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With Android Conversion Nook Color eReader Becomes Much More Than Ebooks

Rooting the Nook Color Makes a Cheap Android Tablet

by Sophia Schmidt

On its own, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color ereader has an established and growing base of devoted fans. The multi-touch 7-inch color screen with 1024x600 resolution is a delight for users, with display qualities that rival other top-end tablets. And, its 800MHz processing speed is zippy enough and equal to or faster than many laptops on the market today.

Nook Color Transforms from EReader to Tablet Device

Given all of the Nook Color attributes as a dedicated ereader, the device is also gaining credibility as an Android tablet. In its out-of-the-box design, the Nook Color is a proprietary interface built for explicit ereader use. With modification however, the Nook Color can quickly turn into a tablet. That’s because Barnes & Noble’s technical team use Unix as the main computer program for the Nook Color’s design, which also happens to be the base program for Google’s Android software.

With slightly more than a basic knowledge of programming and software installation, users are rooting the Nook Color and turning it into an Android tablet device by using an SD card to boot the system. Several open source programming groups are developing tools for users to convert the Nook Color to more than an ereader to a platform that runs just like an out-of-the-box tablet. All this for around $250, which is hundreds of dollars less than current tablet devices on the market.

Once the software is installed onto the Nook Color, the device becomes a useful tool for email, social networking, the Barnes and Noble, Kindle and Audible ebooks apps as well as the sling box app and more. Users can go out to and download any of the thousands of other apps available for Android. The plus side if users want to root their device is that it’s possible to rebook the Nook Color back to the factory settings by Barnes and Noble.

Android Honeycomb on the Nook Color

While many users may be unwilling to convert their Nook Color ereader into an Android tablet, this may change with the launch of the latest Android software, called Honeycomb. This increase may well come down to economics – every tablet currently on the market with the Android Honeycomb platform is $700 or more. Users can root the Nook Color and convert it into an Android Honeycomb device for approximately $250 through the use of open source software.

Open source developers are continuing to work on an Android Honeycomb rooting tool for the Nook Color. There are current versions on the market but they are in the early stages of experimentation.

Nook Color Wish List for An Android Tablet

If Barnes and Noble jumps onto this newest iteration of using the Nook Color, users may see a device that adds a camera or two and improves video playback. This may just be the market change that the traditional book retailer may need to jump further into using digital technology to get customers reading digitally.

ArsTechnica has step by step instructions to transform your Nook Color

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