Barnes & Noble made a big splash with its reading-centric NOOK Color tablet, offering it for just $250. The device that got the Android 2.2 Froyo update few months ago is not just about reading ebooks and magazines – it can also run various apps, which are available from B&N’s NOOK Apps store. Presuming you own the NOOK Color, you may want to know which are the top 7 must-have apps for your beloved ebook reader/tablet device.
Without further ado, here are the titles I suggest installing on the NOOK Color.
1. ezPDF Reader ($1.99)
Not sure have you noticed, but NOOK’s built-in PDF reader pretty much sucks. You need something better if you really want to use B&N’s tablet for reading PDF files. ezPDF Reader will help a lot and in that sense paying 2 bucks for the good PDF reader app makes perfect sense. Yeah I know such an app should be available for free, but it isn’t. Then again, you may not access that many PDF files so you don’t need/want to pour out your hard earned $1.99. Think again – that’s only 2 bucks, after all.
2. Evernote (FREE)
I’ve been ranting about Evernote for quite some time now. It is the best note-taking application/service out there and it allows you to access and manage your notes from multiple platforms, including your smartphone, tablet, PC and the web. You simply must have Evernote installed on every single device you use and have all your notes in sync — all the time. Personally, I use Evernote for storing text and image notes, including business card and wine label scans to have them accessible at all times.
3. Pulse News (FREE)
This is the social media news reader that makes it super-easy to keep up with all of the popular stories across various blogs you follow. Presuming, you’re not a blogger, this is the way you should get your news fix. And it’s not all about reading, if you find some cool story, you can easily share it with your friends and/or followers on Facebook and Twitter. Maybe not as neat as Flipboard (which is still an iPad-only app), but certainly neat enough. And since it’s free I see no reason why you shouldn’t give Pulse News a try.
4. Goodreads (FREE)
If you’re an avid reader, you’ve probable already heard about Goodreads, the web-based service that allows you to share what you’re reading with your friends and also get recommendations from them. Moreover, you can use it to keep track of your reads, what you’d like to read, form a book club, collect your favorite quotes and so on. Unsurprisingly, it has a dedicated app for NOOK Color which makes perfect sense considering we’re talking about an ebook-centric tablet. And for the record, Goodreads has more than 4,700,000 members who have added more than 140,000,000 books.
5. Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List ($4.99)
As you can imagine, this app is totally connected to the popular food site Epicurious.com, allowing you to access more than 30,000 recipes from Bon Appétit, Gourmet, SELF, as well as renowned chefs and cookbooks. Feature wise, you can make a list of your favorite recipes, create shopping lists, and e-mail recipes and shopping lists to yourself and friends. In addition, with the Epicurious app you get the access to “authoritative recipe reviews” from Epicurious members. The only problem with the NOOK version is that it’s not free, unlike its (vanilla) Android and iPhone counterparts. Not sure why that’s the case.
6. Unit Converter ($0.99)
Being a European which works for an American company I always need some sort of a unit converter app installed on my phone and tablet. However, those kinds of apps are usually free to download, except if you own the NOOK Color. For some reason, there is no such application available as a free download for B&N’s tablet (I haven’t caught one at least) and in order to grab it, you’ll have to pay 99 cents. I guess you can root your NOOK tablet and access the whole Android Market to get the free version, but I’m not sure that’s worth the hassle. Paying a single buck won’t break your bank anyway.
7. Quickoffice Pro ($14.99)
NOOK Color comes with the ability to view Microsoft Office documents but sometimes you may need the capability to actually make some changes on a Word document, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation you’re looking at. That privilege will get 15 bucks out of your pocket in order to grab Quickoffice Pro which can handle that job. Moreover, this mobile office suite can also access Google Docs, Dropbox, Box.net, Huddle, SugarSync and MobileMe; while also sporting a file manager that can even handle ZIP files.
And that’s it. If you think I’ve missed some app, don’t hesitate to tell me so in the comments form below. Next time I’ll talk about great games for the NOOK Color. Stay tuned…