Barnes & Noble launches Nook For Web, may be readying a new 7" tablet

In the ongoing battle of the tablets it seems like the 7-8" range is the current hotspot. We have the just released Nexus 7 from Google/Asus gunning for Amazon's Kindle Fire. There are many rumors about an incoming iPad Mini (see for example this New York Times piece) that will take on Google in the $200-$250 price range. And Amazon is about to fire back (pun intended) with the 2nd generation of its tablets.

Through all of this Barnes & Noble has remained relatively quiet, but yesterday Cnet shared a rumor that a new version of B&N's Nook is on the way. If Cnet's unnamed sources are correct, the new Nook will still be a 7" with "revolutionary screen technology" not seen on any other device. How's that for vague? The new Nook would also be getting expanded media options and should keep it's price in the $200 range.

But there's more than just rumors going in in Nook-ville. Yesterday Barnes & Noble also introduced Nook For Web, a browser-based way to read your Nook books (similar to Amazon's Cloud Reader).

In covering Nook For Web TechCrunch noted that the site wouldn't work with iOS devices. My testing shows that this isn't limited to iOS; it wouldn't work with the standard browser on my Android phone either. It did work, however, with Chrome on my iPad if I used the "Request Desktop Version" of the page.

The reason you'd want to use Nook For Web on a mobile device is that it should give cleaner access to buying books. Due to Apple's rules you can't purchase an ebook from B&N from inside the Nook App under iOS. Frankly that seems like a pretty trivial issue and I think I'd stick to the App anyway.

Anyway, to celebrate the launch of Nook for the Web Barnes & Noble is offering six free bestsellers from now until July 26th, 2012. Simply head to the Nook For Web page, sign in (you'll need an active credit card on the account), open one of the books (they're listed towards the bottom of the page) then click the button that says "Nook Book $0.00" at the top right corner of the window. Hit the confirm button and you're done.

Once you purchase these books you should have access to them from the My Nook tab of the Barnes & Noble website, from any Nook app and of course on an actual Nook device. Free books are never a bad thing, right?

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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