The Secret NOOK Simple Touch Web Browser

Both the NOOK Simple Touch and the NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight had a simple Web browser when they were first released in 2011 and 2012. Not that you would know it was there, though: the browser was hidden. But with the updates to each device, access to the browser was removed.

To tell the truth, a browser on an E Ink eReader is never going to be very satisfying. E Ink cannot display video or animation, and the screen does not refresh continually. The screen can show only shades of gray, and its image is not easy to zoom in to or out of to show portions of a large Web page.

But for certain very basic tasks, like checking headlines, reading a blog, or using a page specifically designed for its size and technology, it was almost good enough.

If you have a NOOK Simple Touch with the original version of the operating system, you could get to a browser by connecting to a WiFi system and then tapping Search from the Quick Nav Bar. In the search field, enter a Web address.

With the NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight and the original operating system, the process is a bit more complex: Connect to a WiFi network, use the Quick Nav Bar to go to Settings, and then choose Connect your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Accounts.

Tap on the link to Google; you will be asked to “Link your Google Account,” but don’t bother. Instead, tap Forgot Password. Now look closely and locate the small Home button that has mysteriously appeared at the bottom of the page. Tap Home, and you will get to the Google search engine, and from there you can connect to most Web pages.

Will Barnes & Noble ever re-enable the browser on the two Simple Touch models? They’re not saying. But if you really need the full Web, you would be better off with the NOOK Color or the NOOK Tablet anyway.

For more information about the NOOK eReader and its features, explore NOOK eReaders For Dummies, Portable Edition.

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