How to Run Android on a Barnes and Noble Nook Reader

If you are wanting a tablet, but not an iPad – and in particular if you specifically want an Android tablet – you may think that you have only one choice: the new Samsung Galaxy Android Tablet. But you’d be wrong, because the Barnes and Noble Nook Color eBook Reader actually runs on Android, and it’s not that difficult to hack it (“root” the Nook) to run the more full version of Android, giving you an honest-to-goodness Android tablet!

First reported by NookDevs, a site “dedicated to hacking the nook and nook Color and exposing the possibilities”, several tech sites have now replicated the hacking and rooting of the Nook Color reader, allowing the Nook Color to run the full Android (specifically the Honeycomb tablet version of Android), in all its full Android glory.

And it’s not all that difficult to do.

 

Here are the basic steps, with links to full instructions at the end.

You will need:

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– A Nook Color eBook Reader from Barnes & Noble
– A Barnes & Noble account for your Nook (set this up before rooting your Nook!)
– A Gmail account, and a YouTube account that is linked to the same Gmail account (i.e. use the same email address for both – if you signed up at B&N with a Gmail account, use that one)
– A microSD card
– A computer with a working USB port and a way to read and write to the microSD card
– A program on your computer that will write disk images (‘dd’ for Mac or Linux, or Win32DiskImager for Windows)
– A working wifi connection

Once you have the above all in one place, you will basically create a bootable version of Android on the microSD card, and then boot the Nook from that full verson of Android that is on the microSD card (once your Nook has rebooted with the new version of Android, you can remove the microSD card).

The two best places to get the full instructions for how to run Android on your Nook Color are:

How to Root the Nook Color and Run Android on the Nook Color at NookDevs.com

 

How to Hack the Nook Color and Run Android on the Nook at TechRepublic

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One Reply to “How to Run Android on a Barnes and Noble Nook Reader”

  1. With a 4×6 color screen, wifi, and a $250 price tag, the rooted Nook Color makes a nice Android tablet. I rooted my Nook Color according to directions I found online, then added the Home Switcher and Launcher Pro apps to give it a true Android tablet user interface.

    With the ability to download almost any app from the Android Market, you can enjoy your favorites on a larger screen. (See photo links below.) And of course there’s no contract or monthly fee, as with other Android tablets that tie you to a mobile service provider. The rooting process was just a little geeky, but really it requires no special skills, and is reversible if need be.

    I have experienced a few glitches. Not every app will run on the Nook Color, and some don’t behave 100%. For example, the Gmail app doesn’t always sync messages in the inbox, and doesn’t do auto-complete for email addresses when composing a new message. A friend of mine says he does not have either of these problems, so your mileage may vary. Also, the calendar app will not connect to my Google Calendar, which is too bad. Talking Tom doesn’t work because there is no microphone on the Nook.

    But it DOES run Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, Tank Hero and lots of other apps. Oh, and of course it can still be used to read your Nook ebooks. If you download the free Kindle app you can also read Kindle titles. Take that, Amazon! :-)

    Android Market on Nook Color:
    http://askbobrankin.com/nook-market.jpg

    Facebook App on Nook Color:
    http://askbobrankin.com/nook-facebook.jpg

    Angry Birds on Nook Color:
    http://askbobrankin.com/nook-angrybirds.jpg

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