Barnes & Noble Inc.’s latest effort to revive its Nook tablet business involves another technology giant. This time it’s Google Inc. The largest U.S. bookstore chain has signed a partnership with Google that will install its Google Play online application store, as well as Gmail, its Chrome Web browser and maps on new Nook tablets. Owners of the latest Nooks will be able to access the Google services with software updates, according to a statement Friday.
On the cutting edge
Taco Bell says its new value menu — being tested in Kansas City and Sacramento, Calif. — may go national. The fast-food chain said in January that it was testing a “$1 Cravings” menu that would replace its “Why Pay More” menu, which has tiered pricing. The latest iteration of the $1 Cravings menu has 12 items, including new offerings such as Shredded Chicken Mini Quesadillas and a Beefy Nacho Loaded Griller.
Hybrids are hot
Ford Motor Co., seeking to challenge Toyota Motor Corp.’s dominance in gasoline-electric vehicles, said it will pass its full-year record for U.S. hybrid sales this month on demand for its Fusion and C-Max models. Hybrid deliveries for Ford reached a monthly record 8,481 in April, bringing the total this year to 29,561, said Ford analyst Erich Merkle. Ford’s annual record for such sales was 35,496 in 2010.
U.S. Cellular Corp. expects to get Apple products later this year, joining the country’s four largest carriers in offering the devices. Apple’s iPhone, the best-selling smartphone in the U.S., may help the company compete with larger carriers. U.S. Cellular also is rolling out a speedier network based on long-term evolution, or LTE, technology.
| Star news services