Barnes & Noble launches eReader for iPad app, we go hands-on

Barnes & Noble might be pushing the Nook as hard as it can, but the retailer has always said it wants to build a reading platform across devices, and it's making a big step in that direction with the launch of its eReader for iPad app today. The app allows Nook users to download most of their content to the iPad -- the books all work, but some periodicals like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal aren't available yet -- and there's a nice bookshelf view with jacket art and a library search function, which the Kindle app and iBooks don't have. As with the Nook and other B&N clients, the iPad client supports LendMe for certain titles, but there's no in-app purchasing -- selecting "add books" from the bookshelf view kicks you out to the browser, just like the Kindle app. We're not sure if this is an Apple restriction or a design decision, but we were told B&N is looking into adding in-app purchasing in a future release.

As for reading, eReader is actually quite flexible -- you can customize the page, text, highlight, and link colors any which way you want (we made some hideous combinations), and there are some nice presets themes as well, ranging from "The Printed Page" to an inverted setting called "Night Light." You can also set books to display using the publisher's settings, and there are the usual line spacing and justification options as well. The only issues we had were with page turns and rendering -- flipping from portrait to landscape too fast would result in some brief wonkiness, and flipping pages too quickly would eventually stall the app and lead to a brief load time. Neither was a deal breaker, but there's clearly some room for polish here -- we're sure B&N is planning to iterate this rapidly, so we'll see what happens. All in all, though the eReader app is a worthy competitor for your iPad ebook dollar -- as long as iBooks has the only in-app store it'll remain our favorite iPad reader, but if you've already purchased Nook content this is a solid free addition to the ecosystem.

Show full PR text

Barnes & Noble Introduces BN eReader for iPadTM, The Most Easy-to-Use, Customizable iPad App for Reading and Buying eBooks and Periodicals

Free App Offers Access to Company's Expansive eBookstore Featuring More Than One Million Digital Titles and Personal Barnes & Noble Digital Library

Only iPad eReading App That Allows Sharing eBook with Friends Free Classics and Bestseller Samples Pre-Loaded for New Customers

New York, New York – May 27, 2010 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, today launched its free BN eReader app for iPadTM, offering the most personalized and easy-to-use eReading experience for Apple iPad owners. BN eReader for iPad users can customize the way they read with professionally designed or completely personalized themes, shop more than one million eBooks, newspapers and magazines in the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, and access their personal Barnes & Noble digital library, including most periodicals. BN eReader for iPad is the only eReading app that offers eBook sharing with friends.

BN eReader for iPad is designed to offer an easy, yet sophisticated, customizable reading experience. Users can choose from multiple ways to view their library, including professionally designed themes with elegant and complementary text and page colors, as well as fonts; and instantly switch between portrait and landscape views based on personal preference. BN eReader for iPad users can further personalize their reading experience with unparalleled options: literally millions of colors for text, pages, highlights and links; eight typefaces and five text sizes; and a variety of margins and customizable spacing options. Learn more or get the new application at

"We've designed the most easy-to-use, highly customizable eReading experience for the iPad. Ours is the only app that enables iPad users to share eBooks with friends, shop Barnes & Noble's vast catalog of eBooks and periodicals and access your personal Barnes & Noble digital library across multiple devices.," said Douglas Gottlieb, Vice President, Digital Products of Barnes & "We believe our customers will appreciate the book-centric touches we've incorporated into our iPad app experience – including some extra large text sizes, ample margins, and line lengths and spacing inspired by classic book design conventions – along with the opportunity to fully personalize that experience to enjoy reading books whichever ways they like best."

Lend to Friends
Using Barnes & Noble's breakthrough LendMeTM technology, BN eReader for iPad customers can share eligible eBooks with friends who can enjoy the titles on a NOOKTM eBook Reader, iPad, iPhone®, iPod touch® and PC enabled with free BN eReader software. Last page read, highlights, notes and bookmarks will also sync across BN eReader for iPad and PC, and in early summer, with iPhone and iPod touch, with more to follow.

