Barnes & Noble has added improved functionality, games, web browsing and other features to its Nook digital reading device after issuing an over-the-air wi-fi software update. In addition to faster page-turns and overall improved performance, the updated Nook software now allows wi-fi access permitting free in-store browsing of books, magazines and newspapers, an updated home screen and an enhanced color touchscreen.

The Nook's v1.3 software update will allow consumers to play chess against the Nook as well as play Suduko both offering varying levels of difficulty. The device now offers enhanced wi-fi functionality both for hotspot connectivity and for B&N's Read In Store browsing feature (in-store consumers can freely sample e-book titles for up to an hour and newspapers and magazines for up to 20 minutes) as well as its More In Store feature, which provides free and exclusive wireless supplied content for Nook owners.

In addition, the update features a beta version of a web browser that will allow access to e-mail, internet browsing and a virtual keyboard. The browser is controlled by the Nook's small color touchscreen and displays web pages on its black & white e-ink screen. Any Nook connected to wi-fi will automatically download the software update and it can also be manually downloaded at the Nook update website.

B& v-p, digital products Tony Astarita, said the gaming and the new and enhanced features offered on the Nook, "puts a digital spin on the popular Barnes & Noble bookstore experience that millions of our customers enjoy each day. At no cost, Nook customers can browse through our robust collection of digital content while enjoying their favorite beverage in our café."