Barnes & Nobel Nook Firmware 1.1.0 Update
I just got an email from B&N regarding my nook, that there was a firmware update available for my device. I couldn’t help but download this update immediately and see what it was all about. The download clocks in at 110MB and takes just a few moments to copy to the Nook drive on the device once you plug it in. I was waiting in vain for the display to go to sleep so I hit the sleep button on my nook and it dutifully went to sleep. I pressed it again and the nook software update boot loader appeared. The nook took about three minutes to load the firmware update and once it was complete it went back to sleep using the default “authors” screensaver.
I woke up my device and started to poke around the edges looking for what was updated. Of course I glanced at what B&N1 was pushing:
- Breakthrough E Ink® display – best just-like paper reading, even in bright sun
- 25% faster than any other eReader ” Best-Text™ Technology for sharper, ultra-crisp fonts
- Longer battery life -read for over 2 months on a single charge*
- Ongoing enhancements and other performance improvements
As I was playing around with the device it struck me just how fast everything was responding to my touch. In previous firmware iterations I would have to tap several times for the interface to respond to my touch. Now it is much more crisp and fast. Another thing that has markedly improved is the speed with which pages are painted on the eInk display.
From the points above, some of them are new features, some aren’t. #1 is just what the device has already, so the firmware didn’t deliver anything for that. #2 is very subjective, I wasn’t expecting the update to the nook firmware so I didn’t spend any time eyeballing the fonts. On my nook the only font I use is Helvetica Neue, after falling in love with it from my exposure to people who were mad about typography here at work. The speed of the text, which is the other part of #2 was patently obvious. The speedup is very noticeable and very welcome. Point #3 is generally true, my nook simple touch has a kick ass battery life, perhaps the update will lengthen the battery performance but I haven’t been using it long enough to judge that point yet. And of course, there is #4, which apparently hides a whole host of interesting mystery items. I have to imagine that somewhere there is a technical document that details all of these updates that were glossed over in point #4. Perhaps if someone from B&N reads this, they could comment. That would be nice.
In the end I think that B&N should apply this patch to all the nook simple touch devices they have on display in their stores and they have done a really great job addressing things that at first you didn’t think you had a problem with, but once addressed you find you really appreciate. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a review unit of the new nook tablet and then I can write up a review of that. It should be a lot of fun, as I can compare it to the iPad and the original nook color tablet. I’m looking forward to it!