11-20-2013 05:45 AM - edited 11-20-2013 06:46 AM
I am considering purchasing a Nook HD+ and was hoping someone could help me with a few questions.
First, when used as a book reader, is the 9 inch Nook HD+ as good a display as the other Nooks are for text display?
Are there any particular issues one should be aware of when using the Nook for books that are not from Barnes & Noble, such as the materials available on the Project Gutenberg website (www.gutenberg.org) and elsewhere?
What version of Android is provided on the 9 inch NOOK HD+? Can the device be upgraded to the latest version after it is purchased? Should I care?
This would be my only tablet and I like the idea that it has general tablet functionality along with the native built-in reading capability. From those of you with more experience, are there any down-sides to looking at it this way? I am also considering the Kindle Fire HDX devices, although the Nook's Google access makes it seem like a more "open" device and the price is certainly more attractive.
Any advice would be appreciated.
11-20-2013 08:06 AM
I can't answer all your questions, but I can tackle these:
is the 9 inch Nook HD+ as good a display as the other Nooks are for text display?
The display is excellent. I have the NC and the new Glow Light. The text on the HD+ is crisper that on either of the others. It's a pleasure to read on it. Magazines such as National Geographic are just stunning.
Can the device be upgraded to the latest version after it is purchased?
From time to time, B&N provides updates which are usually delievered over the air, although you can install them yourself. I think these are updates to the B&N sofrtware, not Android itself. The techies here will know that.
This would be my only tablet and I like the idea that it has general tablet functionality along with the native built-in reading capability. From those of you with more experience, are there any down-sides to looking at it this way?
This is my only tablet, too. It has cured me of iPad Envy. I am not a power user, but it serves as a competent web browser; keeps me entertained on long car trips; works well for email. I've used it to stream a Netflix movie to our TV. With access to the Google Play store, I was ablt to download other readers like the Kindle app and Aldiko. The latter lets me access library books direactly. I bought it the day it came out, and I've been very pleassed with it since. I keep finding new ways to use it.
11-20-2013 08:55 AM
I believe the HD+ has the best display of any of the Nooks so no worries there. As for the non B&N content, I don't use it so someone else can address that. Now, as for the Android version, unlike a cell phone or "regular" tablet, I don't think you need concern yourself with it. B&N updates what it needs to update but unlike any other device I have, I am not really concerned with updating the version of Android. I guess that's because this is my eReader and not my primary computing method. I'm more concerned with updating that stuff which makes it work good as an eReader. Others may feel differently and it is odd now that you mention it because I'm always wanting the latest updates. It just doesn't seem to matter to me with this device. I will be quite happy if B&N just keeps improving on the eBook part of this device. If I wanted the latest and greatest in a tablet, I would have gotten something else. My goal here was to get a device dedicated to media consumption (books, movies, magazines and newspapers). At that, it is an excellent device. Like all devices, it can use some fine tuning and even some improvements to how it handles content but that's pretty much true of everything.
11-20-2013 11:30 AM
the display is crisp and fine to read on.
as for non-barnes &noble books, any books without copy protection/drm (I.e. those from project gutenburg) and those with adobe drm can be sideloaded on any nook. with the google play store, you can also install the apps from other ebookstores like amazon kindle, kobo, and sony.
the hd & hd+ are a heavily "skinned" version of android, but I believe it's running a version android 4 underneath. unless your willing to hack it, you'e
not going to get the "plain vanilla" version of android and are limited to the updates B&N provides. just a side note - your limited to the apps on the B&N and google play stores. you can also sideload apps through a developers kit, but I found the setup process for that tedious. there are work arounds for this, but it involves hacking the device
11-20-2013 04:23 PM
I have had the HD+ for almost a year now, both before and after the addition of GoPS. I loved it before, and I love it now. The screen was the best at the time, and is still among the top available. The processor is no longer the fastest, but it's fast enough for "general" use. I've read books, magazines, and comics on it. I've watched tv shows and movies on it. Never a problem. The video stream rarely stutters, and that would be my WiFi, not the device, I'm sure. I've sideloaded epubs from Guttenburg, FeedBooks, ManyBooks, etc., and read them with both the native Nook ereader, Aldiko, and FBReader. In short, it's a great device for media consumption.
If you want/need a more Android experience, there are various ways to get it. There are cards you can purchase from N2A or AFN (or download an image to burn on your own card) that boot the device from the uSD card and gives you Android 4.2.2 without rooting. This does not void the warranty as some people still seem to think. Then, of course, there is rooting, which does void the warranty and requires more technical expertise than I have or want.
I love the Nook products and recommend them to everyone. (No, I'm not a B&N employee. LOL)
11-21-2013 03:04 PM
One piece of advice: if you're interested in magazine subscriptions, get them through Google Play Magazines rather than BN.
For many weeks now readers of a lot of magazines have been reporting that the version delivered to the Nook devices is monochrome and very dull to look at.
These magazines all have extensive interactive features that a lot of people enjoy and there's been no word from BN on when they'll resume support of those features (BN had it once, but several publishers changed formats and BN hasn't yet delivered support.)
11-21-2013 04:32 PM
That's true in some cases but I will say this. I went into the new Google Play Newstand and tried a copy of Entertainment Weekly I had there. I had a REALLY hard time navigating thru it as the pages gave me all kinds of a hard way to go when trying to turn them. The Nook version had no problems at all. I think I will stick with Nook magazines unless I find one of mine missing the extra media content.
11-24-2013 12:00 AM
... just a side note - your limited to the apps on the B&N and google play stores. you can also sideload apps through a developers kit, but I found the setup process for that tedious.
I beliece that its not actually necessary to install the whole development kit, but possible to just install adb. I haven't tried it yet, but with no classes to teach next week, I plan on trying it out soon. Its a little old school, since its a command line system ... you type "adb install adbshell.apk" to install the app in "adbshell.apk" ... but a heck of a lot easier than the process of rooting the Nook Color was. Other than actually developing a new app or tweaking an existing open-source app, the biggest would be some app that thinks its incompatible with the Nook HD when it really isn't.
11-24-2013 02:28 PM
Can't you just copy over the .apk file and launch it to install? So long as you can set the option to allow 3rd party apps, this should work. I often copy .apks to my devices (though not an HD+) using Dropbox.
11-24-2013 11:09 PM
Ah, bummer. I don't have a lot of need for sideloading apps with GoPS access, but I have had instances where it would be happy. Does rooting the HD or HD+ change this, or do you still have to use adb to install sideloaded apps?
11-25-2013 12:40 PM
If you copy the file to the device and have a terminal program of some sort installed you might be able to do a pm install app.apk rather than doing the adb install app.apk command and needing ADB set up. The pm install command bypasses some of the checking that the GUI does much the way adb install does.
What I don't know is if you can do pm install without being root on an Android device since I've always had root on my devices.