The numbers have been grim lately at Barnes & Noble’s p-stores. But could e-books help? Is a new wireless e-reader gimzo coming next month, with a six-inch E Ink screen and touch input? Perhaps even an iPhone-style virtual keyboard?
In fact, might the new reader use the Android operating system? Gizmodo has heard a whisper to that effect. Cool if so. Imagine the multiple uses that might be possible for the device. A few details from Giz:
Think about it. At six inches, it’s a smallish device, and we’ve seen Android on similarly-sized screens already. Wireless connectivity is built into the OS. Extraneous, inappropriate software and settings could be easily stripped out and replaced with relevant ones. A custom-designed interface could be easily dropped in. Apps—oh, sweet apps—could be a huge boon. And hey, E-Ink Android drivers have already been demonstrated on video. Not to mention the fact that B&N has conveniently skirted releasing an Android app, despite putting quite a bit of effort into iPhone and BlackBerry versions of the mobile ebook software.
Here’s my little addition to the speculation. What if B&N adapted the Aldiko reader? Aldiko’s partners include “Publishers and Content Distributors” and “OEM and Carriers,” among others. Just for fun, I’ll shoot a note over to Aldiko’s Tiffany Wong, a TeleRead contributor, and see if she has anything to say on this topic.