It’s Official: B&N Has Ended Support for Nook PC, Mac Apps
A little over a month ago Barnes & Noble quietly removed any mention of their Nook for PC and Nook for Mac apps, and today they confirmed to me that the apps are no longer being supported.
When my competition reported several days ago that B&N had quietly removed any mention of the Nook for PC, Mac apps from the B&N website, I was one of many that were puzzled by this inexplicable move. This story has already gotten some coverage in the blogosphere, but I held off in the hopes that this was an error of some kind. Unfortunately that is not the case.
It seemed to make little sense for B&N to remove the apps without providing a true replacement. But as unlikely as it might sound, that is exactly what has happened.
Earlier today I received an email from B&N which confirms that both apps have been retired:
We are no longer supporting NOOK for PC for Windows 2000/XP/Vista. To enjoy the NOOK content on your PC please use the NOOK for Windows 8 App or NOOK for Web. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/
B&N sent me the same statement concerning the Nook for Mac app, but I don’t see a need to repeat it here.
TBH it should really come as no surprise. B&N stopped updating the PC app in November 2011 and the Mac app in March 2012 (according to the Wayback Machine at Archive.org).
That is over a year ago, meaning that the Mac app was already deadlined due to a lack of support for OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion. Also, there were no signs that either app supported all the content currently sold in the Nook Store. This now includes fixed layout ebooks (graphic novels, cookbooks, and other rich content), interactive children’s books, and more. Basically the apps had already been abandoned long before they were removed from the B&N website.
But even with the knowledge that B&N had given up on the apps long ago, IMO this move is still a poor choice. Readers might be able to use Nook for Web but they won’t be able to access all of their content. I just checked my Nook account and the majority of the ebooks I got from B&N are not compatible with Nook for Web. Of the first 120 titles listed in my account, a mere 32 could be read online.
I am lucky that I have alternate Nook apps and a Nook HD-, otherwise I would have lost access to something like 75% of the Nook ebooks I own (assuming I were dependent on the Windows app). Or at least it could cost me access to my purchased ebooks, and that brings me to B&N’s other example of mismanagement.
You see, B&N goofed a second time in that they forgot to recommend their other reading app for OSX and Windows. It’s called NookStudy, and it was launched in Summer 2010. NookStudy is more of a textbook app that a general purpose reading app, but it still reads all my Nook content and it is still available for OSX and Windows. At the very least it deserved a mention.
Update: A reader has told me that B&N has retired the support forums for NookStudy. That could be a sign that B&N is planning to get rid of that program as well. (Thanks, Tim!)
All in all, the manner in which B&N retired the Nook for PC and Nook for Mac app suggests that B&N doesn’t care much about ebooks any more. They’re not investing in the apps, they didn’t make any effort to make sure the content is compatible with the replacement, and they didn’t think to offer their other reading app for Windows and OSX.
At this point I am really hoping that the Microsoft buyout rumor is true, because B&N is cutting their losses. It looks to me like they are giving up, so I really really really hope that a white knight appears to rescue the Nook platform before B&N shuts it down completely.
Luqman June 11, 2013 um 11:05 am
Err… Windows XP users can just use Google Chrome.
Nate Hoffelder June 11, 2013 um 11:09 am
Good point. Fixed it.
theros October 12, 2014 um 6:08 pm
HOw do I use Google Chrome to read nook ebooks?
Nate Hoffelder October 12, 2014 um 6:49 pm
I don’t think you can – not without stripping the DRM first.
There is no Nook app for Chrome, and so far as I know there is no Adobe DRM compatible app for Chrome either.
expert December 12, 2014 um 8:28 pm
You can still access your nook books on your browser. Just make sure that the ebook is compatible with the nook for web. 🙂
Tracy June 11, 2013 um 11:09 am
I think you mean white knight.
Nate Hoffelder June 11, 2013 um 11:11 am
Chris June 11, 2013 um 11:41 am
I feel really sorry for all the people who foolishly bought a Nook. I’ve been telling people that B&N is going under and Nook is being dumped. Thank god I’m a loyal Amazon supporter and spent my money on Kindles. B&N will be gone like Borders very soon.
flyingtoastr June 11, 2013 um 2:40 pm
Except, you know, how BN is still a profitable company. But don’t let little things like facts get in the way of your brown-nosing!
