The good news is that Android users now have a choice of buying and reading eBooks with apps from Amazon, Borders, Kobo, or Barnes & Noble (not to mention free eBook apps such as Aldiko). That’s because Barnes & Noble is the latest major US booksellers to launch an Android app, with today’s introduction of Nook for Android.
The bad news is that the developers don’t seem to realize that most Android phones don’t have a ton of free store space for apps. The Nook installer is about 5MB, but after installing the app on my phone it took up 17.68MB of space. That makes it the largest app on my phone, by a longshot. Next up is Adobe Flash, which weighs in at 10.82MB. In fact the only app I’ve ever installed that was larger was Fennec (Firefox Mobile), but part of the reason I don’t keep Fennec installed on my phone is because it takes up 26MB of storage space.
Amazon Kindle for Android, by comparison takes up just 3.58MB, while the Borders app is just 888KB.
If you can get past the enormous file size, Nook for Android offers pretty much everything you’d expect from an eBook app. There’s a library showing books that have been downloaded to your device, an information page with a synopsis f each title, and a decent reader which lets you adjust fonts, add bookmarks, or lock screen orientation to portrait or landscape mode. There’s also a pretty nifty page-turn animation effect.
The Nook account synchronizes your digital library, bookmarks, and last read page settings with other Barnes & Noble eReader devices. That means if you have a physical Nook eBook reader, your settings will be transferred automatically. The same thing happens if you use the Barnes & Noble eReader for the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
Nook for Android is available as a free download from the Android Market. The app supports Android 1.6 and up.
You can find more screenshots after the break.