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Mark_OB1
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?


roustabout wrote:

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? 

 

That's correct.

 

Is Logic PD a wholly-owned TI shop? 

 

No, not at all.  You're actually talking about 2 different things: the design of the NC hardware (Logic PD), and the software support to make it all work at the core level (drivers, etc.) in cooperation with TI.



Greg Burke at TI wrote in his Blog, back on Oct28'11...

 

"As a member of the team that helped bring this product to market..."

 

you can read more here, if you're interested:

 

http://e2e.ti.com/blogs_/b/mobile_momentum/archive/2010/10/28/one-for-the-books-and-so-much-more-bar...

 

- Mark

 

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roustabout
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

[ Edited ]

Thanks, Mark, I would never in a gazillion years have seen that, and it clarifies that pre-launch, TI was doing quite a bit of work with BN. 

 

Given the near radio silence from BN on the topic of wireless fixes since 1.2 rolled out, I still have the feeling that BN management has decided is that the nook color is now feature-complete and that even bug fixes are now very low priority, let alone new features. 


My local BN shop may offer to let me run the Nook class in a few weeks.  I did explain to the fellow I was talking with that while I'd be delighted to, and wouldn't advocate that folks use the Amazon app, I would be explaining how to use Aldiko to get features which are marketed Nook Color features to work, as well as explaining what a 1.1 + root device is useful for in terms of improving networking reliability.  

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Mark_OB1
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

[ Edited ]

roustabout wrote:

Given the near radio silence from BN on the topic of wireless fixes since 1.2 rolled out, I still have the feeling that BN management has decided is that the nook color is now feature-complete and that even bug fixes are now very low priority, let alone new features. 



That would be very unfortunate.  In my opinion, the NC is minimally adequate in a number of areas, but could easily be improved to be much, much better.  In other words, it's at the stage where it has a lot of potential.  For B&N to rest on their laurels now would be a big mistake.

 

I'd normally tend to agree with your assessment, however we all know how tight-lipped B&N can be.  I still expect to see both a bug fix release, as well as a new feature release from them this year, before they move on. 

 

However, what I don't expect is to hear any advance notice of those events.  :smileysad:  We'll get to read the PR along with the media, about the changes.  And it will take longer than any of us are happy with.

 

- Mark

 

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roustabout
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

If I were advising BN management, I'd say "you're done.  Start on the NC 2."

 

The unit and charger need to be redesigned for safety - that's nothing which can be addressed in software.  A cradle would help, but it will be costly to send cradles out to everyone currently using an NC and in any case, as long as you're doing the redesign, time for a new CPU. 

 

Lots of the back-end infrastructure for BN is done.  The Chinese tablet makers are constantly rolling out new platforms.  Amazon's platform will probably be very popular and if it's available in a 7" and a 10" form factor with both able to install the Nook app, Nook Color sales will crater. 

 

If I were doing design at Amazon, I'd absolutely let the Nook app run on the device.  I'd also build in a cost comparison feature for book shoppers.  It would be a little odd to be unable to read Nook epubs in the Amazon kindle app, but that may well be something they're already fixing.

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
Mark_OB1
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?


roustabout wrote:
If I were advising BN management, I'd say "you're done.  Start on the NC 2."

 

Maybe.  :smileysad:  But IMO, they'd be cutting their own throat to do so. 

 

There are way too many open issues, complaints, and deficiencies in core reader functionality on the NC1, for them to be able to get away with that.  They need to fulfill the promise of the NC1, before moving on to the NC2, as you've suggested.  Failing to do so would result in an interest level (on my part) of <0 in their new flagship product.  Nor would I be able to recommend it to anyone, regardless of what advances and new promises (yet to be broken) it might offer.

 

The unit and charger need to be redesigned for safety - that's nothing which can be addressed in software.  A cradle would help, but it will be costly to send cradles out to everyone currently using an NC and in any case, as long as you're doing the redesign, time for a new CPU. 

 

That may be true, but you can't just abandon 3 million units already in the field, like that.  No matter how expedient that may seem to you.

 

Lots of the back-end infrastructure for BN is done.  The Chinese tablet makers are constantly rolling out new platforms. 