ShojoBakunuy March 12, 2014 um 5:08 pm
So, you’re honestly saying that Amazon is better than B&N in terms of hardware and ebooks? Amazon’s policy of forced advertising, revocation of legally purchased content, be it ebooks or video, and their DMR Policies are draconian to say the least. Even if B&N goes under, as an Android device, I can jailbreak my nook and keep using it until I wear out the hardware.
As for the "B&N are going under", as the other poster said, don’t let facts get in the way of your paranoid narrative.
Chris Conn March 22, 2014 um 4:13 pm
B&N may have made a mistake getting into the tablet business because it changes so fast. It would have been smarter to hire a hardware company like google did to build the machine for them.
The next nook will be made by someone else and it will reduce their costs. As somebody said… they’ve been in business for over 100 years. I think they’ll figure it out :-). I love to shop at real book stores, get tired of staring at screens all day. I love the convenience of my nook though.
Nate Hoffelder March 22, 2014 um 10:35 pm
Not exactly. B&N’s trouble was that they made 3 generations of enhanced ereaders. If they had made an out and out tablet earlier I think they would have come out okay.
And while it didn’t occur to anyone at the time, I think we should have taken Pandigital as a warning. That company got out of enhanced ereaders nearly as fast as they got in.
Chris Conn March 23, 2014 um 2:36 pm
I agree. A small lightweight color tablet for books would be perfect. Forget the apps, the movies, the other web stuff. A tablet for people who like to read! I know a lot of people who are perfectly happy with the black and white readers.
I would like to see them add some features to the web based reader too. Maybe they will over time.
Thomas June 11, 2013 um 12:32 pm
This sort of thing is why I never "buy" anything with DRM. Sooner or later, the servers are shut off and you lose it. I never have to worry about losing the stuff I bought from Smashwords or Baen.
Shelly Nelson July 2, 2013 um 1:43 pm
I ADORE Baen!!
ShojoBakunuy March 12, 2014 um 5:09 pm
You’ve found DMR Content you can’t break to use on any device? I have yet to encounter legally purchased single use licensing for a copyrighted and DMR protected content that I can’t eventually use on any of my devices.
Donna March 22, 2014 um 1:46 pm
How do you do it. I used to be able to access my books on nook by plugging it into the computer and viewing the nook drive when it comes up. However, when I do that now it doesn’t see anything. I am not sure what happened or if in fact it has been so long that I am not doing something correctly. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
oj829 March 22, 2014 um 4:23 pm
^ <— (An "up arrow" of agreement.)
fjtorres June 11, 2013 um 12:46 pm
B&N supporting Windows 8 is something they are contractually obligated to do.
They took the money, they have to support it.
Considering the quality of their support, keeping the apps available would’ve cost them nothing. It may be they are sending a message out there.
Or they have a deal to sell out to Google. 😉
Geert June 11, 2013 um 1:10 pm
1. One of the advantages of B&N’s DRM is that you do not need any DRM server after downloading a book once. The encryption is completely enclosed within the E-book file. You can just copy the E-book file to as many compatible devices as you want to, as many times as you want to, no DMR server needed.
2. The current version of Adobe Digital Editions also supports the B&N DRM, and can be used to read B&N ebooks on PC and Mac.
Nate Hoffelder June 11, 2013 um 1:12 pm
Thanks for the reminder about Adobe DE. I forgot.
michael senkinc June 28, 2013 um 10:52 pm
I can personally attest Adobe Digital Editions Can Not Open B&N ebooks. (at least on mac osx lion) I can open epub and epdf books that I have downloaded from the public library but not 1 single book I purchased on B&N. I can see them in my nook library alright but not open them at all. I can not even see the title of the book or author only "a string of numbers[1-9] the word epub a version number v.[1-6] .epub extension.
Tim Wilhoit June 11, 2013 um 2:45 pm
It’s interesting that you mentioned NookStudy as a still viable alternative. B&N dumped the NookStudy Q&A forums into the archives a few days ago. You can no longer make new posts. I doubt that NookStudy will be around much longer.
Beth June 11, 2013 um 4:29 pm
Chris, thank you so much for sharing your expert knowledge on the future of B&N. It’s people like you that are contributing to the hardship that neighborhood Barnes & Noble stores are facing by shopping with a company whose only interest is in monopolizing every industry that they sink their tentacles into. B&N is not perfect by any means. But they provide a mind-enriching service to the adults and children of their local communities.
fjtorres June 11, 2013 um 6:13 pm
The same can be said of the thousands of neighborhood indie bookstore that B&N and Borders put out of business.
