To think, it's been just over a year since Barnes and Noble's Nook was officially unveiled, a 6-inch e-reader with a secondary, Android-powered colored display for navigation. And here we are now, in attendance at a "very special event" from the bookseller's Union Square store in New York -- for what, we can onlyguess. Stay tuned, things could get very colorful.
4:51PM BN has its own SDK, the third-party developer optimizes for the Nook Color platform. "We never say [it'll never use Android Market apps]," but it's not happening now -- and from the sounds of it, we doubt it's really on the roadmap for anytime soon.
4:49PM Q: "Why no 3G on this device?" A: "WiFi is free, and free is good." A cost cutting measure for holidays. "That's not to say we won't launch [a 3G model] later down the line."
4:48PM "Will it access the Google Store? Does it support Flash? Will it support sideloading apps?" No (we want a "curated experience" and will add to its own store), no (but you can access the web), and yes (really?).
4:46PM Apologies for the absence -- go check out our hands-on for redemption. At launch, Barnes & Noble expects over 100 magazine titles available at launch. "Everything that we have is available for single copy or subscription." Everything has 14-day trial on newsstand.
4:39PM Developer program is "primarily" for Nook Color (vs. original Nook).
4:38PM 4,010mAh battery.
4:37PM Hey! Still here? It's Q&A time!
4:33PM "Thank you for coming." And that's a wrap! There's a Q&A in a little bit -- but for now, we're off to do hands-on. "Sweet Temptation" is blasting through the speakers. Man, do we want a Diet Coke.
4:31PM Will be shipping on or around November 19, pre-order now.
4:31PM The price? $249 -- but you already knew that.
4:30PM BN is "doubling down" with in-store Nook boutiques. They look very clean and fancy. It'll also be sold at Walmart (2500 stores), Best Buy (1100), and Bam! Books-a-Million (223).
4:28PM In November, original Nook owners will get "the biggest software enhancement yet," including faster page turns. The $149 progenitor doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
4:27PM Since Nook's launch, BN has managed to obtain 20 percent of the digital market. Any guesses who might claim the rest?
4:27PM Nook Developer, for Android programmers who want to make apps. Lonely Planet, Dictionary.com, and Pandora are among those already invested.
4:26PM Pandora, music, sudoku, and other apps.
4:25PM Nook kids. There's a read to me, and a read by myself function. One of them is for the parent with laryngitis -- pre-recorded audio narrates for you.
4:24PM And now onto magazines! There's brightness adjustment from the top menu. Article view brings up full content to read.
4:23PM Nook Book personal shopping, a nice way of saying recommendations. Can't say we trust Sessallee.
4:22PM The library is organized by books, magazines, newspapers. You can sort yourself as well, and view your own files (music, images).
4:21PM Along the bottom is the latest content -- newspaper, books you've purchased, and so on. We think he called it the Daily Chef.
4:20PM Will hold six thousand books out of the box. There's also a microSD slot and what looks to be its corner handle.
4:19PM 8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 inches in dimension. 15.6 ounces weight.
4:19PM Time for the specs. The screen, "Vivid View" from LG. 16 million colors. "We invested in a full lamination screen film technology." Maximizes readability of backlit LCD while minimizing glare.
4:18PM Author Adriana Trigiani is here, quoting her own piece Brava, Valentine. "A handwritten letter carries a lot of risk. It's a one-sided conversation that reveals the truth of the writer." Nowhere does that give specs, we're afraid.
4:17PM Highlights, notes, sharing (with contacts, Facebook, Twitter), and a search option. The Facebook page we're seeing looks just like the browser version.
4:16PM (Psst, we just checked Barnes & Noble's own website. It's coming November 19th for $249.)
4:15PM First device to offer over 100 newspapers and magazines in full color.
4:14PM Designed with Yves Béhar
4:14PM Developed for well over a year -- which by our count would be when the Nook was officially unveiled. "Reading is the killer app." We're also seeing documents and Pandora apps. 0.5-inch thick.
4:13PM Random House, MacMillan, Hearst, Penguin, Conde Nast, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins are being thanked. In other words, they're all still content partners.
4:11PM A portable tablet and an e-reader in one! It's an "entirely new product category." ... Really, now?
4:11PM "Meet Nook Color, by Barnes & Noble."
4:11PM And that's the end of the presentation. Now onto the details! (We hope.)
4:10PM Share via contacts, Twitter, Facebook
4:09PM It's all one big color touchscreen, as we guessed. There's video, recipes, and now onto kids. yes, there's an actual kid on stage being comforted." Nook kids.
4:08PM "Starting the day with all the news that's fit to print, and so much more. The freshest story." There's some weird pantomiming going on here. But sure enough, that's a new Nook.
4:07PM "Imagine, everything you love about reading at your command. Your entire.. whenever you need it."
4:07PM Lights are down, here we go!
3:59PM If we're not mistaken, Patricia Heaton is sitting in the front row. And that's the most exciting thing going on so far. Just a little longer, promises the voice on the loudspeaker.
3:46PM A multitude of friendly staffers at each escalator level. Ominous suits with bothered faces. A handful of tables covered ominously covered in black. A series of white chairs we swear Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote about. Yep, we're seated and ready to go. T-minus 15 minutes.