I’ve been contemplating writing a post for quite some time about the Nook HD versus the Kindle Fire HD. Since we have one of each, I’ve definitely formed an opinion about which one I prefer to use on a daily basis.
Admittedly, there are many different facets to this particular topic of debate. Some people just don’t like Amazon. As the 600 lb. Grape Ape, er, gorilla, in pretty much any room Amazon enters, that’s not terribly surprising. There’s especially quite a large and vocal contingent of writers and publishing-types that can’t even look Amazon’s way without thinking they should probably hid the good silver and send the kids to another room for their own protection.
My own feelings about Amazon aren’t so cut and dried. I don’t like that they tend to strong-arm their way into getting what they want, especially since the Bezosians don’t seem to mind hurting a few writers, publishers, and/or other little people along the way. And, let’s face it, any company that suggests you go check out a book at your local bookshop just to see if you like it and then whip out your iPhone and order it from them for less is taking advantage and deserves a trip to the woodshed (picking their own switch along the way).
On the other hand, though, I think there’s a metric crapton* of people reading books either from Amazon or on their devices these days that didn’t previously read books on a regular basis. And, as I’ve said, more reading is better; so I can’t bring myself to hate them like a five-year old with a plate of Brussels sprouts that have been boiled-to-a-greyish-pulp. Not only that, Amazon is getting more money to authors, especially ones who might never have published “the old fashioned way” to begin with.
So, it seems not so black and white. Definitely a grey-ish thing to me.
But, uh, Amazon is a different post. Today, we’re just talking about the tablets.
Which brings us to the Weekend Debate topic for May 3rd, 2013:
Which e-Reader tablet is better: the Kindle Fire HD or the Nook HD?
For me, it breaks down like this: I like almost everything about the Nook HD better than the Kindle Fire HD. I like the interface better, I like the presentation of apps better, I like the reading experience better. Truth be told, if I’m buying an e-book, I like buying them from Barnes & Noble better, too, because it makes me feel like at least I’m giving my money to a company that’s mostly about books. On top of all that, the Nook HD has much better parental control options and multiple user support. Also, the Nook supports the universal ePub format, while Amazon refuses to accept it, which is just irritating.
All that said, up until this morning, I still would have claimed without reservation that the Kindle Fire HD was my preferred device.
Simple: app restrictions.
All along, Barnes & Noble has been much too restrictive with it’s apps, making it nearly impossible to get any that weren’t offered by B & N. And yes, Amazon has some of the same restrictions. For instance, you couldn’t get the Android Google+ app or the app I use to check in to TV shows and movies, GetGlue, for either tablet.
However, the Kindle Fire HD allows for “side-loading”, which is a method by which you install a different app to download and install the apps you want but can’t get straight from your tablet vendor. Amazon allows the practice, in most cases. Barnes & Noble strictly does not**.
And that one little thing has been the reason I’ve considered the Kindle Fire HD the more useful device since the first of the year.
This morning, however, That. All. Changed.
Barnes & Noble announced that effective immediately, you can now download and use Google Play on the Nook HD Tablet. Suddenly, the Nook world is completely open to pretty much every Android app you ever wanted but couldn’t previously install without “rooting” your device, remaking it in Android’s default image and voiding your warranty six ways to Sunday in the process. Oh, and by the way, if you wanted to root it, you needed a list of technical instructions as long as Santa’s list, a hearty constitution, an entire afternoon for figuring out how to fix the perfectly good tablet you just “upgraded” into a doorstop, and, in all likelihood, a fifth of Jack Daniels.
None of that is necessary now. And because of it, I’m happy to say, unequivocally, that the NOOK HD gets the Puddintopia stamp of approval.
But, hey, that’s my opinion. I could be wrong***.
So, what’s your opinion on the matter? You know the drill. Now make me proud!
Have a great weekend.
And, uh, try not to set the place on fire.
*metric craption: 0.633 of an imperial crapton
**Or, well, did not.
***I’m not, but I could be