You’ve opened the box to find your shiny (at least the screen is shiny; the back has a comfortable matte finish) new NOOK Tablet, USB cord, and power adapter. What now? If you’ve already found the included “Quick Start Guide” tucked under the device, you’ll know how to press the power button to turn on the device, but not a whole lot more than that.
In this chapter, you’ll take a tour beyond the power button and opening splash screen to see what’s on the surface and get a taste of what’s just beneath in this easy-to-carry, do-everything device.
When we say that the NOOK Tablet is a do-everything device, that’s not hyperbole. That’s the honest truth. Take a gander at this list of its many capabilities.
The NOOK Tablet has been designed from the ground up to be a great ereader. It’s easy on the eyes, lets you carry thousands of books in its thin frame, and adds many reading extras, such as bookmarking, note-taking, and more. It lets you get books from the world’s largest bookstore, with more than 2.5 million books, sample the books for free—and when you do buy, get them at discount compared to hardcover and soft cover, with most under $10.
With a NOOK Tablet, books really come alive, because music and video can be embedded right inside the book itself. See a recipe you like, and want details about how to go about using it? A cookbook, for example, can have videos in it showing you exactly what to do. Books with additional content like this are called Enhanced. They’ll have that label on then when you shop for books, so you’ll know ahead of time that you’re getting one.
Interactive kids’ books can include video and music, and the NOOK Tablet can read them aloud to kids—in fact, you can record your own voice doing that.
Just like you can borrow and lend books with your friends, you can do that same thing with many books on your NOOK Tablet, using the LendME feature. You’ll even be able to borrow library books on it.
You’ll be able to read countless newspapers and magazines on your NOOK Tablet, usually either on a subscription basis, or buying a single copy.
The NOOK Tablet’s spectacular screen lets you watch TV and movies on Hulu Plus and Netflix that’s built right into it. (you’ll have to pay for subscriptions.) There’s also a video player for playing other videos.
The built-in music player and reader does all the work for you, and NOOK Tablet features makes it easy to find all the audio content you want.
The NOOK Tablet has a Web browser built right into it, so you’ll be able to go to any Web site on the Internet and view its full content, including videos.
Dying to play the latest game (Hungry Birds, anyone?) or run the latest cool app? The NOOK Tablet lets you do that, with its built in Apps store. Many are free, and even for-pay apps, are often quite inexpensive.
Techies may want to know that the NOOK Tablet is based on the Android operating system from Google, which also runs many smartphones and tablets. Many of the apps written for smartphones and tablets also run on the NOOK Tablet.
With the NOOK Tablet’s Contacts app, you can keep track of friends, family, and business acquaintances, and even sync contacts with your Google account.
Down at the bottom of the NOOK Tablet, on the front of the device, you’ll find the NOOK Button, shaped like the NOOK symbol. If the tablet is sleeping, pressing the NOOK button wakes it up. If the tablet is already awake, pressing the button opens the Quick NAV Bar that lets you take advantage of all of the tablet’s features. Pressing the NOOK button twice in a row brings you to the tablet’s Home screen.
If the Quick Nav Bar is showing and you press the NOOK Button, you’ll be sent to the Home screen.
On the upper left side of the NOOK Tablet, there’s a power button. Hold it for a second or two to turn off your NOOK Tablet; hold it again for a second or two to turn it back on.
If your NOOK Tablet is sleeping, pressing the Power button will wake it from sleep.
Up at the top of the NOOK Tablet, just to the left and in front of the microphone, you’ll see a tiny hole. That’s the microphone. Yes, it’s small, but it does the job very well.
On the upper right top of the Nook Tablet, you’ll find a headphone jack. There’s no magic to how it works: plug in your headphones or an external speaker, and you’re ready to go.
Many apps have built-in volume controls, but the NOOK Tablet also has physical volume buttons as well. Find them on the right side of the tablet, up near the top. Pressing the top button increases the volume; pressing the bottom buttons decreases the volume.
At times, you may find that even at maximum volume, the speakers sound is too low, such as when watching some TV or movies. Plugging earphones into the headphone jack should solve the problem, and connecting external speakers to the headphone jack usually works as well.