 

The Chinese makers have been making craptastic tablets for years now.  They will continue to make craptastic tablets.

 

Amazon's platform will probably be very popular and if it's available in a 7" and a 10" form factor with both able to install the Nook app, Nook Color sales will crater. 

 

That remains to be seen.  All we have so far is smoke and speculation on the Amazon tablet front.  From what I've been hearing, it will still be months before we get any information that's more specific, and months after that before we can get our hands on their unobtanium. 

 

It/they may turn out to be totally awesome, or merely decent competitors.  Since we still don't know, it's easy enough to imagine how incredible they might be.  Which works in Amazon's favor.  Not having a tablet to sell, doesn't. 

 

At this point, we can't even say which or both of the rumored 7" and 10" models will appear.  A 10" model will be no competition at all for the NC1.

 

If I were doing design at Amazon, I'd absolutely let the Nook app run on the device.  I'd also build in a cost comparison feature for book shoppers.  It would be a little odd to be unable to read Nook epubs in the Amazon kindle app, but that may well be something they're already fixing.

 

You're all over the map on this one, eh?  :smileyhappy:  I'm not so sure they will have access to the Nook-specific DRM to allow Nook ePubs to be read in the KIndle app.  They certainly could however allow the Nook App for Android to run, and even include it, to make their tablets a more universal platform.

 

- Mark

 


 

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roustabout
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

Fortunately for everyone, I am not doing design or consulting at either Amazon or BN - I was just saying what I think the smart plays for each company are. 

 

Much of the core reading functionality that you and I agree is broken in the NC has been broken since the Nook platform launched, no?  Shelves stored only locally;  no landscape;  terrible highlighting and notetaking ability. BN and Amazon have acted like they must choose between 'prosumers' or genuinely professional readers, and folks who read linearly and/or have kids.

 

In BNs defense, they and Apple are doing stuff with kids books that is pretty cool, and are a leader in that.  You and I don't find that tech very nifty;  for us, it underutilizes the device. 

 

So, BN and Amazon voted for folks who read romance novels and kids books.  Kindle and Nook are great platforms for linear reading of relatively simple texts that don't need a lot of notetaking, a lot of jumping around inside the text. 

 

Once you get outside that envelope, the Nook and Kindle both start to, well, kind of suck. 

 

I've posted my issues with technical reading at length, as have folks who read professionally.  My feeling, though, is that this is really a problem for e-reading throughout the industry, not just a BN or Amazon issue.  

 

I've posted the suggestion that people start talking to Bible concordance developers about what it would take to use their software with other texts, and since then I've learned that there is a spec, "Christian Reference Open Software Standard," for working with not just the bible but other religious texts.  I actually wrote one of the sets of folks who do concordances and have not heard back.  

 

As with many things on the nook color - aside from the power problem - this definitely seems to be something we get to fix ourselves.

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
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vitaminbillwebb
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?


roustabout wrote:

 

So, BN and Amazon voted for folks who read romance novels and kids books.  Kindle and Nook are great platforms for linear reading of relatively simple texts that don't need a lot of notetaking, a lot of jumping around inside the text. 

 

Once you get outside that envelope, the Nook and Kindle both start to, well, kind of suck. 

 

I've posted my issues with technical reading at length, as have folks who read professionally.  My feeling, though, is that this is really a problem for e-reading throughout the industry, not just a BN or Amazon issue.  

 

 


Let me say: I agree with this entirely. As a professional reader, the NC is a source of equal parts pleasure and frustration. I've loved reading novels on it for fun, but for work, I'm finding it difficult. Highlighting, note-taking just don't work well. But the other problem is the lack of availability from publishers of scholarly monographs. Only Oxford has really gotten on board with e-books. Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, and most other UPs seem happy to ignore the e-book market. Go figure, because it seems like a market tailor-made to the incredibly small number of readers that my sort of reading material tends to attract. Low cost of materials, availability on-demand, and so-forth. 

This makes me wonder to what extent the availability of books for professional--as opposed to recreational--readers has an impact on the decisions of Apple, BN, and Amazon when they're considering features to emphasize. I don't know what things are like for technical books, but if they're anything like they are for my materials, they're overpriced and underrepresented. Will this change? What would it take to change it? 

