyingtoastr!)
My Nook HD+ now offers the option of installing more dictionaries. I cannot find any options for installing my own dictionaries, but I can see that B&N is now offering dictionaries for Dutch, Italian, German, French, and Spanish.
These new dictionaries are not available in the Nook Android app, and they were added to the Nook HD sometime in the past 8 months. I cannot be more clear because I have conflicting reports that say that the dictionaries first appeared with the update, with the Google Play update in May 2013, and at a couple different dates in between.
But never mind when the dictionaries showed up; simply the fact they are present could be a good sign that B&N hasn’t completely handed their international plans over to Microsoft.
B&N is selling ebooks in the US, UK, Canada, and 29 additional countries. The latter group of countries are only limited to only using the Nook Windows 8 app, but the new dictionary support might be a sign that B&N plans to launch tablets in those countries as well, or if not tablets then perhaps Android or iOS apps. This would be the obvious next move, IMO, but then again I expected B&N to include all of their apps when they opened a new localized Nook Stores.
B&N hasn’t had any luck with their Nook platform over the past year, and they could use a boost from increased ebook sales. Their digital revenues have dropped for the past several quarters even though they have been selling they Nook HD and Nook HD plus tablets at drop dead prices.
The Nook HD+ is a 9″ tablet with a 1920 x 1280 resolution screen. It is running B&N’s own proprietary version of Android on a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU, and it ships with 16GB or more of Flash storage. The Nook HD is a 7″ tablet with a 1440 x 900 resolution screen (the highest of any 7″ tablets when it launched). It to is running a proprietary version of Android on a 1.3 GHz dual-core CPU, and it ships with 8GB or more of Flash storage.
You can find the tablets with prices starting at $129 and $149. If you’re interested, the Nook HD+ is a much better value; the Nook HD is pretty but not a better value than its competition. I would get a cheaper tablet with similar specs.
In any case, the dictionaries are available now. If you want to install them you will find the option under the Settings/Apps/Reader menu.
P.S. Does anyone know if these dictionaries are available for the Nook Glow or Nook Touch?