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5 Features The Nook Simple Touch Needs To Beat The Kindle



Whenever I talk to people about what kind of features they want in an eReader most mention the lack of lighting on the eInk screen. The new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight solves that issue brilliantly and answers the needs of eBook lovers who curl up with a good book before bed.

The Nook Touch is my current favorite eReader, with or without the GlowLight. However, it’s not a perfect device. There are several features I think it needs and functions it needs to do better to best the Kindle in every way.

Below are the top five features I wish Barnes & Noble would either improve upon or bring to the Nook Simple Touch. Are there any features you wish it had but doesn’t? Let us know in the comments.

Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight

More reliable syncing. The Nook will sync your last page read across devices and apps, though the sync doesn’t always work very well. I’ll often open a book in the app after I’ve been reading it on the Simple Touch and the app will be anywhere from five pages to a whole chapter behind. And yes, this even happens when I make sure to press the sync button.

Export notes and highlights. Judging by the many forum and support posts I come across, I’m not alone in wanting this. The ability to take notes and highlight passages in a book is not the sole domain of students. Plenty of people do so in novels as well as non-fiction books. So why are those notes effectively trapped on the Nook? Users can sync them between Nooks, but not to the PC application. And there’s no way to just get at that text.

Meanwhile, Amazon not only allows you to grab the file where notes are kept (My Clippings) from the Kindle, users can also access their notes and highlights via the online interface and from the PC and Mac apps. I’m sure Nook users would be happy to just get the text file.

(Related: Kindle Touch vs Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight)

Wider document compatibility. The Nook can read PDF files, but it would be nice to read (and make notes in) text and .doc/.docx files as well. This isn’t a strictly reading-focused feature, so I can see why B&N left it out. Still, I’ve found this ability useful on the Kindle in the past since I do a lot of manuscript reading for professional purposes.

Receive files via email. This is the one feature I’d most like to see on the Nook. While some may think this is only useful for documents, it’s actually a feature hardcore readers would love and appreciate. Due to the Kindle’s ability to get files over email, users can send saved web pages from Instapaper, Readability and similar services wirelessly, even automatically. I save a lot of short stories and long-form journalism on Readability and would dearly love a one-click way to send them to the Nook since the eReader offers a better reading experience.

Easier library loans. The Nook and other ePub eBook devices get kudos for being compatible with digital library lending years before the Kindle. But once Amazon got in the game they made the process way easier. Instead of having to download Adobe Digital Editions and register devices and get out the USB cord, Kindle owners can get their library books wirelessly. Plus they sync to all apps and devices connected to your Kindle account. Considering how popular the library lending is, Barnes & Noble should do everything they can to make the process easier.

Read: Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight Review



  1. BSmith

    04/27/2012 at 9:34 pm

    Yep, I must admit clippings are essential.  I couldn’t survive without this functionality coupled with

  2. Theodore Smith

    04/30/2012 at 11:47 am

    The two features I can simply not live without in 2012 are Text To Speech (I listen to about 100 pages a day while driving to work, I mean, come on ;-) and MyClippings.txt (storing all my highlighted text in a central file).  Until ANYONE else adopts either of those two things, I feel tied to my Kindle.

  3. alaskazimm

    05/07/2012 at 10:18 am

    The last point no longer holds true. Many publishers have removed the ability for Amazon to deliver library books wirelessly. Most of the ones my wife has gotten have had to be side loaded to her Kindle, which means getting out the usb cord . . .

  4. Tony

    06/14/2012 at 9:47 am

    Two features that the Nook Touch needs is “Sound” and the ability to go from Portrait to Landscape, both features which the Kindle Touch has.

    • Not needed to be announced

      07/16/2012 at 8:24 am

      Actually you can change portrait to landscape. So before you start complaining and telling lies go look up the real facts your self! And since we are on this topic you should just go on youtube and look up how to use your nook. Because obviously you DONT KNOW HOW TO!!!!!!!!!! Stupid moron :)

  5. BkkMike

    06/29/2012 at 11:47 pm

    Highlighted 142 passages on a book called “Why Geography Matters” on my Kindle Touch…
    Dunno if Nook has added this feature…IF NOT… case closed…Kindle wins by a mile…
    btw… Here in Bangkok… I couldn’t find the Nook Touch anyway…heh…
    Might now be in a store somewhere but I don’t know where…Jun30…
    Y…Tony… as I was bitching & looking for the landscape … one day not long ago… I connected to the WiFi & Kindle downloaded it in…
    Amazing stuff… Mind readers …