And the thousands that survived the warehouse era.
B&N fading is hardly much of a disaster, just as the Borders implosion wasn’t the end of the world.
ShojoBakunuy March 12, 2014 um 5:13 pm
So, you’re part of the cult that believes that "Small Businesses" wouldn’t jump at the chance to become the next B&N? I take it you’re not aware of the fact that B&N started as a single store and then, through good management and over ONE HUNDRED YEARS of hard work became the international megacorp they are today?
Why is it that the Anti-Corporation Crew can’t even take the time to look at the Wikipedia Page before sticking their foot in their collective mouth?
"Barnes & Noble originated in 1886 with a bookstore called Arthur Hinds & Company, located in the Cooper Union Building in New York City. In the fall of 1886, Gilbert Clifford Noble, a then-recent Harvard graduate from Westfield, Massachusetts, was hired to work there as a clerk. In 1894 Noble was made a partner, and the name of the shop was changed to Hinds & Noble. In 1901 Hinds & Noble moved to 31-35 W. 15th Street.
In 1917, Noble bought out Hinds and entered into a partnership with William Barnes, son of his old friend Charles; the name of the store was changed accordingly to Barnes & Noble. Charles Barnes had opened a book-printing business in Wheaton, Illinois in 1873; William Barnes divested himself of his ownership interest in his father’s firm just before his partnership with Noble and it would go on to become Follett Corporation. Although the flagship store once featured the motto "founded in 1873," the C.M. Barnes-Wilcox Company never had any connection to Barnes & Noble other than the fact that both were partly owned (at different times) by William Barnes."
Stacey G. June 11, 2013 um 11:30 pm
B&N certainly didn’t care about the three indie bookstores that it put out of business in my town (one of which I worked at for years). My schadenfreude knows no bounds…
Bill Smith June 11, 2013 um 6:23 pm
And people wonder why Amazon destroys B&N in ebooks.
Unfortunately, this is the kind of thing that shows that some companies are too stupid to survive.
Lilbits (6-11-2013): Multi-screen, multi-player mobile gaming with Chrome – Liliputing June 11, 2013 um 6:31 pm
[…] B&N kills NOOK for PC, Mac apps I don’t know why you’d want to read an eBook on your laptop or desktop anyway, but if you do… and if B&N is your digital bookstore of choice, you’re going to have to do it in a web browser or in Windows 8, because the NOOK apps for Mac and earlier versions of Windows are gone. [The Digital Reader] […]
RobTAK July 31, 2013 um 7:10 pm
The reason for reading books on a computer to to have a window open for quotes while writing academic papers using word processors that have formatting for a particular type of documentation format. This is difficult with books that have not retained page formatting with their paper version, but it is still workable and easier than using the paper version. It also allow searching for pithy quotes by keyword. It is much easier than reading it on a smaller device.
ShojoBakunuy March 12, 2014 um 5:15 pm
You can’t copy/paste off the Nook for PC app, so if you wish to quote, you would have to type it out long-hand. That’s one of the reasons why I never got into the B&N For PC. At the least, if I wanted to snag a snippet for a quote, I’d take the time to go epub > zip > html and then c/p the quotes.
Chris Conn March 22, 2014 um 4:34 pm
I like to read my nook books in a browser sometimes, gives my eyes a break.
I understand why B&N dropped the standalone app… why support 2 products that do the same thing? They improved the browser app and are focusing their efforts on that. Any software company would do the same thing and they’re not even a software company.
Nate Hoffelder March 22, 2014 um 5:08 pm
Except for the fact that B&N killed the Windows and OSX apps while the browser app was crap. There was no library function, no offline mode, and it lacked basic features like annotation.
And guess what? It’s still missing those features, so no the apps don’t do the same thing.
Is Nook leaving PC and Mac to Kindle? | Kindle Review – Kindle Phone Review, Kindle Fire HD Review June 11, 2013 um 7:21 pm
[…] of The Digital Reader (also covered by TechCrunch), we get the surprising news that B&N has stopped supporting its […]
fjtorres June 11, 2013 um 9:19 pm
If true, "ending support" is more than not letting people download new copies of the apps.
