Barnes & Noble Announces Nook For Web
July 17, 2012

Barnes & Noble Announces Nook For Web

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Barnes & Noble announced a web-version of their Nook reading experience today in an apparent move to compete with Amazon´s online Kindle options.

Nook users can now read their books on Macs and PCs via their web browsers without a sign-in or additional app download. Moving the Nook to the web is a good feature for those who want to catch up on their books if they´ve forgotten their device at home. It´s also a good move for those who want to take advantage of the Nook´s library and service without buying the actual device.

"Nook for Web makes it easier than ever for anyone--from Nook customers to those experiencing digital content for the first time--to access and read books online," Barnes & Noble Digital Products President Jamie Iannone said in a statement printed by the Wall Street Journal.

Barnes & Noble is letting everyone tryout the service for free, offering six titles until July 26th, including Best-Seller “The Vow,” by Kim Carpenter. After the free trial period, Barnes & Noble says readers can buy books from the Nook store, many for less than $10.

Though a sign-in isn´t required to use the Nook web reader, those Nook users who do sign-in will be able to pick up on the web where they left off on their devices.

While this news is good for all Nook users and the Nook-curious, Barnes & Noble is lagging behind Amazon in this aspect. Launched in 2010, Amazon´s Kindle Web app has offered Kindle users similar functionality.

Nook for Web works with most major browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Mobile browsers, it seems, are left out of the new B&N web experience, meaning this is a desktop-only party.

This means iPads and iPhones will not be able to read their Nook books on Mobile Safari. Barnes & Noble does offer apps for both Apple´s tablet and smartphone, however, so these users aren´t completely missing out on the experience.

As Barnes & Noble struggles to continue their retail operations, their Nook sales have become increasingly important. According to the Wall Street Journal piece, some investors have even asked Barnes & Noble to spin off the Nook into a separate, digital book selling division as they compete against the likes of Amazon and Apple.

Their latest version of the Nook, the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight was released in April and ahead of schedule. Nook with GlowLight marries together the benefits of the efficient and power-conservative e-ink technology with the soft GlowLight which Barnes & Noble claims is “perfect for bedtime reading.”

The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight has received some positive reviews as well. David Pierce with The Verge, for instance, says the on-screen keyboard is “impressively usable,” and the GlowLight technology a “wonderful addition.” Priced at $139, the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is priced competitively against any of Amazon´s Kindle options.