  6. Not needed to be announced

    07/16/2012 at 8:19 am

    I love my nook and i think all these features are not useful and stupid. And by the way you can change the picture from portrait to landscape. And seriously how many people who are older or younger (7-14) would want to open documents and read your notes on your PC??? NONE!!! So everyone get over themselves. This is one of the best ereaders around. And the kindle SUCKS. The nook has in store service, while you have to make many phone calls just to get a person to help you(or just keep telling you the same thing and not help at all)the nook has glowlight! The nook has more than a million books than Amazon.It has no glare. Now come on who wouldnt want this. And all these things that this editor is complaining about is useless and probably only computers geeks are going to use these features. The nook has everything you need and nothing more and is a great simple reading device. And plus who would want to check their email while reading a book? NO CLUE! People just want to bring down the Nook while its probably the best ereader out there. So just LOVE it than HATE it! sheesh people get a life and bring your own problem somewhere ELSE! And yup ijust said that so DEAL WITH IT! BYE :)

  7. Not needed to be announced

    07/16/2012 at 8:20 am


  8. scott wickham

    07/19/2012 at 9:06 am

    Web browser.

  9. Response to Not Needed

    07/23/2012 at 7:00 am

    In response to “Not Needed to be Announced” (more like “Not Needed to have a Brain”.) So, you claim that “You” love your Nook and since you have no requirements for any of the mentioned requested features, that they are “not useful and stupid”. Give me a break. You aren’t the entire market, and the market caters to everyone, not just you, bonehead. My first ebook reader was the Nook first edition. I thought it was great, until I realized that every bookmark and highlight that I had made in any book was literally locked into the Nook. No way to export these out to a computer or other device, making the feature absolutely worthless. People have been requesting and complaining about the lack of this feature for years, and yet B&N doesn’t respond. If people had no use for a highlight feature, then B&N wouldn’t have bothered to include this feature in every ereader that they release. I REALLY wanted to like my Nook, and look for this feature in every firmware update, and even new product release (except for the Color Tablets, which I have no use for). B&N still doesn’t get it, and like many others, the lack of an ability to export notes/bookmarks/highlights is a deal breaker for me. I wanted to avoid Amazon’s readers, but have since switched to a Kindle Touch. At least they seem to listen to their customers.

  10. Random Y

    07/29/2012 at 6:58 pm

    Does B&N boast a free classic library like Amazon? Please, point to, as I could not find it. I’d rather support the bookstore, but I will go for what is better for me. Researching a reader for my wife at the moment. Never had one before.

  11. Janis

    08/02/2012 at 7:08 am

    I have the NookTablet and the Kindle Fire and I do not need all of the fancy add ons and apps. I just wanted a color e reader that had the text to speech feature. What is so hard about that? mBoth are fine tablets however it was my error for taking other peoples comments that theirs had text to speech on the Nook Color which I assumed would also be on the Nook Tablet. I made the same mistake when I bought the Kindle Fire since I had been told they all had the text to speech. Sure my new Windows 7 computer can read them to me but I can’t sit at my desk all day olong just to read a book. So I am still looking for an app that will work with either one of them. I know what it sounds like and it doesn’t bother me at all. Audible books cost too much and I have a ton of books downloaded from amaxon with text to speech but it is useless unles I buy another Kindle.

  12. Janis

    08/02/2012 at 7:09 am

    Sorry that should have been Amazon.

  13. Mr. G

    09/03/2012 at 4:27 pm

    Good article. The inability to sync notes and highlights with the nook is a deal breaker. I have a nook that’s not functioning. They will give me a new nook, but I will loose over a year of notes and highlights from countless books. Wish I would have read this article before buying the nook. Kindle, here i come!

  14. NOOK Guy

    09/04/2012 at 2:38 pm

    Bookmarks, notes, highlights, and your place are all stored at For those that are having difficulties please remember that in order for to keep track of where you are reading between multiple devices that your NOOK needs to be connected to a wireless network so your NOOK can communicate with the BN servers.

    Also as a side note the real problem with’s Kindle isn’t with the devices. If you purchase a book from them that book will only work on their brand of products. They are the only eBook producer that sells a proprietary format. iBooks, Kobo, Sony, and NOOK use ePub for their eBooks so they are all cross compatible and that is a huge plus as a consumer! You get flexibility and the ability to take your eBooks to a different brand if you want to down the road.

  15. Drake Bullet

    11/22/2012 at 11:19 am

    I have a nook, kindle, and the apps for both on my iPad, so the proprietary content format is not as much an issue. The nook has nice readability, but the Amazon has a much better ecosystem around the Kindle. I can post/publish documents to Kindle format and view on either my Kindle or iPad (or iPhone or laptop). I was a big fan of B&N and Nook, but their system is closed to only books (and other media) purchased from B&N.

  16. Gary Dalkin

    07/03/2013 at 8:07 am

    Root your Nook. It took me about an hour. Now I can run most Android apps on mine, including Kindle, Google Drive, Instafetch, Opera Mobile… My Nook is effectively a fully fledged 7 inch Android tablet while retaining all the features it came with out of the box. Here’s how:

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