The full line of Nook devices will be offered in the UK as well, starting with Touch and GlowLight in October with the new tablets following in November. (The seven-inch tablets will sell for £159 and £189, and the nine-inch models will be £229 and £269.) Separately, Nook announced additional retail partnerships with Sainsburys and Waitrose, bringing them up to over 1,200 retail locations in the UK.
Similar to Kindle's announced but not-yet-launched FreeTime feature, Nook is offering what they call "the first tablet designed for the whole family." The new devices support a series of profiles for multiple users of the device, including children, providing "simple tools to let parents parent however they want to" in terms of granting access to content, web browsing, and purchasing. Nook says their research indicated 50 percent of users were already sharing their device with someone else in the family--and 30 percent had items they didn't want the whole family to see (think 50 Shades...).
Nook's tech team talked about "really wanting to show off content like magazines" and the new nine-inch tablet in particular does that. They have added fancy page-turning animations and a "big visual table of contents," in addition to focusing the screen aspect ratio on magazine reproduction. With over 100 digital magazines, ceo William Lynch reinforces that "we have been the leading seller of digital magazine subscriptions in the US for some time, because we focus on the experience." They are adding about 100 product catalogs as well, downloadable for free (adapted from companies' high-res PDF files).
While many in the industry have lamented that BN.com does not offer as good a store browsing experience as competitors--and no one raves about the online browsing experience in general--Nook is launching "channels" of recommendations as their answer. The web version, still called Instant Collections on their site, is viewable now.
Following Tuesday's announcement of their coming video store--which puts Nook on more competitive ground with other media tablets in terms of a full content offering--they underscored that they are the first to support the new UltraViolet initiative that provide cloud-based viewing privileges on newly-released movies and TV shows from major studios.