Turn over your NOOK Tablet and you’ll the speaker at the bottom.
The NOOK Tablet has a small USB port at its bottom, and it serves double duty. The tablet comes with a USB cable; plug the mini connector on the cable into the USB port it, and plug the other end of the cable into a power adapter, and then plug the power adapter into a wall outlet. That will charge your NOOK Tablet.
But the USB port and cable does more than just that. If you don’t plug the other end of the USB port into the power adapter, and instead plug it into your PC or Mac, you’ll be able to transfer files between your computer (either PC or Mac) and the NOOK.
Unlike other ereaders, the NOOK Tablet comes with a slot where you can add plenty of extra storage—up to a whopping 32 GB. All you need to do is buy a MicroSD card, available in pretty much any electronics store as well as online. Prices vary, of course, but if you shop around you should be able to find one for under $50.
Turn over your NOOK Tablet, and look down at the bottom, just behind the funny little notch. Lift up the small plastic rubber flap with the NOOK logo and insert the card right there. You’ll then be ready to go.
If your NOOK Tablet’s screen were on all the time, it would burn up battery life pretty quickly. So if the tablet detects that you haven’t used it in a while, it blacks out the screen and locks it.
Normally, if you’re not using your tablet for two minutes, the screen will black out. But if you’d like, you can increase that interval. Press the NOOK button and select Settings→Screen→“Screen timeout” and from the screen that appears, select the interval you’d like, anywhere from two minutes to one hour.
When the screen blacks out, to make it come to life again, either press the NOOK button or the Power Button. The tablet wakes from its slumber. Slide the green NOOK button onscreen over the to the right, and you’ll unlock it, as shown in Figure 1-3.
Anyone can wake your tablet like this, not just you. If you’re worried about security, though, you can lock our tablet so that only someone with a password can unlock it. See Password-Protect Your NOOK for details on how to set up a lock password.
On the NOOK Tablet, just like in the movie The Wizard of Oz, there’s no place like home. Get used to the home screen (shown in Figure 1-4), because you’ll be spending plenty of time there, finding books to read, navigating your tablet, checking out the status of the tablet, and much more. Press the NOOK Button to get there.
At the top left of the screen, you’ll see an icon of a book, with the words “Keep Reading” next to them, and the name of the last book you have been reading next to that. Tap it and you’ll open the book to the last page you were reading.
At the top right of the screen, there’s a More button. Tap it to see the last books, newspapers and magazines, files, movies, and TV shows you were viewing or reading. Tap any to jump to it.
With the NOOK Tablet, you get three different Home panels, not just one. Why more than one panel? You can put books, apps, and more on your Home screen, and they take up space. So three panels gives you more real estate. The white button indicates which of the three home screens you’re currently. Swipe to the left or right to get to another one.
Your NOOK Tablet’s Home screen has wallpaper on it, just like a computer does. And just like a computer, you can change the wallpaper.
Across the bottom of the Home screen is the Daily Shelf, which holds your books, apps, magazines, and newspapers that you’ve recently gotten by buying, borrowing, or downloading. The shelf is bigger than it looks. Swipe it and you’ll reveal more content. Tap any book, newspaper, or magazine you want to read, or app you want to run. See The Daily Shelf for more details.
Just below the Daily Shelf, you’ll find shortcuts to the various types of media on your NOOK Tablet: books, newsstand, movies, music, and apps. See Media Shortcuts for more details.
As the name says, this tells you what you need to know about your NOOK Tablet’s status—whether you’re connected to a WiFi networtk, the time, and your battery life. Any notifications you get will appear on the left side of the Status Bar. The Status Bar will also have shortcuts to books you’re reading. Depending on the app you’re using, it might also have buttons that when tapped perform a function for the app, such as launching a search bar.
The Status Bar is visible no matter what you’re doing on the NOOK Tablet—whether you’re on your Home screen, reading a book or magazine, or even watching a video.
This bar, which appears when you press the NOOK button has seven buttons on it, for getting to the Home screen, going to your Library, shopping, searching the NOOK Tablet, going to Apps, browsing the Web, and changing your settings. See The Quick Nav Bar for more details.