If I’d have to characterize all the tablets from the Barnes & Noble NOOK series, I’d choose “limited”. I’m not saying they are crap, but they surely offer way less functionality than other low-budget tabs, such as the Google Nexus 7 for instance. The Nook is running on a limited version of Android, has no camera, no Bluetooh connectivity and no GPS radio, not to mention that the specs are a bit shabby when compared to similarly priced tabs. However, fortunately for Barnes & Noble NOOK owners, a very interesting upgrade will be soon heading to their devices, one that will try to emulate a GPS system.
This news comes as SkyHook has recently announced that they have partnered with Barnes & Noble for developing GPS-like capabilities for the latter’s otherwise GPS radio lacking series of tablets. As it turns out, you don’t really need a GPS radio inside your device to be able to tell where you are and follow directions, and this is exactly what Skyhook’s technology does: it analyzes the various Wi-Fi hotspots around your device, and then provides an approximate location.
While the Forever Map 2 (the first official application to use SkyHook technology) is quite far from being a Google Maps killer, it sure is nice to see a tablet gaining extra functionality just by installing a new app. Forever Map 2 comes in two versions: a free version and a PRO version that comes with unlimited offline maps at the price of $5. You won’t be able to navigate across the globe, as Forever Map will be unable to determine your location once you run out of Wi-Fi coverage, but you might be able to navigate your way around some cities.
Any Nook owners happy to see location-based services coming to their tablet? Let us know in the comment section below!