Barnes & Noble Develops ‘Customizable’ Application for iPad
App allows users to customize reading experience, share e-books, more.
Mega book retailer Barnes & Noble recently unveiled the BN eReader for Apple’s iPad, a free application it says allows users to customize their reading experience, take notes, browse newspapers and magazines, and share e-books with friends.
“BN eReader for iPad is designed to offer an easy, yet sophisticated, customizable reading experience,” BarnesandNoble.com digital products vice president Doug Gottlieb tells FOLIO:. “It is the only app that enables iPad users to share e-books with friends, shop Barnes & Noble’s vast catalogue of more than one million e-books and periodicals and access their personal Barnes & Noble digital library across multiple devices.”
Barnes & Nobile developed the app in-house using Apple’s Software Developer Kit (SDK). The app allows users to adjust page colors, fonts and themes and to switch between portrait and landscape views. “Our testing included talking to customers to find out what they wanted from an e-reader app for iPad, using what we learned with the Nook reader, as well as what we learned from creating our own e-reader app for other devices and drawing on our own experience as avid readers,” says Gottlieb.
The BN eReader for iPad also utilizes Barnes & Noble’s LendMe technology, which allows users to share “eligible” e-books with friends who can access them using the Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple’s iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, or computers enabled with free BN eReader software for up to 14 days. “The LendMe experience was designed to be seamlessly integrated with the iPad,” Gottlieb explains. “BN eReader for iPad users can simply choose an eligible e-book flagged with the LendMe icon, then access their existing contacts in iPad’s onboard address book, tap the contact button and send the lend offer, all without needing to type a single word.”
Chad Phelps, executive vice president of e-media at F+W Media, believes the BN eReader will provide magazine publishers with another important distribution mechanism. “Rather than relying solely on digital distributors of individual magazine issues, publishers need to see themselves as content providers and use the platform for instant distribution of their content with no third party involvement or technology investment,” he says. “Periodical rate has given way to digital delivery.”
For F+W, which publishes and sells books and other products in addition to magazines, Phelps belives the BN eReader is the “future of ‘book’ selling. “The launch of the app also validates key indicators for all of us in the content business,” he says. “By being platform-agnostic, launching the iPad app in addition to their existing apps for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile phones, B&N is truly allowing its users to consume content on any device.”