 

VBW

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Savoir_Faire
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

B&N would have nothing to do with making Netflix available other than allowing the app in the store. Netflix would provide the app if they determined the NC to be a secure platform in accordance with their content providers wishes. What B&N needs to do is fix video playback, which was indeed a "core function" of the device when it debuted, that was broken with update 1.2.
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roustabout
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

[ Edited ]

I completely agree on the video playback.  I'd forgotten now many folks' video watching was impacted by that. 

 

Savoir_Faire also writes:  "B&N would have nothing to do with making Netflix available other than allowing the app in the store"

 

If it weren't for my impression of the colossal resource suck that is Angry Birds, I'd agree.

 

I think what'll happen will be that Netflix will be so overwhelmingly popular that tech support will do little else but field Netflix calls, whith frequent intense spikes: Netflix server go down?  BN will be inundated.  Crummy DSL signal?  Call BN.  ISP throttling Netflix during a peering dispute?  Call BN. 

 

And then there's the Netflix app itself.  I've used it.  It's fun when it works, but it isn't that reliable for me on Android.  I've had to quit it multiple times to get a movie to play in the past.  This kind of thing, if it's common to other Android netflix platforms, will also generate a ton of calls. 

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
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Savoir_Faire
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

Unfortunately I am sure you are correct that B&N will bear the brunt of the support/complaint calls, at least initially. It would be nice to think these calls could be redirected to the proper respondents without a lot of fuss but that is unlikely to be the case. As far as app quality, they are new and I think in time will be improved ( maybe not so much for our version of Android ). I think some also fail to realize that Android is still a very young OS and will also mature over time. Many of us remember how flaky Windows 95 was at times, especially compared to the relative stability of current versions. I hope Netflix will find its way to the NC despite the inherent difficulties but at the least I would very much like to see video playback restored to the quality I had seen prior to 1.2.
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bbchase81
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

The NookColor (nook color, NC or nook...whatever it takes for Google to index this post) is absolutely terrible. I cannot connect it to my home network after 2 calls to customer service, 1 call to the store where I bought it and using 2 different routers, disabled/enabled MAC address filtering, adding the MAC address, changed the wireless from n to g and anything else under the sun. I've spent at least 12 hours over the last 3 days just trying to get it to work. The solution? Access it over an unsecured network -wonderful.

 

The apps? They're awful...completely worthless. Why would I even consider 1.) downloading angry birds to my NookColor or 2.) Paying for it?!?! It's free on Google's Market but we can't access it on the NookColor (NC, Nook Color or Nook). 

 

I am unable to install OverDrive on the NookColor. Nor can I delete the file nor can I install non-market added apps on the device. It is my device, isn't it?

 

Core functionality? I can't even use their web browser to post on their own site. 

 

They've made ADE a real pain in the butt to setup. Why would I log on my computer, install ADE, download books to my computer, plug in the NookColor, transfer the files there, go through who knows what ungodly process to open them, read them, then synch PC and NC to return the book? Isn't the NookColor already on the internet?!?! Let me download the stuff right to my device. I went to Adobe's website and was unable to download ADE because the software was not compatible with my device. 

 

Absolutely unbelievable. Google should yank B&N's ability to develop on their OS. It is an absolute hussle. The only thing that is made is easy is clicking the shop button to find books through B&N. 

 

The NookColor is a complete scam. Buy a Kindle if you want an ereader. The NookColor is worthless for web features and giving users options on how to listen to or read books. 

Mark_OB1
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?


Savoir_Faire wrote:
Unfortunately I am sure you are correct that B&N will bear the brunt of the support/complaint calls, at least initially. It would be nice to think these calls could be redirected to the proper respondents without a lot of fuss but that is unlikely to be the case.
Strangely enough, no one seems to call Panasonic (or LG, or Samsung) or whoever manufactured their TV set, when they're having problems with their cableTV service, or satellite service, or even... Netflix. 
But those same folks would have no problem calling B&N about Netflix problems, just because they happened to be watching on their NC, using a Netflix-written app and a Netflix data stream.  Even though there's nothing B&N could do to help them.
...at the least I would very much like to see video playback restored to the quality I had seen prior to 1.2.
Absolutely!  I'm surprised (and disappointed) they've let that languish this long.
- Mark

 

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roustabout
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

bbchase:  It sounds like you would do best to return your NC for a Kindle, to be honest, or possibly for a wifi only Galaxy tab - it can run the Nook and the Amazon software, it has a very nice screen and some of the other bells and whistles the higher-spec tablets have, including GPS, camera, and I think compass. 

