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NOOK Tablet: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla

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Introduction

WHAT GIVES YOU ACCESS to the world’s greatest literature, today’s bestsellers, tomorrow’s up-and-coming authors, the world’s top newspapers and magazines, TV shows and movies, great games, email, and more?

It’s the NOOK Tablet—a great combo eReader and Android tablet from the bookseller Barnes & Noble.

This book will help you get the most out of your NOOK Tablet, and there’s a lot you can get out of it, as you’ll see. Whether you’re looking just to get started or want to dig deep into the tablet’s capabilities, this book’s got you covered.

Note

This book covers the features available on the NOOK Color as well as the NOOK Tablet. When the NOOK Color differs in any significant way from the NOOK Tablet, we’ll let you know.

About the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color

You likely already know that the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color are eReaders that let you read thousands of books, magazines, and newspapers, as well as documents created with Microsoft Office and PDF files—and do all that in a nifty, lightweight, easy-to-carry, elegant piece of hardware.

But that’s just the beginning of what these amazing devices can do. Even though at eight inches high, five inches wide, and less than half an inch thick, they’re smaller, more portable, and less expensive than many other tablets, they do just about everything that bulkier, costlier tablets can do. And they’re certainly light to carry, at just under 16 ounces.

Want to stream the latest movies and TV shows to it? Yes, it can do that. And you’ll find the screen well suited for TV and movie watching, because it’s crisp and clear with a high resolution. Movies and TV shows are often clearer and sharper on the NOOK’s high-resolution screen than on larger tablets.

There’s a lot more to the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color than reading and watching TV and movies. Want to browse to any website? Read and compose email? Keep track of all your contacts?

Yes, it does all that as well.

How about playing Internet radio stations, playing games, sharing books with your friends, discussing books with others, borrowing books from the library?

Yes, it does all that and more. You can also download thousands of apps that do pretty much anything you want. In short, the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color are eReaders but also powerful, very portable tablets. You don’t want to wait to make use of all their amazing capabilities, though. That’s where this book comes in—it will put you on the fast track to all the NOOK’s magic.

Buying a NOOK

Before you can start using a NOOK Tablet or NOOK Color, you need to buy one. If you’ve got a Barnes & Noble store near you (and you likely do, considering how many there are), head for the NOOK section—pretty much all the stores have one, and the salespeople are more than happy to help you find it. You can hold NOOKs in your hands, try them out, and ask for advice about them. And once you do that, you’ll most likely want to buy one.

As this book goes to press, the NOOK Color costs $169, and the NOOK Tablet costs either $199 or $249, depending on the amount of storage. Why the price difference? For starters, the NOOK Tablet comes with a 1 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM, while the NOOK Color has a 800 Mhz single-core processor and 512 MB of RAM. What does that mean in real-world terms? The NOOK Tablet will do things faster for you than will the NOOK Color. That doesn’t mean the NOOK Color isn’t fast, because it is. It means that that the NOOK Tablet is super-fast. In addition, the $249 NOOK Tablet comes with twice the built-in memory (16 GB for the NOOK Tablet versus 8 GB for the NOOK Color). The $199 NOOK Tablet comes with 8 GB of built-in memory.

Those prices may change, though. So be on the lookout for the special deals that Barnes & Noble occasionally runs. For example, in one special, you could buy a NOOK Color for $99 if you also purchased a one-year subscription to the digital versions of either The New York Times or People magazine to read on the NOOK Color. Deals like this come and go, so make sure to ask whether any specials or discounts are available before you buy. Barnes & Noble is pushing the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color heavily, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find some kind of deal. Do a web search for terms such “NOOK deals” to see if any are available. Also make sure to head to www.barnesandnoble.com or www.bn.com on the Web, and then click the NOOK icon to see if there are any specials in effect.

Tip

Barnes & Noble stores aren’t the only retail outlets where you can buy a NOOK Tablet or a NOOK Color—other stores have them as well. For example, many Best Buy stores also stock them.

If you’re not near a Barnes & Noble store or other retail outlet that stocks NOOKs, or if you just prefer buying over the Internet, the www.bn.com website is a great place to buy. Shipping is typically free, so you won’t pay extra for the convenience of buying online. And you can also buy at some other online outlets, such as www.bestbuy.com.

Finally, if you plan to use the NOOK outside your home, strongly consider buying a cover or case. A cover protects your NOOK and its screen from damages, so they’re well worth the small investment. They typically range in price from $15 all the way up to $90 for designer-name leather ones. Some covers are great for commuters, because you can just flip open the top, start reading, and then flip the top down when you’re done. You’ll find a good selection at Barnes & Noble and other retailers.

