Barnes & Noble made waves recently when the book retailer revealed that a major upcoming firmware update for its color Nook eReader will add support for Flash web browsing, Android apps and email.
Hoping to take tablet PC functionality further than simply having the ability to play games like Angry Birds, though, the company has announced the platform’s official opening to developers and placed an open call for new app submissions.
Among the more popular devices with digital publishing fans, these steps threaten to gradually transform the gadget into something that more closely resembles a slate computer than a single-function eBook reading device.
Priced at $149 and $249 for grayscale and color editions, respectively, the Nook may lack the power of dedicated tablet PC devices, but it's more affordable and already enjoys a cult following. If the initiative succeeds, everyday readers may find more reason to turn to electronic solutions besides the ease of transporting virtual copies of the latest Suzanne Collins or Dan Brown novel.