I am a massive O’Reilly fan, and a serious consumer of eBooks – but one of the greatest hassles with my ever-burgeoning collection is organizing my library and syncing it to my various devices. O’Reilly is currently beta testing a feature that allows you to sync any or all of your eBooks with your Dropbox account, in whichever format(s) you prefer; I think they chose me since I own an absurd quantity of their publications (I basically have my own personally Safari!) – so having my purchases automatically downloaded onto my desktop machine, and one click away on my NOOK Color, iPad, or phone, is huge! (♥o♥) The NOOK Simple Touch, since it lacks a Dropbox app (or any apps, without rooting) is now the only remaining device which will be seeing a USB cable any time soon!
In addition to the great apps I mentioned recently, I just discovered (in what may be the first documented case of “Customers Also Bought…” displaying something useful) that the superb WordPress app is also now available for NOOK Color! The built-in NOOK App browser is somewhat limited, so apparently I just missed it during my most recent combing-through-for-new-apps session – in fact, I inadvertently discovered it while browsing the web-based app list with my iPad!
I really like the functionality of the mobile client – it seems truly optimized for the quick tasks you’re likely to want to do from a small screen with no physical keyboard; though the entire web-based Dashboard is one click away (and can of course be accessed from any browser without app installation), the app is just great for jotting down a quick idea or making a quick edit. I wrote the bulk of this post on my NOOK, though came back to the laptop before publishing in order to spell check and add links. The lack of spell check, as well as the inferior stock Android keyboard (vs. e.g. Swype on my Droid X or the easier-to-use stock iOS keyboard) will likely discourage use for publishing extensive dissertations, but for what I want it for: just jotting down a quick idea while reading, or putting together an outline for a book review, it’s perfect! ￣ー￣
I bought my NOOK Color with one purpose in mind: reading eBooks. I was also intrigued by the fact that it was inherently an Android tablet, but, I’d not really anticipated using it for much more than browsing – especially given the limited apps and lack of marketplace at the time. Numerous firmware updates have improved the device by leaps and bounds, improving performance, enhancing the UI significantly, and adding NOOK Apps, including Netflix, Evernote, and of course Angry Birds! The selection of apps has been rounded out nicely with the recent addition of the official Twitter app, and Dolphin Browser HD. The stock browser is competent enough for basic browsing, but curiously has been crippled by Barnes & Noble to prevent basic features such as copying and pasting. The Dolphin browser has none of these restrictions, and moreover includes unique gestural navigation that takes advantage of the NOOK Color’s multitouch capabilities. Since this is an Android system, Dolphin can be set as the default browser, unlike the iPad where Dolphin exists in Safari’s shadow, with no way to usurp the handling of links throughout applications. My NOOK is still my eReader, but with extremely powerful browsing and convenient tweeting added to the mix, the NOOK Color just gets better and better!