07-02-2011 01:07 AM
I think we should maybe collectively list our difficulties with the core NookColor functionality in a central thread. There's a lot of grumping about various apps we don't have or want or want cheaper, but B&N has little to do with that directly, for better or for worse. What they do have a say in--i.e., complete control over--is the basic functionality of their device. So: What about those features that come, by default, with the NC? Where do you see room for improvement? What bugs really bug you?
I'll start us off with:
1.) The obvious. Where's landscape mode, again? And why do I have to rebuild my bookshelves any time the thing gets reformatted? Cloud computing, anyone?
2.)The aesthetic. How about being able to get rid of LendMe, Sample, or other banners? And maybe we could use more than three home screen pages?
3.) The broken. The stock e-mail app seems pretty buggy to me. Anyone else have a really slow time getting e-mails from a gmail account? And too many books refuse to reformat when I tell them to. I love the Night setting, and I like a large font, but lots of books won't blow the font up as large as the settings bar suggests they will, and have you ever run across a book where the font color won't change for Night? Black on grey is the opposite of friendly to the eyes.
There are others that probably it in each of these categories. What bothers you? What needs fixing? What could be improved?
07-02-2011 01:11 AM
Oh! And this has been bothering me lately. The social features need some sort of improvement. Sharing on Twitter needs some easy way to split long quotes across multiple tweets. Sharing on facebook is much easier, but it's hella ugly. The quote itself appears in fine print, barely readable, above a bold-faced link to the Nook Store page for the book you're quoting. Naturally, B&N wants people to be able to easily buy the book you're quoting, and they should. But there must be a more elegant, less confusing way to do this. As it stands, the quotes are just too easy to miss.
07-02-2011 01:49 AM
07-02-2011 02:51 AM
What really bugs me is the store. Whether it be on the website or on the NC, if I search for a book that I know can be found for free, I have to scroll through, sometimes several pages, before I find the free version. Then, I not only find one free version, but sometimes dozens, all with the same name and default image but not all of them work. If I search for the same book on Amazon, the free kindle version is not only the first result but there is only the one free version so I don't have to try and guess which one is going to work or not.
Honestly, I'm tempted to root my NC just so I can install the kindle app and get my books through Amazon. Other than battery life, I think the NC beats the Kindle hands down but the act of trying to find a book leaves MUCH to be desired.
07-02-2011 03:37 AM
NookVine.com - A commentary on the Nook and Nook Color e-reader devices.
07-02-2011 11:12 AM - edited 07-02-2011 12:38 PM
I'd like to have the ability to "save" a search criteria in the Shop because I routinely search for new books by my favorite authors, publishers, etc. - and the current "shop history" list gets cleared out too quickly
Also, I would like to be able to create a "watchlist" in Shop where I can be notified by the Shop software when a book matching my search criteria is released (e.g. my favorite author added a new book, the price changes, etc).
07-02-2011 11:12 AM
I've had to give up "Animated Page Turns". I've always tapped the right edge of a page to turn, but with this Animated feature, too often it turns backwards, giving me the previous page. Way too often! So, I turned it off and it never misses.
07-02-2011 12:27 PM
I want control in the Shop feature over what genre of books are offered. I would like to change this whenever I want.
Another thing that drives me nuts about searching books is that when I see one I like, I press to see the details, see that it is a series so I press on "More Like This"....I expect to see the other books in the series so I can find the first one. But, no, the books are by other authors and have nothing to do with the series or even the same author.
07-02-2011 12:32 PM
How about the option to make the app and book icons smaller. Yes, they've made it apparent that their perceived demographic is kids, but can we at least have the option of grown-up sized icons? My other long standing gripe, is the lack of an EQ in the music player, either presets, or a graphic EQ. Just give us what every $30 mp3 player has.
I agree with the icons. The more you have on one page and you double click on the screen it will "clean" it up and make them smaller (provided you have more than 12 icons on one page). How about being able to lock them in place so as when a person swipes their screen the app icons don't go flying about!
07-02-2011 12:40 PM - edited 07-02-2011 12:51 PM
Landscape mode, or simply a release of the Nook app for Android via the onboard app store for folks who need the function. (There are folks who actually need it, as they can't hold their NC for long periods, and almost every cover works in freestanding mode only in landscape.)
A working backup program. I would actually prefer on-device backup to an sdcard to backup to the cloud. Titanium is excellent but I haven't had the chance to test shelf storage with it yet.
Network functionality. 1.2 did something screwy to the network stack, and there are a lot of people who have had a lot of trouble with it.
Archiving ought to work. I've recently discovered that setting the archive flag on content often leaves the content sitting on the device. This is a particular problem for magazines, which seem able to be downloaded twice under fairly normal usage. And when I unarchive a mag, even one where there's already a full copy on device, it goes and fetches a second copy.
A cradle charger, to put an end to the problems with damaged cables. This is a more serious issue than BN thinks. So far, they seem to be relying on the charger's class 2 rating to avoid having to worry about potential problems. A class 2 device, according to UL, has "limited energy available and is not considered capable of hazardous shock or ignition." Not considered capable is many leagues, in legalese, from not capable. Poor quality control in the build or a surprising design change are examples of things which might not be considered.