About This Book

There’s an entire world to explore in the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color, and the little leaflet that comes in the box doesn’t begin to give you all the help, advice, and guidance you need. So this book is the manual that should have accompanied the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color. This book refers to the NOOK Tablet, or the NOOK generally, but that information also applies to the NOOK Color. The book indicates those few instances in which the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color work differently.

The brain running the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color is a piece of software from Google called Android. Barnes & Noble then tweaked Android quite dramatically to turn it into an eReader and tablet. So the NOOK doesn’t look like or work like other Android tablets you may have seen—but underneath it all, it’s an Android.

There’s a chance that since this book was written, there have been some changes to the NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color. To help keep yourself up to date about them, head to this book’s Errata/Changes page, at http://nooktab-mm.

About the Outline

NOOK Tablet: The Missing Manual is divided into eight parts, each of which has several chapters:

  • Part I, covers everything you need to know about using the NOOK as an eReader and a tablet. It gives you a guided tour of the hardware, shows you how to set up the NOOK so it works just the way you like, and then shows you how to use it for the first time. By the time you finish you’ll be a pro.

  • Part II, shows you everything you need to know about reading using your NOOK. You’ll become an instant expert at using all of its remarkable reading tools, including using bookmarks and notes, changing font and text size, and searching inside books and publications. And it also has an entire chapter devoted to kids’ books, including how you can record your voice reading a book to your children.

  • Part III, covers how to buy books, newspapers, and magazines, and then track them in your own personal library. You’ll find out how to find what you want to buy fast and get the lowdown about it, and then keep track of everything in a customizable library. And you’ll also see how you can borrow books from friends, and lend to them as well—and how you can borrow books for free from the library.

  • Part IV lets you take advantage of many of the NOOK’s most remarkable features. You’ll see how to find, download, install and use thousands of apps, and get recommendations for some of the best ones on the planet. You’ll also see how you can watch movies and TV shows, as well as listen to streaming Internet radio stations—or play your own music collection. Also included is how to transfer files to your NOOK, and how to use the NOOK’s built-in music player.

  • Part V, covers the NOOK as a great Internet device. You’ll find out how to browse the Web and send and receive email using any email account.

  • Part VI, shows you how to use the NOOK’s many social features, such as sharing books, reviews, and recommendations with friends, as well as using the NOOK in concert with Facebook and Twitter. And it covers how you can use the NOOK to keep track of your contacts as well.

  • Part VII shows you how to tweak the NOOK’s features. It also reveals how to root your NOOK, which means changing its software to run like a standard Android tablet.

  • Part VIII, has three reference chapters. Appendix A, Maintenance and Troubleshooting, offers plenty of help troubleshooting issues with the NOOK’s operation, and a rundown of accessories you can use with it. Appendix B, File Formats, lists the file formats your NOOK can handle. Appendix C, Visiting B&N with Your NOOK Tablet, covers some nifty things you can do with your NOOK when you visit a Barnes & Noble store, such as read books free for an hour.

About→These→Arrows

In this book and the entire Missing Manual series, you’ll find instructions like this one: Tap Settings→Sounds→Mute. That’s a shorthand way of giving longer instructions like this: “Tap the Settings button. On the screen that opens, tap Sounds. And from the screen that opens after that, tap the Mute option.”

It’s also used to make it easier to understand instructions you’ll need to follow on your PC or Mac, such as File→Print.

About the Online Resources

As the owner of a Missing Manual, you’ve got more than just a book to read. Online, you’ll find example files so you can get some hands-on experience, as well as tips, articles, and maybe even a video or two. You can also communicate with the Missing Manual team and tell us what you love (or hate) about the book. Head over to www.missingmanuals.com, or go directly to one of the following sections.

Missing CD

So you don’t wear down your fingers typing long web addresses, the Missing CD page offers a list of clickable links to the websites mentioned in this book. Go to http://missingmanuals.com/cds/nooktablettmm.com to see them all neatly listed in one place.

Registration

If you register this book at www.oreilly.com, you’ll be eligible for special offers—like discounts on future editions of NOOK Tablet: The Missing Manual. Registering takes only a few clicks. To get started, type www.oreilly.com/register into your browser to hop directly to the Registration page.

Feedback

Got questions? Need more information? Fancy yourself a book reviewer? On our Feedback page, you can get expert answers to questions that come to you while reading, share your thoughts on this Missing Manual, and find groups for folks who share your interest in the NOOK. To have your say, go to www.missingmanuals.com/feedback.

Errata

In an effort to keep this book as up to date and accurate as possible, each time we print more copies, we’ll make any confirmed corrections you’ve suggested. We also note such changes on the book’s website, so you can mark important corrections into your own copy of the book, if you like. Go to http://tinyurl.com/nooktab-mm to report an error and to view existing corrections.

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