by Christopher Freeburn | May 3, 2013 11:22 am
On Friday, users of Barnes & Noble‘s (NYSE:BKS) Nook tablets will get a software update giving them access to a world of new mobile apps.
The update will bring Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android app store — Google Play — to the Nook, boosting the number of apps available to Nook users from about 10,000 to more than 700,000, the Associated Press notes.
Investors liked the news, sending Barnes & Noble shares up more than 2% in Friday morning trading, while Google rose more than 1%.
Users of the 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+ will receive the update, which is hoped to broaden the Nook’s appeal as a general-use tablet, rather than just an e-reader. In addition to Google Play, a number of other Google apps, including Gmail, Google Maps and the Chrome browser will be added to Nook tablets.
Nook sales were less than expected during the holiday season, prompting Barnes & Noble to take steps to boost its appeal to consumers. A Barnes & Noble executive said the bookseller has had intermittent talks with Google during the last few years.
Nook users don’t have to do anything to receive the update. Nook tablets connected to WiFi will update themselves automatically.
Last year, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) acquired a 17.6% stake in Barnes & Noble’s Nook unit.
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