 

When an NC is unable to talk to a network, it's a very frustrating device, no question. 

 

If you are interested in doing an experiment with it before you take it back, you could try

side-loading one of the ACSM files that normally are read by Adobe Digital Editions.  I

recently helped someone root an NC, and once we were done with that, as an experiment

we dropped an ACSM file on the reader. 

 

Since we had rooted, we were not in your situation, but the file was readable.  I don't remember

if by Aldiko or the stock library app. 

 

You could also try returning your unit for a different one, but folks who have gotten NCs which could not talk to their networks replaced usually see the same problems with a second unit. 

 

In my hands, WEP is completely unsupported by the gear I run + the NC.  Yet WPA2 + AES works quite well.  (I only even thought to look at WEP because I stumbled into an old thread where some CS reps had told customers "WEP is not supported" and others had said "WPA is not supported."  I have a high pain threshold and was curious.)  

 

Other folks have had the opposite experience.  When I've had N gear in the house, the NC has done much better under G. 

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
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Glitchster
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

"Core Functionality"... that's a mouthful.

 

When I plucked down my $249.00 for the NOOKcolor, I was thinking about reading books and maybe having a tool for studying. Core functionality was not advertised.

 

This seems to be a subjective term. Whose definition is being used? Yours?... Mine?... or is there an entry in THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY I should lookup?

 

As I spend more time using the NC, see more advertising and read posts about suggested fixes and improvements, I begin to think about the advertisements I used to see in the back of comic books selling amazing listening devices or x-ray glasses that you could spy through clothing. Even, when I was a ten year old boy, my slowly developing common sense would whisper, " no way!"...

 

After using the NOOK & NOOKcolor for a few years, my common sense is starting to make me aware of it's loud presence. (I'm shoked it took that long to react...)

 

One of the things that was brought to the forefront was the "functionality" of the keyboard. I and a few other users have posted about the missing navigation keys of the years. (You know... the keys that make the cursor move up, down, left or right around a document or note being entered.) In God's right mind!...WHERE ARE THEY! When did I ever want a state-of the-art- emulated keyboard to FUNCTION LIKE A MECHANICAL TYPEWRITER!!!

 

And... I must say...very responsive B&N has been...

 

Here's the response my common sense has given me.

 

I am going to get out from under the cloud (I'm talking realtime clouds here..) of the NOOK development vortex. The next chance I get, I will purchase a tablet and navigate away from the alluring smoke & fog of the marketed ereader domain.

"Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy... so, take it easy..." the Eagles

... If knowledge is power, why do I have to keep recharging my ereader ?
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dkennedy66
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

I'd like to be able to delete pdf's and other files. without having to connect to my PC.

 

I'm not techie, so I don't know why this isn't possible, but I downloaded some items from Overdrive the other day and found that I can't transfer WMAs to my nook color. Would be nice to be able to do that as well.

 

I'd also like some changes to the soft keyboard. I shouldn't have to go to the numeric keyboard to get an apostrophe, and the numeric keyboard should be a number pad like a calculator. Also, it would be great to have a shft key on both sides like a real keyboard. and is there a way to move the space bar away from the 'n' key and/or the menu icon? I frequently hit them trying to get a space.

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sandystarr28
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Re: Forget Apps, What About Core Functionality?

Re: Keyboard Shortcuts I've found two that still work after the 1.2 update: * If you press any key on the keyboard and drag "up", you will find an extended keyboard, with the numbers and more common punctuation marks * and if you press certain characters on the keyboard and hold, it with bring up other options for that key: s and §,ß, n and ñ, u and ù, ú, û, ü. You just have to play around with it a little But the ? and ¿ has to be the ? on the 2nd page. Hope this helps. Personally, for me, my life would be complete with a copy and paste function (apparently, this was lost with 1.2) Good luck! ••••Always looking for new nookies: sandystarr28@gmail.com