Android May Power New Barnes & Noble E-Reader

    October 9, 2009

Reports indicate that another new e-reader is on the way, this time from Barnes & Noble.  The interesting thing – or at least the interesting thing that makes this development connect to the search industry – is that Barnes & Noble’s e-reader will supposedly use Android as its operating system.

First, let’s document some of the more basic details.  Geoffrey A. Fowler talked to "people briefed on the matter" and reported afterward that the e-reader may debut next month.

He also wrote, "The device is expected to feature a six-inch screen from digital-paper maker E-Ink Corp. with touch input and a virtual keyboard," and it should "use a wireless connection to download books from the online e-book store that the books retailer unveiled in July."

Not bad, right?  Depending on the price (which remains unknown), this could well compete with what’s already on the market.

Then there’s the Google-related detail that might give the new device an edge.  John Herrman heard that the Barnes & Noble e-reader will run Android, which might open the door to all sorts of customization options.  Think easy user interface swaps and third-party apps, for starters.

So consider waiting a bit before you buy anyone a different e-reader for Christmas.  Or even if e-readers aren’t on your shopping list, stay tuned to see if Google gets a foothold in yet another market.