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July 19, 2012

Barnes & Noble Releases Problematic NOOK Web App

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Barnes & Noble has officially launched its NOOK web app. The company can now compete online with Kindle Cloud Reader, Kobo’s Instant Reader and iBooks.

E-Reader apps have turned to the Web in order to offer their e-Readers on every platform. Also, last year, the iTunes store changed its terms and conditions so that e-Reader apps could not link to their company’s online stores from within their apps. This meant that users could browse their NOOK libraries through iOS apps but could not download new content.

The web-based platform should allow users to download books on their mobile devices and shop for new titles. Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble seems to have omitted the commercial function of the web app for shoppers who are using mobile iOS devices.

When users attempt to download new e-Books onto their nook from their iPads or iPhones, they receive an error message telling them that they need a desktop web browser to complete the task.

“It looks like the web browser or device you’re using isn’t supported yet,” says the screenshot. “Try one of these: Internet Explorer 9, Google (News - Alert) Chrome for Mac or PC (latest version), Safari for Mac or PC (latest version), Firefox for Mac or PC (latest version).”

“You can also read NOOK books using one of our free NOOK reading apps.”

Except, of course, that you can’t download new books through the app, which means that you either need a NOOK device to shop the online store or you have to shop from your desktop PC.

To shop for NOOK books from the iPad, 9to5Mac.com recommends using the Chrome iOS app to navigate to NOOK for Web Reader. Then, from the menu in Chrome, select “Request Desktop Site.” “It is not an ideal solution, but it is definitely usable on the iPad,” says the website.

TechRadar also reported that the NOOK web app would not work on an Android (News - Alert) mobile phone.

To celebrate the launch of its web app, B&N is offering six free e-Books. Titles include “Map of Bones” by James Rollins, “Sex and the City” by Candace Bushnell, “The Vow” by Kim Carpenter, “The Boxcar Children Summer Special” by Gertrude Chandler Warner, “Brave” by Tennant Redbank and “Perfect Island Getaways” by Patricia Schultz.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman
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