Vers la fin des applications de lecture sur ordinateurs ? – Dépannage informatique June 13, 2013 um 8:58 am
[…] a arrêté de proposer ses applications Nook pour PC et sous Mac. Selon les informations du site The Digital Reader, il n’y avait plus de mises à jour depuis fin 2011 pour Windows et Mars 2012 pour Mac. Il n’y […]
Does Nook Tablet firesale mean something big is afoot? — GigaOM Pro June 17, 2013 um 10:51 pm
[…] it was reported the company killed the Nook apps for PC and Macs, and this week news came that the company is continuing its promotional pricing on Nook tablets […]
Tim Wilhoit June 18, 2013 um 11:04 pm
B&N restored the links for the W7 and Mac apps. They’re a mass of indecision, it seems.
Nate Hoffelder June 19, 2013 um 12:25 am
Barnes & Noble discontinues Nook HD, HD+ | Digital Trends June 25, 2013 um 12:00 pm
[…] B&N will also do something with the long-forgotten Mac and Windows desktop apps (they disappeared from the company’s site some time ago and only recently returned). Still, they’ve seen no update for over a year and […]
Mike Perry June 26, 2013 um 9:13 pm
I fear, B&N’s heart simply isn’t into ebooks. Early last December, I released digital versions of Hospital Gowns and Other Embarrassments. Sent directly, Amazon made it available overnight while Apple took about a week. The other retailers (Kobo, Sony etc) supplied through Smashwords took a week or so with the exception of B&N. It didn’t even download the file from Smashwords for over a month.
Being a month behind everyone else in releasing new ebooks isn’t the way to win readers.
ShojoBakunuy March 12, 2014 um 5:17 pm
I’ve purchased ebooks from multiple sources and used them on my Nook HD+. I’ve only purchased a handful of ebooks from B&N and doubt I’ll buy many more when I get such a wider selection elsewhere and then use an android app to read any format on the Nook itself.
Chris Conn June 27, 2013 um 11:12 am
I suspect it’s just easier for them to support a reader on a web browser and it has the added advantage of taking us through their website where we may shop for more books.
The product I support for IBM was originally a stand-alone product and eventually our developers created a web-based product that was faster and easier to use. Modern software developers like to do everything on the web.
I also suspect there are marketing reasons – if I had a laptop I would probably use Nook for PC rather than spend the money on a nook. The web version is not bad, good for reading sometimes when I’m sitting at my desk and re-charging the nook.
Upheaval in the E-Book World – NYTimes.com July 11, 2013 um 10:59 am
[…] there are Nook apps for Mac and Windows, but Barnes & Noble abandoned them some time ago. There’s also a way to read these books on a Web page, but it doesn’t work for […]
Mark August 26, 2013 um 10:09 am
I’m not upset by the loss of the Mac app. The fact is that we are in the post PC world and how many people read books on their computer? I had the Nook app, but probably only opened it 2-3 times period. A computer is not a good book reading device. I use my Nook app on my iPad and have several books in various stages of completion. I think people read too much into their tea leaves. While BN has it’s faults, remember the others do to. As a Amazon Prime members I can’t read the books I can borrow without a Kindle. Apple is adding iBooks to OS X 10.9, but I have to wonder how much it will actually be used. It will be helpful as part of a work flow, but otherwise, I’ll read my books and magazines on my iPad.
Nate Hoffelder August 26, 2013 um 10:14 am
And yet there is a nook app for Windows 8.
Curt October 29, 2013 um 4:09 pm
…and now Nook Study appears to be dead on OS 10.9 Mavericks. At least, it errors off for me after 5-6 seconds.
Nate Hoffelder October 29, 2013 um 6:18 pm
I wish I could say I was surprised.
Jose Adnel Rodriguez November 5, 2013 um 6:05 pm
Que mala decisión, espero que se arrepientan, están perdiendo un gran mercado!
Chris Conn November 5, 2013 um 8:19 pm
Lately I’ve been reading fiction on my nook and tech books on my desktop PC browser with my B&N account. The tech books are easier to read on a browser. I think the only mistake B&N made is trying to get into the computer business (too expensive and extremely competitive). Now that they have a plan to let somebody else build the tablets they should do well.
