Before I get to that, I'm going to go over a little of what I've found out about it, though. If you're a knitter and think you won't be interested in this, you may be surprised to find that it has features you'll really like, so read on.
It's an ebook reader. Well, duh, of course, that's what it's marketed as. But it does almost all book readers one better by displaying color. It's being stressed that the color makes it good for reading picture books to children, and it has a feature where the reader will read the books out loud to the kids, too!
You can download your ebooks from a WiFi network without having to plug into your computer.
The color aspect of it means that it will show your PDF knitting patterns in full color, and let you carry around all the knitting patterns you want. Including charts in the patterns!
If you write your own patterns, you can save them as MSWord or text files and carry them with you. And the major distributers of ebooks have apps for Android, so if you have other kinds of ebooks, you can read them here, too. You'll have to play a little to download them until the system update becomes available later this month, but they are available.
Zinio will also be putting out a reader app very soon for their magazines to be used on Android systems (which this is) so that you can read most knitting magazines and Spin Off on your Nookcolor.
Oh, and you can share your books with a friend who has a Nook!
It's functionally an iPod! It can do everything (if my understanding is correct) that an iPod can do. Store and play back MP3s. Listen to your favorite songs in stereo! Or sign up for Pandora and get radio on your Nookcolor as long as you're near a WiFi network!
Store all your photos on it, and see them in color on a 7 inch diagonal screen. It's big enough to really see and enjoy photos without the device actually being too big to carry comfortably.
The list of kinds of files the Nookcolor will display is staggering!
And it comes loaded with a few games. It's likely more will follow, but read on for more game info.
It's almost a tablet! Barnes & Noble isn't pushing this aspect of it, but it will do an awful lot besides being a book reader.
For starters, it will connect to the internet via WiFi, which means you can check your email on it and answer emails. Look up local movie schedules, check out information on Wikipedia, catch up on Facebook, Tweet to your heart's content, and do all the same stuff on the internet that you can do on your computer! That's right out of the box. I'm guessing it's possible to blog from it.
It didn't take me long to find instructions for how to plug a cell phone that has internet access into a Nookcolor and give it internet access even where there is no WiFi. I leave it to you to find the instructions on the internet.
This has ramifications that may not be immediately apparent. Such as controlling TiVo from your Nookcolor via the TiVo website over the internet. Read the TV schedule, and tell many brands of DVR what to record. DirecTV has had this capability for a while, and Xfinity has begun advertising this feature. And if you have DirecTV, etc, you can also check on the cast and crew of TV movies via IMdB! You can even read my IMdB page. If you have TiVo, you can do this right from your TV, but the others don't.
But sometime in January, B&N intends to open their app store so that you can get other functionality, too. How many apps they'll have available, and what those apps will do is a matter for speculation now, but the possibilities for the Nookcolor will be expanding.
One of the big advantages of the Nookcolor over an iPad is that you can expand the memory. Just slip in a 32 gig mini SD card, and you've got more memory than a $600 iPad because the Nookcolor already has 8 gigs of memory for a total of 40 gigs! For a cost of $250!
The expandability has another benefit that may not be immediately apparent, too. Stop thinking of that mini SD card as just memory, and start thinking of it as a medium to transfer things from your Android phone or your computer! Of course, you can do that with the data cable supplied, too.
Which means that although the Nookcolor doesn't have access to the app store that an Android phone store, doesn't mean that it won't run a lot of Android based apps. Some apps won't work right due to shortcomings in the Nookcolor. It's not an iPad, after all.
The major thing that seems to be missing (other than more apps, which may be fixed soon) is GPS. That's what makes the star chart program I discussed the other day work as well as it does.
But there are programs for making lists, and even programs for writing available for Android. I hate virtual keyboards, so these won't be popular with me, but they're there. Oh, and games!
The Nookcolor comes loaded with Android 2.1, but it's rumored that it will be upgradable to Android 2.2 later this month (or real soon now), and then it's supposed to have direct access to the Android app store, and more capabilities for internet access.
It may not have full tablet functionality, but it's a really amazing little gadget for a comparatively small price.
Read on for how to enter a couple of giveaways to win one free!
Enter by January 9 to win a Nookcolor at Susan Helm on Parenting. As usual, read the rules and find several different ways to enter to win. I'm really excited about this one!
Enter before February 20 at Pazsaz Entertainment Network for another chance at a Nookcolor. You can enter on their website once each day until the deadline.
Check my Twitter entries on the sidebar for continuing information. Good luck to all of you!