Barnes & Noble's Nook product collection may have started out with e-book readers, but eventually the bookstore chain released an Android tablet (though it called it Nook Color e-reader), and followed up with some real slates.
The Nook HD tablets were the latest, but they didn't really amount to much, even with holiday promotions for Nook HD and HD+.
The main reason was the lack of access to the Google Play app store. Buyers only had B&N's much smaller store accessible.
That problem has now been redressed: buyers of the Nook HD and HD+ now have over 700,000 apps to choose from. Though it may be too little too late.
B&N has actually been leaving the tablet market, albeit slowly. That's what some rumors say anyway.
Adding Google Play support may be a last ditch attempt to gain some ground, possibly offering enough of a reason to reconsider withdrawal plans.
Either that or B&N is finally admitting that its choice to use a tactic free of Google's presence was not a right one.
“By adding Google Play to NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, we are offering our customers even more great entertainment on our award-winning tablets,” said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble.
“Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading experience available, both are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices.”
Right now, the Nook HD is up for sale at £129 (down from £159 / $246 / €188). Online retailers say the price is of $180 / €137 – 180.
As for the Nook HD+, it costs £179 (down from £229 / $355 / €272), which corresponds to $250 / €191 – 250.
Now we just have to wait and see if Amazon adds Google Play support to its Kindle Fire tablets (only Amazon’s own app store is supported now).