App Review: ‘Nook Video’ is Barnes & Noble’s Hail Mary pass to Android and iPhone

nook video app review screen shot 2013 08 19 at 2 31 14 pm

Barnes and Noble was able to outlast its largest competitor, Borders, in the big box bookstore market but that doesn’t mean that it’s in the clear. The prominence of ebook reader options – both as stand alone devices and as apps on phones and tablets – has posed a significant threat to the brick and mortar store. Barnes and Noble did its best to be proactive in the fight against the paper-preserving platforms by releasing its own brand of e-readers and tablets: the Nook. Unfortunately it fell well short of expectations and the company is now discontinuing its own devices, something the owners of Nook tablets have been doing on their own for some time. However, to help those who invested in Nook products not lose the content they spent money on Barnes and Noble as released a Nook Video app for iOS and Android.

Screen shot 2013-08-19 at 3.13.42 PMThe cool part about Nook’s video service is that it uses UltraViolet for the majority of its video content. It’s also supported by all of the big movie studios, but it’s not a format that you’ve probably run into much. The Nook Video app brings whatever you have stored in your UltraViolet library over to iOS and Android. It will all be available within the app once you log in with your Nook account.

Aside from that, this app offers users the ability to rent or buy movies or TV shows. You can stream it over a 3G, 4G, or Wi-Fi connection or download it if you’ll be without connectivity for awhile, say on a flight. All of your video watching is linked to your account, so you can put down a video on your Nook and pick it up on your Android phone and continue watching from the spot you left off. All of this is handy enough, but it’s also not something we haven’t seen before. Nook Video is a tough sell to those who have already adopted another option as their go-to for film and TV on the go. 

Additionally, we had some issues with the setup process. Even on Wi-Fi, the initial library load took a significant amount of time to access a minuscule amount of content. You don’t need a paid subscription to purchase or rent content, but you will need patience to access it. Getting new content onto your device of choice also requires you to go out of app and into a Web browser (at least, on iPad), which feels like an extra step that doesn’t need to be there. The app picks up your purchases by scanning your account for them, but it’d be nice to see it instantly appear after purchasing. Currently, you have to re-open the app and manually refresh to find new streams.

If you don’t currently have an app of choice that you go to when watching films or catching up on shows, you could give Nook Video a try. It does what it promises and has a decent library of content to check out. But know there are better options out there, and if you’re already using something else for the same purposes, you’re probably best to stick with it. The Nook Video app will best serve those with a rich library of Nook (or UltraViolet) video content that they don’t want to lose. Otherwise, there’s nothing to get excited about. It’s the next step toward phasing Nook tablets into their starring role as a footnote in tablet history.

Nook Video is available for free on Android from the Google Play Store and iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch from the iTunes App Store.

Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Photography

Adobe Premiere Rush CC is the cloud-based video editing app you've been waiting for

On stage at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe announced its cloud-centric, social video-editing application, Adobe Premiere Rush CC. We took some time to put it through its paces to see what it offers, how it works, and what's missing.
Photography

Adobe’s Premiere Rush is a video-editing app designed for social media projects

At Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe unveiled updates across the board for all of its Creative Cloud apps, from the release of Premiere Rush CC, a social-focused video editor, to Project Gemini, a digital drawing and painting tool.
Movies & TV

Can't get enough lightsaber action? Here's how to get your Star Wars fix online

Few of us want to deal with DVDs or Blu-ray discs anymore. Unfortunately, the Star Wars movies are few and far between when it comes to streaming. If you want to watch Star Wars online, check out our guide on where to find the films online.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Sling TV, Hulu, or Amazon.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…
Mobile

The best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep your phone Pixel perfect

The Pixel 3 is equipped with the hottest hardware and a beautiful 5.5-inch P-OLED display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. But it's not invincible. Here are the best Pixel 3 screen protectors to keep it safe.
Mobile

Montblanc’s $995 Summit 2 watch stays on your wrist for longer between charges

Montblanc has taken the wraps off of the new Montblanc Summit 2 -- the first watch to feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor. The watch features a premium design and Google's Wear OS.
Mobile

Google Pixel 3 vs. Apple iPhone XS: Does Google’s A.I. take down Apple?

The Google Pixel 3 is here, boasting top-tier specs like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and 4GB of RAM, and some of the world's best artificial intelligence features on a phone. But can it take out the Apple iPhone XS?
Mobile

Hinge's new feature wants to know who you've gone out on dates with

With its new "We Met" feature, Hinge wants to learn how your dates are going with matches in its app. That way, it can inject the information into its algorithm to provide future recommendations that better suit its users' preferences.
Mobile

Which Verizon plan is best for you? We check out family, individual, and prepaid

Verizon offers lots of plans for individuals, your family, and folks who want prepaid service. Here is everything you need to know about Verizon's plans, from data packages and smartphones to Big Red's prepaid plans.
Mobile

Mate 20 range now includes new 20 X model with huge 7.2-inch display

Huawei has released the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, and Mate 20 X. With all new Kirin processors, advanced A.I. brains, and an amazing triple camera, here's absolutely everything you need to know about the new Mate 20 series.
Mobile

Here are our favorite wireless phone chargers for Android devices and iPhones

We checked out the best wireless phone chargers to make tangles and uncooperative ports a thing of the past. Whether you have an iPhone or Android, find out which wireless charging pads are worth buying, and how their features compare.