Nook Gets a Firmware Update and Now I Can Recommend It


When I reviewed the nook eBook reader last week,  I concluded the review by saying that I couldn’t make up my mind if I liked or disliked the device and that I couldn’t recommend it until the performance issues were resolved. Last night Janet asked me if my nook had received the firmware update. I had seen murmurings all day that it was happening but I totally forgot about it till she asked me. Sure enough, when I took a look at the device information summary page, I saw that the firmware had been updated to version 1.1.1 – yay! I’m happy to say that overall performance feels much snappier with this update. Touch area navigation, button page turning and and even swipe page turning are all much faster now. Initial book loading times still feel slow, but  I can live with that as font changing time and load times when going back and forth between multiple books have been fixed. I’m happy to say that I now have no qualms recommending the Barnes & Noble nook ebook reader.

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16 comments… add one
  • Tetsubo December 22, 2009, 9:18 am

    Does it allow the Right of First Ownership?

    Because if it doesn’t, it’s nothing more than a lending library that you pay for. If I buy a book, I want to own the book.

    • Julie December 22, 2009, 1:42 pm

      @Tetsubo As far as I understand, you own the book. You can download it as many times as you like and on as many devices as you like.

      @J.R. I’m sorry, I don’t have any experience with reading periodicals on either device. Right now there aren’t enough to choose from on the nook and my Kindle has the Sprint radio which I can’t use at my house because my coverage is horrible. I’ve not tried to subscribe to any.

  • John December 22, 2009, 9:24 am

    Lol I just notice this…. in the corner of my eye something got my attention it was my nook I thought that it ran out of battery but as soonest it look like it turned off it started powering up and that’s when I got suspicious. . first thing I did was to check the firmware 1.1.1 and I like it

  • GeekFilter December 22, 2009, 10:45 am

    Oddly, most people are showing 1.1.0 not 1.1.1 any ideas what the difference is?

    • Julie December 22, 2009, 10:47 am

      @GeekFilter I have no idea… I was also surprised that mine shows a different number than what I’ve been seeing elsewhere.

  • SeahorseSeaEO December 22, 2009, 11:17 am

    Yay! Glad to hear the update made a noticeable difference…. now I am just waiting for x-mas to come and go so I can go order mine 🙂

  • J. R. December 22, 2009, 1:25 pm

    Which would you recommend more though? Nook or kindle? I’m more interested in how they handle newspapers and periodicals than anything.

  • December 22, 2009, 1:40 pm

    @julie V1.1.0 updated many things, but also broke a few functions that some people use regularly. B&N didn’t do proper regression testing and for anyone that uses Adobe Digital Editions to sideload content (especially sony books or Overdrive Library books), the books disappeared from the nook listings. They are still on the device, just not accessible unless you physically move them to My Documents. Also, the sorting of books in My Documents changed from By Author to By Date Uploaded.

    My nook has yet to update from V1.1.0 to V1.1.1, so I can’t attest to these two items (at least) being fixed. Can you?

    @JR Right now, Kindle has the best newspapers and periodicals section. B&N is adding content, but it has been a bit slow and the listings haven’t grown much in the last week or two. B&N Has more ebooks, but I think they are also counting a big chunk of books from the Google Books project.

    • Julie December 22, 2009, 1:45 pm

      @brian Hmmmm, I just looked at My Documents and my list is unordered, so it must be by date.

  • Deb December 22, 2009, 3:14 pm

    From a total technophobe (as my husband affectionately calls me….) would you recommend the Nook or Kindle to a virgin e book reader?

    • Julie December 22, 2009, 3:21 pm

      @Deb either one is very easy to use. The nook has an advantage over the Kindle 2 because it has WiFi. But, that is only used for accessing the online B&N store to buy or get free books. You can get free books elsewhere on the web and put them on the Kindle or nook.

  • brian December 22, 2009, 4:48 pm

    @deb some other nook vs kindle thoughts: the nook can read DRM (digital rights management) protected Overdrive library files (like ePub and pdf’s), and the kindle can’t. So, if you want to checkout ebooks from your library (and your library supports the option; hopefully Overdrive), the nook works better, right now. Kindle is supposedly working on supporting the open ePub format, but kind of goes against their very sony like concept of locking things down with DRM. However, if you like audiobooks, the kindle can play files (as Amazon bought them very early this year) which is great. The nook can play audiobooks and .mp3’s as well, but they have to be DRM free.

    Also, right now, the kindle has an experimental browser for viewing web pages, which I hear works okay. If you have the money, the Kindle DX is a great looking piece of hardware…

  • Cobin Rox December 22, 2009, 7:56 pm

    @brian — does the nook’s mp3 capability retain the last mp3 file that was played? Or does it always restart at the first mp3 file? Reason I think that this is important is that I listen to books in mp3 format and it’s pretty critical that the player remember the last file played.

    @Julie — when you say that the nook has “WiFi” does that mean that it only “connects” when there is a “WiFi” signal (like, say, if you were sitting at StarBucks or if you happen to have WiFi at home)? Or does the nook also allow you to connect to the store using a cell-phone signal like the kindle does? If the latter (ha!) i.e. if it only connects to WiFi, what about WiFi that is locked, like one’s home WiFi, which is usually locked.

    • Julie December 23, 2009, 7:44 am

      @Cobin You can use the WiFi to connect to an access point like at Starbucks, McDonald’s or your home to access the B&N store. If there’s no WiFi access point it can connect to, then it will use the built in cellular radio (AT&T) to connect to the B&N store. There is a settings page where you can enter security details such as the name of the access point, security type and password.

  • Deb December 22, 2009, 9:32 pm

    Thank you both! I will probably only be reading novels on whichever I get. I travel around the world, constantly for my work, and I’m tired of schlepping books! I will be purchasing towards the end of January (when my season starts) and want to find out as much as possible about both devices. Thanks again, you were both very helpful.

  • Stephen April 23, 2010, 1:24 pm

    What I’m looking for in the Nook is a directory capability. I would like to be able to create directories where I can store books and access them logically. For example, I have all of the books from a particular author. I would love to store them in a directory and name them in the order they were written, like the tracks on a CD. Alpahabetical, by author, date…this simply does not work for me, but something like Book 1 – Title – Author or something similar would be great. And having them in seperate folders makes it easy. I simply decide which author I want to read, go to that folder and open the book I want, instead of trying to remember a title, entering a search word, scrolling through a giant list or flipping through hundreds of covers.

    Barnes and Noble…you said you heard us and you were looking into it….but I dont see this in the new firmware update (1.3). What gives

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