Open Access to the Barnes & Noble nook sign now

Although the open format support of the Barnes & Noble nook serves as a major selling point, the artificial limitations placed upon the (otherwise open) Android firmware serve to significantly hinder the efforts of the community in improving the device itself and ultimately increasing sales of both eBooks and nook hardware.

As with many devices, there are features omitted which would be of use to the majority of owners. Since B&N do not market 'apps' for the nook, nor do they limit it to reading only eBooks purchased from their own store, there is no business advantage in preventing users from accessing the operating system of their own devices should they so choose. Allowing root access could stimulate the rapid growth of a community around the nook, augmenting its functionality and thus significantly increasing the value of both the brand and the actual hardware.

Conversely, the current limitations significantly impact on the nook's usability, harming the brand and placing the cost of correcting these oversights in the hands of Barnes & Noble. Some examples of features which would be straightforward to implement but which cause major problems by their absence include: the ability to skip to a given page number or letter of the alphabet within the library (a particular issue for larger eBook collections, which may easily stretch to over 100 library pages), the ability to separate audiobooks from music (and to organise by playlists or folder structure more generally) within the audio player, the ability to arrange the library in a similar fashion, and the ability to automatically pause the audio player when the device is in sleep mode.

By allowing us access to our own devices, the responsibility for correcting these issues could be shared with the community, greatly benefitting both the consumer and the manufacturer.

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Liliana MackBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
Barnes & Noble

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