Nook gets web browser, free in-store reading, and games in new firmware

It's not in our nature to get all excited about firmware updates, but B&N sure seems to be bringing the good stuff in release 1.3 of the Nook's software. The major new features include a Beta release of a "basic" web browser and a Read In Store feature that's reassuringly true to its name. You'll basically be allowed to browse and read the full versions of books while inside a Barnes and Noble outlet. That looks like a win-win to us, as it directly addresses the goal of using the Nook to get people in stores while affording consumers the opportunity to get a good idea about a book. The first Android apps on the device are also offered, in the form of games like chess and sudoku, both perfectly suited to the glacially refreshing monochome screen. Speaking of which, B&N claims it's also improved page turning and loading speeds. The update is available via manual download now or you can wait for the OTA stuff to hit your Nook within the next week.

[Thanks, Davorin]