New Nook Color has iPad Capabilities

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The once modest Nook Color has officially become a formidable contender in the sea of tablet-computers. Barnes and Noble has released a new, updated Nook Color with Android 2.2 software today. Complete with email, social networking features, a Flash supported web browser, and an app store, the newly updated version of Barnes and Noble finally puts it out of the e-reader category and into the Android tablet an iPad market.

As of today, there are already 125 apps available for the Nook Color, half of which are free or cost less than $2.99. Users can expect titles such as the game Angry Birds, cooking app Epicurious, Pandora Internet Radio, and news apps like Pulse. The device also offers a social reading app, NOOK Friends, which allows users to interact with other Nook Color users, meant to share recommendations and see what others are reading.

The Nook Color is still first and foremost, an e-reader, and comes with upgraded e-reader capabilities. The new software allows a more interactive reading experience, with apps like Nook Kids, which allows young readers to draw as well as move pictures by touch.  It also offers in-page video in digital books and a newly expanded library of Nook Newsstand offerings, including ESPN Magazine and PC Gamer.

But the most attractive thing about the Nook Color is that in spite of all the upgrades, the price hasn’t changed. A new Nook Color costs a mere $249 compared to the Apple iPad which starts at $499 and the Samsung Galaxy tablet which costs $349, making it a competitively priced alternative.

This is the first news from the world of e-readers since the Amazon Kindle bested the Nook last summer in price. The new Nook Color upgrade signals the beginning of a fledging trend in the e-reader market, a shift from a focus on e-readers to tablets.

The Nook Color is already making waves in the gadget world, having already sold 3 million units in the U.S. alone.

Nook owners can download the new software at

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