I completely agree that it's embarrassing how bad BN's search functionality is, on the NC or on the website. There are computers involved, people, and that means you can actually do queries on a database. The inability to set up account preferences on query types or to use multiple keys to search is just crazy for a bookseller. The dead tree reference tomes on books in print have better advanced search capacity than the website does -- seriously, you can find multiple search keys very quickly if you know how to work with the books in print references.
Let me also outline a couple of things I hope BN won't try to integrate into the OS:
- parental filters. These are not simple to implement, and good ones require a lot of thought. Reach out to the Net Nanny folks, who have an Android app, for this functionality and sell it in the store. Please do not decide to do this without assistance.
- bluetooth. The bluetooth chip and the wireless chip are the same hardware device on the NC. even the folks working on CM7 have apparently had issues on occasion with the network stack - there were some interesting threads just recently from people who couldn't use networking under CM7 for a time.
BN has had problems enough with networking. The device was never sold as supporting a keyboard, and although I'm sure BN could make some dough selling a bluetooth keyboard that was "nook color compatible" I'm equally sure they'd be in over their heads and many folks would have a lot of trouble getting it to work and a lot of folks would find that hey, presto, the BT implementation hammered their wifi somehow.
- netflix. The device was not sold as supporting Netflix. Until the core issues are addressed, despite the popularity of netflix, that's a can of worms BN ought to leave next to the sink. I would really hate to see Netflix delivered as a preinstalled app that can't be removed. And I think BN ought to avoid distributing it until they're ready to pull up their man pants around issues like the charger, since making Netflix available is going to dramatically change the use and charging patterns of the NCs in the field.
07-02-2011 12:53 PM
Adding to my previous, I'd like the ability to manage (at best) and backup (at worst) my shelves. After a few "restore to factory" actions caused by B&N and myself it is frustrating to replace my 20-25 shelves and assign my 150 "special" books onto them of the 1100 books in my library.
Synchronization of the B&N Wishlist and the NC Wishlist...or a backup ability at the minimum because the "restore to factory" also loses this information.
Ability to add a library search result to a shelf in bulk on the NC. E.g. If I search for a series name in my library, I can then click to add all those books to a shelf at once.
07-02-2011 01:49 PM - edited 07-02-2011 01:52 PM
Well, the fact that the Nook Color came with preinstalled files like "My Videos", they should give us a format in how to download this videos instead of many of us having to go to nookdevs website or another. AND, GIVE US AN OPTION to UPDATE that FLASH PLAYER, or give us an UPDATE!!!
on this matter, so we can enjoy browsing the web better. PLEASE!!!!!!
07-02-2011 02:46 PM
07-03-2011 01:48 AM
What is the purpose of bluetooth on the nc?
bluetooth keyboards, wireless BT headphones, file transfers with cell phone, slightly useful stuff like that.
07-03-2011 09:51 AM
Synchronization of the B&N Wishlist and the NC Wishlist
I would like that function!
07-03-2011 02:13 PM
I want to be able to sort my purchased books from the samples i have downloaded. When you download over 500 samples, it gets to be a headache.lol
Also, I want some performance fixes. The device now bogs down all the time, doesn't always reads tocuhes and the touch sensitivity has been obviously lowered by B&N.
07-04-2011 02:49 AM - edited 07-04-2011 02:49 AM
> Let me also outline a couple of things I hope BN won't try to integrate into the OS:
While I agree with the rest of your recommendations, this is one I'd disagree with. I know exactly where you're coming from, and agree that there is serious potential for some bad ramifications. I also do not believe that B&N has the tech chops to pull it off, based on their failures with wifi, which they still haven't rectified.
However, they don't have to do it alone. During the initial design and implementation phase, they had a lot of help from a little company named TI. Which happened to be the company that built the OMAP chips that drive the units. I doubt TI would want their silicon to have the rep that it could be used for wifi OR bluetooth, but not both. So I'd think they'd be motivated to give B&N a hand.
07-04-2011 05:10 PM
Mark notes: "During the initial design and implementation phase, they had a lot of help from a little company named TI. Which happened to be the company that built the OMAP chips that drive the units. I doubt TI would want their silicon to have the rep that it could be used for wifi OR bluetooth, but not both."
Well, I wonder just how much BN listened to TI? The chip has had both BT and WiFi on it since launch; if BN had released the NC with a keyboard, or enabled keyboard support with 1.2, either would have been good for business. I expect TI would have mentioned, somewhere along the line, maybe more than once, that BT was an option if they'd been working with BN.
Also, since BN currently has a TI chip that does neither Wifi well nor BT at all, one wonders what the current state of assistance is, and to what extent BNs engineers are permitted to listen? More than a month ago we heard that some of the wifi issues had fixes but no release date, and we haven't seen a patch roll out yet. That has to be frustrating as all get-out for the BN folks who are working on that.
I know that you know quite a bit more than most about the development process, but my thought on the device was that TI didn't have much of a relationship with BN directly - I had thought BN had contracted Logic PD to do the hardware design? Is Logic PD a wholly-owned TI shop?
07-04-2011 05:39 PM
The CPU and Networking interface chips are not always integrated for many reasons, but mostly to allow for independence of processing activities. Load the buffers for each up and let each processor do its thing.
Logic PD does not appear to be a B&N subsidiary since they also design and make products for 3M, Target, and SanDisk.