Barnes & Noble’s iPad App: The iPad Ebook War Just Got Real(er)

Kindle vs. B&N eReader, default settings


What’s Good (Mostly)

• Like Kindle, it’s part of a multi-device platform, so you’ll have access to all of the B&N books in your library across your computers, nook, iPad and the new iPhone and Android apps that are coming soon…

• It has way more books than iBooks, and is catching up to Kindle. B&N’s official number is over a million, but half of those are works in the public domain. For instance, it matched our Kindle books spot check exactly, and had the same prices as Kindle for all of those books.

• Barnes & Noble’s killer feature, lending books, is fully intact. It worked perfectly, with a notification that I had a book available to borrow when I booted up the app…

• It’s more customizable and powerful than the Kindle app, closer to iBooks: Multiple fonts …

-Lendme (貸本)機能もそのまま使えて便利。

What’s Bad (or Missing)

• The app is kind of blandly ugly, and the UI isn’t as pleasant or simple as Kindle. (In part because it’s doing more.)

• Buying books shoots you out to the browser, which isn’t simply jarring, but the B&N site is not a bag of fun to navigate on the iPad. While Apple might be tying their hands here, preventing them from integrating the store into the app like iBooks…

• The overall syncing and library management system just isn’t as nice as Kindle.

• The nook’s other cool feature, the ability to read full ebooks for free inside of B&N stores, just like browsing books for real, isn’t in the iPad app, though B&N says it’s coming.

• B&N is squandering part of their advantage in using ePub with Adobe DRM, in that you can’t sideload previously purchased books—like if you had a Sony Reader, you could use Adobe’s Content Server to transfer DRM’d books you bought from Sony’s store to your nook.


Barnes & Noble’s app is, for many reasons, the best right now…[BN]


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