Dec 26, 2011

6 Ways I'm using my Nook Tablet

A little while back I bought a Nook Tablet. I have no idea why I did it.  I've owned an iPad in the past and the application used the most (iMockups) isn't even available on Android.  But the NT is smaller, lighter and cheap enough that I had to give it a try.  It started off miserably.  Even after rooting, it was basically collecting dust.  But then I started to embrace it and now I find it useful for a number of things.  Here's what I'm up to with it. Perhaps it can inspire you as well.

1. Reading comic books.  Yeah, how old am I?  Confession: I haven't enjoyed comic books since I was 15 or so. Somehow at that age I got the impression that collecting comic books could be worth a lot of money someday. I bought comics I thought would appreciate and kept them in immaculate condition hoping that 20 years on I could sell them for beaucoup bucks.  It didn't turn out that way.  

But years later here I am and comics are available in digital format.  I'm happy to pay and buy those same comics using the Comixology app for Android. It's got a nifty pane-by-pane viewer that makes reading a snap.  And if you've got your own CBR or CBZ files, there's Perfectviewer and a slew of other comic book readers as well.  

2. Sketching.  I know, first comic books and now I'm doodling!  Honestly I was thinking about getting an Wacom Inkling and that plan may still come to fruition. But since they aren't shipping yet, I figure I'd get back in the game using SketchBook Pro.  So far I'm having fun but not producing anything worthwhile.  I figure that'll come with practice.  Plus I also need a decent stylus. (The one I bought doesn't seem to work well.)  If you've got a recommendation please let me know!  [Update: I ended up buying the official Vara stylus from a Barnes and Noble store. Not sure why they're not sold online, but it works way way better than the other one I had.]

3. Keeping track of my music practice.  I started playing the sitar in early 2011.  Every week I'd bring a notebook and write down the notes to the song my teacher wanted me to practice. Then I'd also record what the song was supposed to sound like using Voice Recorder.  Now I record the audio in Evernote and tie those to hand-written notes in Genial Writing. Boom, both audio and text in one convenient notebook that syncs everywhere!

4. Reading and surfing.  Here's one thing I'd really prefer to do on an e-ink reader. And I mostly do use my kindle for this. (Hey BN, where's 3G and audio on your Nook Simple Touch!?)  Still, as with comic books, some web pages come alive on the tablet.  The Google Currents app is my current favorite way to consume news.  If you haven't seen it I encourage you to check it out!

5. Gaming.  Ok, I don't play a lot of games. The types of games I like to play don't seem to exist in the Android market yet. Maybe someday but for the moment I've only found a few.  Plenty of blogs can recommend games for you so I won't bother. But I will say the extra screen real estate is useful for seeing what's coming at you. 

6. Watching movies. Yep, I'm on the Netflix bandwagon. I just signed up for an account and am happily going through seasons 1-4 of That Mitchell and Webb Look.  If I could figure out a way to watch live sports on this thing I'd be a happy guy.

Now I realize all of this could be done with an Android phone too. And if you've got one with a big enough screen you might be happy with that. Still, the extra screen real-estate means that the Nook Tablet is a bit more useful doing these things in my opinion.  In any case, I finally found a few uses for my tablet and I couldn't be happier.


  1. Thanks for the suggestions. I was a comic collector too but I rarely bought comics I didn't care for. I did buy mostly for the art but also I thought they would be of increased value someday. I guess at somepoint I will have to see comics on my new nook tablet but they are too expensive in my opinion for the digital copy. I have seen a few free on my ipod and they did look great.
    I have two questions, one is can you use evernote offline after you register?
    And two, about sketchbook pro, I use the pay version of plain sketchbook on my ipod, but on my nook tablet I can only get the free version to run. The pay version crashes. Your version is the pro version and no problems? Also is your tablet rooted or straight factory?

  2. You can use the sketchbook version from the amazon store and that won't crash. You will have to buy it again sadly..

    I haven't checked evernote offline yet but I'll get to it. I think I may have and it worked fine but I don't recall exactly.

    Tablet is rooted 1.4.0

  3. Which store you bought the Vara stylus from? I can't find it anywhere.


      Is necessary root the nook table in order to run Sketchbook? even with the latest updates???