updated 07:17 am EDT, Fri May 3, 2013
Google addition to Nook HD leaves Kindle Fire as last closed Android system
Barnes & Noble is boosting the number of apps available for its Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets, by adding the Google Play store. The software update will add Play alongside the company's own app store, boosting the number of apps available to its users by over 700,000, along with the millions of songs found on Google Play Music, and other Google-supplied content.
As part of the software update, the tablets will also receive access to standard Google services found on other devices, including the Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Maps. Users will soon see a notification for an automatic over-the-air update over Wi-Fi from later today.
The addition of Google services to the Nook HD and Nook HD+ is an interesting maneuver by Barnes & Noble. Until this point, the Nook HD and Kindle Fire tablets from Amazon were in self-contained ecosystems, requiring the use of their own app and book stores for content. By Barnes & Noble opting to add Google services and the Google Play store to supplement its own offering, this leaves Amazon as the only major Android tablet provider left that avoids Google integration.