Vicki November 17, 2014 um 3:57 am
Thank you for this article. I have been frustrated because my PC Nook Study wasn’t registering my newly bought books, although B&N site still does on my Nook and Tablet. I even downloaded the new version of Nook Study for PC by Yuzu and it wouldn’t even let me sign in. I kept getting "no internet connectivity" messages.
After your article, I now know it’s not my computer but a grave error on B&N part for taking it away from their loyal customers, and especially with this on-going battle of whose better: Nook and Kindle.
Tara Drolma December 19, 2014 um 10:07 am
This is why I no longer purchase books from B&N. Now I have an investment in books that I can’t use. My books hardly open in the old iOS nook app. When they do open the highlighting is greyed out and the text is difficult to read. What a waste.
Less indie author romance, eBook euro retreat, ASI class action denied | Self-Publishing Advice for Writers July 13, 2015 um 5:40 am
[…] Barnes & Noble in eBook Euro Retreat?… The Digital Reader reports that Barnes & Noble is telling customers in Europe that they will soon be ex-customers. “B&N has reiterated the announcement they made last month when they said the Nook Windows 8 app would no longer be available internationally.” The Nook Store had been available in 40 countries, including Australia, much of Europe, Canada, the UK, and the US; on 8 August the Nook Store will only be available in the US and UK . The report concludes that with Nook revenues “having fallen to half that of the previous fiscal year ($264 million) and expected to continue declining (authors are already reporting that the malfunctioning website has killed their sales) the odds are very good that B&N is going to throw in the towel on their ebook money pit”. (Update: The Digital Reader has a new update on this story here.) […]
Ria July 21, 2015 um 12:44 pm
OMG there are a million comments…I didn’t read any so I apologize if I’m repeating something that has already been mentioned…
I’ve never had any interruption of any sort with my nook app on my phone? I have had sync issues between nook and phone, but what brought me here is I cant read on line anymore…insert sad face___ after reading your post i’m assuming that has been canned by B&N? ugh insert devastated face___! any who thanks for the info!
Nate Hoffelder July 21, 2015 um 1:14 pm
The online reading option was lost in B&N’s recent site update. I don’t know when or if they plan to bring it back, sorry.
Randall Martin September 2, 2015 um 9:08 pm
I think B&N is a lousy company and probably deserve to go out of business. Unfortunately, that will hurt a lot of us; but they have already done that — for example, in my town they closed the bookstore even though it was said to be profitable. Supposed reason: landlord doubled rent — turned out to be not true. Landlord did want to raise rent but was willing to negotiate. They were not. I hope somebody with some sense buys them out before they shoot themselves in the head.
Cynthia September 7, 2015 um 7:13 pm
I found your article while looking for a resolution to the error I was receiving installing the Nook app on my Windows 8 Dell laptop. So first of all, I want to say that there is indeed a Nook app for PC. And I was finally able to get it installed after getting an error code 0x80070057. After trying all sorts of ways to resolve it with no success, I tried something that was suggested to someone getting the same error while he was trying to install the Netflix app. And that was to install the Flixster app because the Flixster app installed a couple of dll files that were missing from the Netflix app. I figured that it couldn’t hurt so I tried installing it and then I was able to successfully install the Nook app on my Windows 8. I hope you don’t mind me commenting here, I spend a good deal of time trying to figure this out so I hope that if someone else is lead to your blog post by their search that the same resolution will work for them. I love the internet!!
Nate Hoffelder September 7, 2015 um 7:25 pm
Thanks for the tip. That’s a strange fix, but I’m glad that it works for you.
Cynthia September 7, 2015 um 7:28 pm
Oh, and here’s the link to the Nook app for Windows. I did read somewhere the on Windows 10, it wasn’t working so well. While I may not read books often on my laptop, I am going to love it for the cookbooks that I have for sure. And handy when all I have is my laptop with me and I don’t want to use the app on my phone.
Cynthia September 7, 2015 um 7:28 pm
It would have been smart if I had pasted the link. Sorry!
tem May 15, 2016 um 10:17 am
link for the app
Paul September 7, 2016 um 12:18 pm
The reason they call virtual remote storage Clouds is that eventually clouds go away. It’s a hint not to count on it to stick around.
Keep investing in virtual books and "subscription rights" to movies and TV shows instead of actual paper and DVD’s and see what you have in 10, 20, 50 years to pass on to posterity.