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

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.

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.