Barnes & Noble delivers major Nook update

Barnes & Noble has added a range of new features in its Nook 1.3 software, now beaming its way to wifi-connected e-readers.

Read In Store, currently in beta, allows customers in the company’s bookstores to read many complete eBooks, even if the physical book is not in stock – although they’ll need to be fast readers, as access is limited to an hour a day.

Soon, it promises in-store visitors will also be able to virtually flip through leading daily newspapers and magazines covering news, finance and technology. Access to these will be limited to 20 minutes.

“At no cost, Nook customers can browse through our robust collection of digital content while enjoying their favorite beverage in our café,” said Tony Astarita, vice president for digital products.

The new software also improves performance, giving improved page turn speed, faster access to previously opened eBooks and enhanced color touch screen navigation.

An updated home screen provides direct access from the home menu to existing and new features. The new version also adds chess and sudoku.

There’s also a basic web browser included – also in beta – operated via the touchscreen’s virtual keyboard. This means Nook users will be able to use their devices to access wifi networks that require authentication via a web page, an ability that many have complained is lacking.

Wifi-connected Nooks will receive an automatic update over the next week. There’s also a manual download, here.