App Industry Roundup: Barnes & Noble coming to the iPad, Lonely Planet iPhone sale a hit, and the world’s oldest iPad enthusiast

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In today’s App Industry Roundup, we explain why new updates to the Barnes & Noble Nook eReader are really just appetizers for the bookstore’s upcoming iPad app. We also shed light on why three million users make for a less lonely planet, and showcase a 99-year-old iPad aficionado that lives for her next app download. 

Barnes & Noble coming to the iPad 

In the battle between Amazon and Apple over global eReading authority, it is easy to overlook sleeping giant Barnes & Noble. While B&N made news this week with significant updates to its Nook eReader (wireless streaming, a web browser, access to a couple of Google’s Android apps), the company’s future prospects are more tied to the success of next month’s anticipated iPad app release. 

Already on the iPhone with the free applications B&N eReader and the B&N Bookstore Reader, B&N’s iPad edition reportedly will be redesigned “from the ground up.” The question remains why the company prioritized its Nook updates above having an iPad app ready on day one? How will it compete with Kindle and the other incumbent eReader applications on Apple’s tablet computer? 

While the Kindle remains Amazon’s top selling product, we should know in a few months what resources B&N will put behind its Nook and whether the mission moving forward will be to sell more titles via the iPad. 

A less Lonely Planet 

Facing the wrath from loyal customers for the $20 price tag it put on many of it’s globetrotting city guides, Lonely Planet this month began a sale of free iPhone apps as well permanent discounts for other titles. The sale coincided with the Iceland Volcano and appealed to travelers stranded without access to the skies. 

The immediate result? Three million iPhone app downloads in a week.

While high-fives should go around at Lonely Planet’s executive offices, somebody is going to have to figure out how to appease customers that already shelled out twenty bucks for the apps. As well, the company may soon explore the merits of offering more of its titles for free, and experiment with more in-app commerce opportunities as their apps are installed on more devices. 

Stay tuned. 

iPad “changes the life” of 99-year-old

While Virginia Campbell may have been born before commercial radio, her new medium of choice is the iPad. The 99-year-old Oregon resident has already read two books and composed a few limerick’s on Apple’s tablet computer.

Just imagine what she’ll do with the 3G model coming out next month.

Don’t believe it? See for yourself. 

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