Barnes & Noble has stepped up its pace and recently released a couple updates for two of its 3 reading apps for iPad and iPhone. The new Nook app adds support for iOS8 as well as other features, and the changelog for B&N's textbook app mentions a number of bug fixes and new annotation features. (The Nook Kids iOS app hasn't been updated since July 2011.)
In its first major update in a year, the Nook app gained new support for browsing and reading samples from the Nook Store. Readers can also organize their libraries into collections called Stacks. New customers can test drive the Nook app without signing up, and when they do sign up they'll receive three free magazines and three free ebooks.
B&N reports that they've also updated the interface so it's faster and includes new gestures like pull-down to refresh the ebook library or shake your device to trigger the feedback menu (just imagine it's one of the software developers). They've also added new reading features including a full screen option for PDF and fixed layout content like magazines.
The changelog for the Yuzu app is much shorter. Most of the changes are bug fixes, but B&N also mentioned that students can now add a note or highlight to their textbooks.
Yes, even though B&N launched this app in April and has been pitching it to college students for the past 8 months, they only just now added basic features like notes and highlights. (And from the complaints I have heard from students tricked into using Yuzu, the rest of the platform is in a similar incomplete state.)
You can find the apps in iTunes:
Nook app changelog:
- Added support for iOS 8, iPhone 6 and 6+, iPad mini 3 and iPad Air 2
- Explore the App: Test drive the app even before you sign in, includes three free books and three free magazine issues
- My Stacks: Organize your library as you wish by creating stacks of eBooks, magazines and your own files
- Sample Search: Search our eBook catalog and read free samples
- Enhanced library UI and faster performance
- Full screen magazines and PDF
- Refresh: Pull down to synchronize your library
- Notifications: Get informed when new books and magazines arrive
- Shake to send feedback: Shake your device from any screen to automatically take a screenshot and open a feedback form
- Log out on launch: iOS setting that enables you to start the app fresh without uninstalling
- Bug fixes
Yuzu app changelog:
- Create notes at anytime while reading your book.
• Create a highlight: touch and hold, then drag through the text
• Create a note: touch and hold anywhere on the page, then release
• Turn a page: swipe left or right at any time
- Bug Fixes
• Performance improvements when scrolling book thumbnails.
• Performance improvements when updating and filtering highlights.
• Improved compatibility with iOS 8.
• Fixed Emoji character restriction, which made syncronizing user content more robust.
• Fixed crashes when bookmarking the last page of the book.
• Fixed crashes that sometimes occurred when navigating to the end of a book.