02
Jul
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Barnes & Noble may be toning down its Android tablet business, but they'd still really appreciate it if you bought some books from them. To that end, they've updated the Nook Android app to version 3.4, with a focus on better magazine browsing and book images. Now Android tablets with a resolution of 1280x720 or higher (which should be pretty much everything made in the last year, barring some off-brand hardware) have access to bigger, sharper HD scans of magazines.

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New magazines have been added to the library as well: WIRED, Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour, and SELF. These "HD" magazines are apparently not available on smartphones - I couldn't see them in the store with my RAZR M, while some other magazines were available for purchase and subscription. Illustrations within standard ebooks can now be enlarged, so you won't have to squint at the puzzle illustration from the latest Dan Brown mystery.

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Lastly, there are a couple of accessibility additions for blind and reduced-sight users. Android's triple-tap Screen Maginifier introduced in 4.2 now works with Nook (though it's not clear how this is different from its standard behavior) and the text-to-speech TalkBack feature (Android 4.1 or higher) can now be applied to individual lines of text within magazines and ebooks. It works quite well, so long as you're acquainted with TalkBack's modified navigation scheme. There are also some requisite bug fixes which have not been detailed.

What's in this version:

3.4:
• Popular magazines now available on Android tablets: SELF, WIRED, Glamour, Vanity Fair, GQ
• Supports HD magazines on HD-supported Android tablets (1280x720 or higher)
• Enlarge book illustrations for more detailed imagery
• Now accessible to blind and low vision users leveraging Android assistive technology, including screen magnification (OS 4.2 or higher required) & TalkBack (OS 4.1 or higher)
• Bug fixes
• Some users may need to Sign Out then Sign In again to complete this upgrade

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • acey_zero

    Wow, it *still* does not support children's books?

    • effinay

      My thoughts exactly. Nook app, however is still my preferred method of reading.

  • Avid Reader

    Just updated the app on my N7000 and wow they broke Night Mode totally by changing the background to GREY instead of BLACK. Which totally ruins the power-savings to be had on AMOLED screens. (Noticeable I assure you. Reading for an hour only consumes 5% of battery in Night mode)

    The only useful stuff for me in this update is ability to zoom on illustrations, but breaking the NIGHT mode? Nope. Downgraded back to 3.3.

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  • Rucknrun

    I just want it to sync with my E-Ink Nook. The sync sucks.

  • LenaHen

    Not only does sync suck, but they've also completely broken the "My Files" sideloaded libraries. I have a LOT of public domain documents (from Project Gutenberg) and had them loaded successfully in v3.3 -- and while they're still in the tablet, the app does NOT find or recognize them.

  • Guest

    DO NOT UPGRADE. Night Mode is broken now. Instead of a black background it is now bright gray.