Barnes and Noble’s NOOKcolor was released on November 19, 2010. Within a couple of weeks, it had been rooted and adapted to becoming a tablet. The NOOKcolor uses Google’s Android operating system. Choosing Android makes business sense because it’s an open-source operating system, and B&N didn’t have to pay a small fortune to use it. However, the most exciting thing about Android for you is that it lets you easily root the NOOKcolor and add new features.
Rooting is another term for hacking, though without the illicit connotation of hacking.
The idea of rooting your NOOKcolor may seem daunting or way too technical. However, I can assure you that rooting the NOOKcolor to get basic Android Market apps installed is super easy thanks to the folks at nookdevs.com, only requiring a bit of prep work and a few steps. This minimal effort (can be done inside a half-hour) is well worth the benefits, for you are turning your NOOKcolor into a tablet (albeit without a microphone or camera), with access to the Kindle store amongst other benefits.
To complete the steps in this chapter, you must have at least a 128MB microSD card.
An Introduction to Rooting Your NOOKcolor
B&N locked down Android on your NOOKcolor to prevent you from accessing some of Android’s capabilities. However, by following a process called rooting your NOOKcolor, you can open up these capabilities to make your NOOKcolor more powerful and useful.
In the Android OS, root is the superuser who has access to everything in the OS. By rooting your NOOKcolor, you can become the superuser on your NOOKcolor.
Following are just a few of the things you can do after you root your NOOKcolor:
- Install Kindle for Android and eReader for Andriod.
- Add additional games (Angry Birds, Alchemy, Solitaire, etc.).
- Use alternative browsers (Opera), PDF readers, and media players (Slacker).
- Add calculator and note-taking apps.
- Access the Android Market.
If for nothing else, this may be the single best reason to root your NOOKcolor. If you have Kindle books or you have a bunch of secure eReader books you purchased from Fictionwise (and now cannot read on your NOOKcolor though you could on your NOOK), by rooting your NOOKcolor you gain access to those ebooks.
These are just a few examples of the power unleashed by rooting your NOOKcolor.