The fine folks at Barnes & Noble have just updated us on how their Developer Program is shaping up, a whole new phase of said program starting very soon. This second phase will include a brand NEW suite of tools and services that’ll allow developers to create lovely reading-related apps for the NOOK Color specifically. This update also includes a new open door for “qualified third-party developers and content providers.” What that means we’re soon to find out!

The information we’ve recieved in press-release form (included below) also shows that there’ll be a major firmware update for the reading tablet coming up soon as well, this one set to “offer customers the first new apps to discover and enjoy,” this including perhaps most importantly an email app for your emailing enjoyment. This update will be coming in Spring, which as you know is fast approaching, it also including the ability to download apps that will be releasing “regularly” and will be both paid and free.

Included in the developer update are several items developers may very possibly be encouraged by: Access to “Developer Mode” services that’ll will let ADB access NOOK Color for sweet, sweet app creating in an environment developers are already accustomed to. Public and private interaction with NOOK App Developer tech experts. “Early” access to development tools, APIs, resources, and services. And best of all: an app review/acceptance process – HOORAY! This acceptance process will decide whether or not your app will fit Barnes & Noble’s acceptance policies (as with books) “to ensure the content is appropriate for Barnes & Noble customers.”

The sweet thing about this is that there’s no fee for participating in the program, and once you’ve got an accepted app, you’ll get 70% of the cut. This and it appears that they’re going to have a way for you to submit your app for trials with NOOK Color customers the same way people Beta test apps now. Having that sort of thing inside a safe system might very well be fabulous for developers, fabulous indeed.

Check out the full press release below:

As you will recall, Barnes & Noble launched NOOK Developer last fall to work with developers and content providers to extend the value of the NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet, with a focus on delivering reading-centric applications to customers – apps that enrich and extend the reading experience. Barnes & Noble has also announced plans for a major update to the NOOK Color firmware this Spring which will offer customers the first new apps to discover and enjoy, along with email and other requested features. New apps will be added regularly for customers to explore and easily download. NOOK Color customers – enthusiastic about expanding what they can do on the highly acclaimed, bestselling device – will find rich, immersive and vivid paid and free apps that are specifically optimized for NOOK Color.

Barnes & Noble is providing qualified developers access to a variety of tools and resources to accelerate the development of their apps including:

Access to “Developer Mode” services, which will enable adb (Android Debugging Bridge) access on NOOK Color to facilitate application development and debugging
Public and private interaction with other developers and NOOK App Developer technical experts
Early access to development tools, APIs, resources and services
An app review/acceptance process that will follow the company’s content acceptance policies as with books to ensure the content is appropriate for the Barnes & Noble customer

Developers are invited to join and qualify to submit their applications by visiting There is no program fee for developers to participate in the NOOK Developer program. Developers who qualify will be able to submit paid and free apps and will receive 70% of any paid app purchased by Barnes & Noble customers. Developers also have the option to offer free trials to NOOK Color users.

Claudia Romanini, Director of Developer Relations at Barnes & offers the following statement related to today’s NOOK Developer update: “We are thrilled with the strong response to NOOK Developer thus far. We’re excited to see our eReading ecosystem grow with new engaging content and applications that our millions of customers can discover through unmatched merchandising opportunities on the NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet, on Barnes & one of the world’s leading eCommerce Web sites, and through our large footprint of more than 1,300 retail and college bookstores, beginning this Spring.”