Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

Summary: We have been waiting for this Barnes & Noble update to bring Froyo to the Nook Color and with version 1.2 you can turn your ebook reader into a valid Android tablet.

SHARE:

Last October I wrote that the Nook Color was essentially a low cost Android tablet and today Barnes and Noble finally revealed the 1.2 software update that officially gives the Nook Color Android 2.2 (Froyo) and an App Store. Rachel covered all of the software update launch details and I am seriously thinking about picking up a Nook Color again.

There has been quite an active community around the Nook Color and hacking it to get full Android 2.2 on it with support for the Android Market. It actually has gotten to the point that this process was quick and easy with an option to even run Android right from a microSD card. However, it was never a fully authorized solution so it is great to finally see Barnes & Noble release the official update for Android 2.2 and applications.

I just recently picked up a BlackBerry PlayBook and while it has a fluid UI and nice form factor, the lack of applications is a major deal at the moment. Even the Nook Color with this new update has a dedicated email client. The Nook Color also joins the PlayBook with Adobe Flash support in the browser. The full list of updated features in this version 1.2 update includes:

  • Access to shop a broad collection of popular NOOK Apps™ to enjoy great games, stay up to date on news and weather, and more
  • Full-featured free email to check and send web-based email (i.e., Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL) all from one in-box
  • NOOK Color’s update to Android OS 2.2/Froyo offers system improvements, browser performance and a more complete Web experience giving customers access to enjoy even more video, interactive and animated content. NOOK Color now includes support for Adobe® Flash® Player
  • NOOK Kids™ exciting new Read and Play titles that bring animation, activities and stories together NOOK Books Enhanced offer in-page video and audio in a growing number of titles
  • Enhancements to magazine navigation making it easier to enjoy even more of the growing selection of magazines in NOOK Newsstand
  • NOOK Friends™ (beta) to see your friends’ reading activities, swap books with LendMe™, share recommendations and discover new titles.

At $249, the Nook Color looks to be the device to get for an Android WiFi tablet experience.

Topics: BlackBerry, Android, Collaboration, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

71 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Kindle?

    Anybody try installing the Kindle app on it yet?
    mstone0802
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @mstone0802 It has been working great for those of us that have rooted although as a show of good faith, I buy my books from B&N because I love the Nook Color and I like that B&N have more or less left us "rooters" alone.

      I am guessing that the Kindle app is somehow missing from the B&N market however.
      redhaven
      • If the Nook is an Android tablet

        @redhaven <br>I think you can go to Amazon and get the Kindle App for Android (for free) and it should work without having to root it.
        iPad-awan
      • Unfortunately not so.

        @iPad-awan There is currently no way to load an app without going through the Nook Market. It's not like an Android phone where you can check the box in the settings to "Allow installation of applications from non-market sources" and then load a .apk file.

        So the only way you are going to get the Kindle app on there is to root it.
        cornpie
      • That's too bad

        @cornpie "Unfortunately not so"
        (thanks for the info)

        It would have been nice and B&N would probably sell more Nook color
        iPad-awan
      • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

        @iPad-awan

        The question is does B&N make money on H/W? It's a very nice screen and pretty solid h/w for the money. I've always assumed they were subsidizing the H/W or, at best, breaking even.
        notsofast
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @mstone0802 Lol. I think I'm going to get one and do just that. I have a lot of crap for kindle.
      snoop0x7b
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @mstone0802

      I have the Kindle app on my rooted Nook Color, and it works great!
      Alexander MacLeod
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @notsofast "The question is does B&N make money on H/W? It's a very nice screen and pretty solid h/w for the money. I've always assumed they were subsidizing the H/W or, at best, breaking even."<br><br>The Nook is so much cheaper than any other decent tablet, it's clear that BNN is selling them for a loss, with the intention of making the money back on book sales. Given that, you can't really blame them for wanting to block other book sellers.
      wzrobin
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @mstone0802 Just out of Curiosity why would you ask that question it?s it like asking if in Ford dealership would / should carry all brands of cars (just because they are cars) I would think the obvious answer would be well ?no?. So I?m assuming you just wrote the question because you were bored.
      And why would you want the kindle App in the first place - with a Kindle you can only buy/get free books from Amazon and no where else. The Nook allows you to get e-books from just about anywhere you can get e-pub, from the Libary to the Gutenberg Project and other free sources. If I love the book I buy it
      kah9932
  • I really like the idea of tablets being ubiquitous and cheap...

    I really like the idea of tablets being ubiquitous and cheap, makes me feel like a sci-fi future is finally here. :)
    olePigeon
  • Message has been deleted.

    Read Aloud Dad
  • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

    Meh, for $150 more you get a real tablet (Asus Transformer) running Honeycomb, much better 10" screen, with significantly faster processor, cameras, ports, etc etc.

    That said, for basic browsing with outdated OS, could be worse price point. This all but ensures Amazon releases a much more capable Kindle tablet later this year.
    farwest101
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @farwest101 It is a cool tablet at a decent price but $150 is a lot of money for Honeycomb which is going to be awesome in about 6 months.
      redhaven
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @farwest101
      Also, 10" screen is too big for some. The nook/kindle size is very nice. Fits in a lot of places a bigger unit doesn't. Both have there place, but the smaller one makes sense for me.
      stannich
    • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

      @farwest101 To each his own. I prefer a 7" tablet for a lot of reasons, don't think the tablet market has shaken out to the point where I know what I will want for any length of time, and like some of the features, like the magazine library, unique to Nook.
      cuhulin
    • Kind of depends on what you want it for

      @farwest101 Personally, I wasn't really looking for a full blown tablet. What I wanted was an e-reader that could also do a few basic things. The update to my Nook Color gives me those couple of things it was missing.

      If I'm going to be doing anything more heavy duty than what the Nook Color (with the 1.2 update) does, then I'd much prefer my laptop over any tablet from any manufacturer.
      cornpie
      • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

        @cornpie: your name sounds like one of Grandma's goodies -- got a recipe?
        humannzee
    • Comment to Farwest101.

      @farwest101 ...Getting version 3. (Honeycomb) would probably be nice, but with Linux, having an older OS really doesn't mean to much. My family runs older Linux on their computers with no problems. If you update, it's not for any security reason.
      Joe.Smetona
  • RE: Nook Color gets official update to make it a real Android tablet

    Dwnloaded update. It is ok. Will be better after more apps are available. Still the best dedicated ereaderin the market
    Drjp80