Barnes & Noble's
7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+
have kind of gotten lost in the shuffle of what's now a sea of affordable tablets and glorified e-book readers. It's with great timing, then, that B&N was able to hammer out an agreement with Google
to allow access to Google Play
on the aforementioned devices. In addition, both tablets will sport popular Google services like the Chrome browser, Gmail, YouTube, Google Search, and Google Maps, B&N announced today.
"By adding Google Play to Nook HD and Nook HD+, we are offering our customers even more great entertainment on our award-winning tablets," said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble. "Now with access to more than 700,000 apps and the best reading experience available, both are must-see products for entertainment lovers looking for high-quality tablets at incredibly low prices."
This is a great move by B&N, as Google Play is viewed by many as an integral part of the Android experience, even heavily skinned ones. It puts B&N in a better position to compete with Amazon, which doesn't offer Google Play access on its Kindle devices in order to direct users to its own Appstore for Android.
If you own a Nook HD or Nook HD+, be on the lookout for an over-the-air update (OTA), which will begin rolling out today. For those who don't, the Nook HD with Google Play runs $199 and the Nook HD+ starts at $269.