The recent iBooks update incorporated full color illustrations for electronic publications like children’s books and cookbooks. Soon after, the iBooks book store announced a children’s books section. This week Barnes and Noble took a stab at the burgeoning market with their release of the free Nook Kids e-book app for iPad.
The app suggests two free downloads, The Elephant’s Child… and Richard Scarry’s Colors. To download the titles, the user is booted out of the app and redirected to the Barnes and Noble website. An account must be created and credit card information entered to initiate the download. Password protected parental controls are implented to prevent children from going on reading rampages. Prices were comparable to iBooks.
The Nook bookstore is populated with a fair range of the most popular titles. Unfortunately, it is hard to determine if it is a better choice than iBooks, the Kindle app or even the unstable Books A Million reader. Downloading a book proved to be riddled with problems, as neither of the free titles would download, even after closing all other apps running in the background. If I left the app to multitask the downloads ceased completely. Deleting and reinstalling the app did nothing to fix the issues. Powering down the iPad and rebooting also did not help. Purchasing a title may yield a better experience, but I wasn’t willing to pay for the experiment.
Owners of Nook readers looking to transition to the iPad or add it to their arsenal of gadgetry may be disappointed when they try to access their titles on the iPad.