Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

Summary: Run both Gingerbread and Nook OS on your Nook Color, without voiding your warranty. It's as easy as inserting a microSD card into your e-reader.

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TOPICS: Processors, Hardware
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As David Chernicoff over at Between the Lines reminds us, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color is an Android device at its core (it runs Froyo 2.2), so it is a shame that the B&N interface would hide the "major capabilities of an Android 2.2 tablet."

To take full advantage of the most tablet-like e-reader out there, you can either "root" your Nook Color, or replace the Nook OS with Gingerbread as Chernicoff advocates because "anyone [who is] comfortable with installing an operating system on a PC can accomplish." But a quick scan at the instructions and the thought of purposefully voiding a warranty is enough to make most people stick with their B&N neutered device.

It seems there is an easier solution for the less technically inclined to get more power out of their Nook Colors, as long as they don't mind spending a little money.

Nook2Android loads the Cyanogenmod 7 (CM7) modded version of Android Gingerbread for the Nook Color onto Sandisk microSD cards that people can purchase: from 8 GB to 32 GB. These cards are not some illegal hacks from China; the ROM is distributed the under GNU Public License and Android Open Source Project, so customers are technically only paying for the Sandisk cards. CM7 only takes up about 3 GB on each card, which means there is plenty of space for files on the card.

Because the Nook Color is designed to boot from a micro-SD Card first by default, the e-reader will run the preloaded CM7 if you select it in the boot menu. When you remove the micro-SD card, the e-reader will revert back to Nook OS without any traces of CM7.

According to Nook2Android, your dual-booting Nook Color running CM7 will be able to:

  • Connect to any Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Download the Gmail, Facebook, Pandora, radio, Kindle and even the Nook app
  • Access weather information, news and Google Calendar
  • Stream Hulu and Netflix on the Nook Color
  • Enjoy the apps selection in the Android Market

The 8 GB Nook2Android card starts at $35, the 16 GB is $50 and 32 GB is $90, but it's a small investment to turn your $250 Nook Color into the $500 tablet it could be.

I have yet to try this solution out but for those of you who are more experienced with rooting the Nook Color, let us know if the Nook2Android card is worth the money.

[Source: Nook2Android via RedFerret]

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Topics: Processors, Hardware

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13 comments
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  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    I have done this myself and used the instructions at <a href="http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1000957" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1000957</a> to build my own micro SD card. Works just fine. There are also instructions for building a bootable Honeycomb card at this location http://nookdevs.com/Nookie_Honeycomb:_Burning_a_bootable_SD_card I plan to try that out soon.
    jnealand
    • DIY Honeycomb

      @jnealand
      I made a bootable Honeycomb SD card for my NookColor using the nookdevs.com instructions. Pretty easy, and it works great. Fairly good performance too.
      gmeader
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    I bought the card and installed it last night. It's fun to play with, but I'm still searching for a real reason to use a tablet.
    ptrader
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    The nook2Android card works perfectly. Very quick boot and simple install. And yes, I now have a $500 tablet. I use the nook Android app for all my ebook reading and purchasing from Barnes and Noble. And the folks that produce and support the card are great. Quick replies to any questions
    bobinbc
    • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

      @bobinbc <br>Is this possible to do with a KoBo e-reader as well? It, too, is equipped with an SD card slot. Is it an Android-based device, and does it too run Froyo?
      Ronzo3
      • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

        @Ronzo3 Possibly, but first you would have to find out if the KoBo boots from the card as the first option. Second, you would have to build a KoBo specific version of Android. Or wait for someone to do it commercially. Or buy a Color nook.
        :-)
        bobinbc
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    I haven't bought any of the preloaded cards simply because it was far less expensive to perform the mod myself on an 8GB SD Card. I've run Froyo, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb on my Nook Color via the SD Card mod and I have to say out of the 3 Gingerbread is the most stable.

    Having said that I think it's a decent mod but I find that I use my Nook Color as a dedicated ereader more than a fully functioning tablet - although it is really nice to be able to have the option to use it as one.
    athynz
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    I think I did the 8GB myself for about $20 but it may be worth an extra 15 for someone who isn't technically inclined. I almost never boot off the Nook itself now.
    sullivanjc
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    I have heard that Color Nook has problems connecting to wifi on the Nook OS. Does this card help solve those problems?
    AC Cali
  • NookColorForums.net

    There's a great community for the Nook Color at http://nookcolorforums.net. Definitely recommend it.
    alan27inla
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    Q. can you still use the SD card as additional memory/storage when you boot CM7 from it?
    Mumojumo
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    Does this work
    Mumojumo
  • RE: Dual-boot your Nook Color with Android using a micro-SD card, $35

    will this also work on non color Nook?
    ddcatfan