The LendMe experience was designed to be seamlessly integrated with the iPad. BN eReader for iPad users can simply choose an eligible eBook flagged with the LendMe icon, then access their existing contacts in iPad's onboard address book, tap the contact and send the lend offer -- all without needing to type a single word. The friend can accept the offer and enjoy the eBook for up to 14 days, a unique feature offered only by Barnes & Noble. And BN eReader for iPad users will receive LendMe offers from friends within the application, showing them the eBook's cover and the message from their friend.
Additional features available in the BN eReader App for iPad include:
Shop the expansive eBookstore: Search, explore and browse through the Barnes & Noble eBookstore of more than one million eBooks, magazines and newspapers titles at directly by touching Add Books from the Library. There are more than a half-million free eBooks available, and free samples are available for all eBooks. Learn more from thousands of editorial and customer reviews. Pick a current bestseller, a classic or anything in between and download it wirelessly in seconds.

Access your personal digital library: All eBooks and most newspapers, and magazines purchased through the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, including those purchased on NOOK, are at your fingertips in your Library. Customers with large digital libraries will appreciate the search option that helps them find the desired book quickly.

Choose from two views: Library Grid view displays big, beautiful covers that are large and easy to read. Library List displays a column with digital content titles and eBook covers next to a second larger section that provides rich product details for the selected eBook including the synopsis and more books from that author. Sort by recently read, author or title.
Get to your content, faster: The most recently read titles appear on top to easily get you back to your last great read. And an in-book search also helps you locate a particular word or phrase.

Take notes: Bookmark pages, make highlights and write notes. Simply tap a word or drag your finger across a section to highlight it or make a note. In addition to appearing on your iPad, your bookmarks, highlights and notes will also appear on iPad and PC enabled with BN eReader software. iPhone and iPod touch will be added soon, followed by other devices.

Read across multiple devices: Sync the last page read of the last eBook, magazine or newspaper opened on your iPad with BN eReader software-enabled PCs. Coming next month, both will sync with BN eReader enabled iPhone and iPod touch with more devices to follow.
Learn more: Tap a word on the touch screen and the in-text dictionary offers you the word's meaning. Want to learn more? Simply tap one of the options to take you to the Google or Wikipedia page on that word or term using the Web browser.

Follows the standard: Read eBooks, magazines and newspapers formatted in ePub, quickly becoming the industry standard.

The Barnes & Noble Digital Library Advantage
Barnes & Noble's Lifetime LibraryTM helps ensure that Barnes & Noble customers will always be able to access their digital libraries on a variety of devices as well as on In addition, Barnes & Noble's use of ePub format and Adobe technology allows customers to read all of their digital content across a growing universe of devices.

Get Started with Free eBooks
To celebrate the new addition to the BN eReader family, Barnes & Noble is providing customers who create new accounts and download the BN eReader software to their iPad or other mobile or computing device with another way to get a jump on their next great read. Barnes & Noble will pre-load three complimentary Barnes & Noble Classic Series eBooks – Dracula, Little Women and Pride & Prejudice – and 10 current bestseller eBook samples in new customers' digital libraries.
Barnes & Noble is also offering free eBooks from bestselling authors through its current Fun and Free eBook promotion, running over the next four weeks. Simply by visiting a Barnes & Noble store, show a bookseller your NOOK, an iPad or other device with the BN eReader and receive a special weekly access code. Booksellers at the NOOK display in any Barnes & Noble store will gladly help customers download the free BN eReader software to their computing or mobile device so that they can enjoy the promotion. Additional information about the promotion can be found at

The new BN eReader for iPad has been thoroughly tested to ensure an optimal reading experience. BN eReader for iPad is available on the device through and at

In addition to iPad, Barnes & Noble customers can enjoy their Barnes & Noble digital library across a range of devices including: NOOK by Barnes & Noble, previously announced eBook readers powered by the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, and a variety of other computing and mobile devices including iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry® and HTC HD2TM smartphones, HP computers, PC and Mac®. Barnes & Noble continues to enhance its eReader offering and expects to add a BN eReader for Android next month and update its iPhone app in early summer. For more information on free BN eReader software and apps, please visit