Monday November 20 , 2017

B&N nookStudy Review

nookstudyiconTextbooks for my nook?

Nope, B&N rebranded all electronic book products to the "nook" brand.  nookStudy is a computer program for reading and annotating eTextbooks. You can't read any of the textbooks B&N sells on your nook for a few reasons I won't go into here.  We've added a new forum and FAQ for nookStudy users.

Is it revolutionary?

Most of my current work revolves around social media, so the prospect of integrating study with social networks is quite interesting to me.  When nookStudy arrived on the scene I had a list of features I hoped I might find in the product.  Maybe nookStudy would facilitate killer note & highlight sharing with your social network. Why not share notes with other students of the same text around the world - or at very least with your classmates. What if readers could share content recommendations with other nookStudy users by having related material funneled into a recommended resources page "in the book"!  Well, nookStudy does none of that, so let's talk about what it does do.

nookStudy is an eReader desktop-only application that works with both DRM and unprotected PDF and ePub formats. It offers the ability to categorize books into courses and augment those books with notes and highlighting that is backed up on the B&N "cloud". Sadly that about covers it what nookStudy 1.0 has to offer.


nookstudyschoolLooking for the nookStudy iPad application on the App Store? Look no further.  nookStudy can only be used on Apple and Windows computers. If you are a Mac user you'll be quite surprised it requires Snow Leopard.  B&N claims it is because nookStudy is so advanced but I suspect it has something to do with the development team relying on libraries that are only available in the latest OS (big mistake).  I got the mac version for my new MacBook Pro and found the install to be quite simple (as are most Mac installs).  One of the post installation steps included putting in your college and setting up an Adobe account to be tied to your B&N account (more on this later). My hopes were it would show me textbooks for currently offered courses at the University I selected!

First Look

When I started the application the first thing I noticed was that it was decidedly not "Mac". The user interface has the feel of an Adobe Air application like Tweetdeck. Initially it was just an annoyance, but later I realized it was a detriment when I couldn't use my trackpad to control zoom in a textbook. My first in my evaluation was to get a sample eTextbooks.  I hoped to find a nice in-app browsing experience based on textbooks at the college I selected after install. Instead I was dumped to the B&N website which didn't even have a filter for my selected school.  

To make things "easy" I got the "Exploring Engineering" and things worked pretty well.  I pulled in some of my fiction novels and a few ePub files from my hard drive (they give you the impression you can't use study features with non B&N books but seems to work).  The display of the book was about what I expected for nookStudy.  Adding notes and highlighting was functional. Navigation was a pain. Scrolling with my trackpad wasn't reliable and I had to resort to full page turns with the arrow keys or mouse navigation.

The tab style interface and dual book view were nice. So far it hasn't crashed and the features it does have, while sparse, seem to work well so far.

We'll see if nookStudy 2.0 takes it to the next level on social network and OS integration! IMHO eTextbooks are going nowhere until they can be used on the iPad and Samsung Galaxy (and other Android tablets).   


0 #2 2010-11-24 18:04
Quoting jwilkens:
Dittos Mark - spot on with iPad comment. Too bad the nook can't backup stuff to the cloud eh? meh.

-1 #1 jwilkens 2010-09-22 17:26
Dittos Mark - spot on with iPad comment. Too bad the nook can't backup stuff to the cloud eh? meh.

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