Editor's Note: This article was updated to reflect slightly different rooting instructions based on B&N's 1.4.1 update.
NOOK Tablet is the latest version of the B&N ereaders, featuring a full-color display with a touchscreen interface. You can enhance the NOOK Tablet's functionality by rooting it, a very simple process that grants you access to the Android Market for installing apps. This article walks you through the process and includes installing an app and unrooting it.
Barnes and Noble's NOOK Tablet was released on November 17, 2011. Within a couple of weeks, it had been rooted and adapted to becoming a tablet opened to the Android Market and other Android development. The NOOK Tablet 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 NOOK Tablet and add new and exciting features.
The idea of rooting your NOOK Tablet may seem daunting or way too technical. However, I can assure you that rooting the NOOK Tablet to get basic Android Market apps installed is super easyrequiring only a bit of prep work and a few steps. This minimal effort (which can be done in less than a half-hour) is well worth the benefits because you are turning your NOOK Tablet beyond its current capabilities (albeit without a camera or GPS locator), with access to the Android Marketamong other benefits.
An Introduction to Rooting Your NOOK Tablet
B&N locked down Android on your NOOK Tablet to prevent you from accessing some of Android's capabilities. However, by following a process called rooting your NOOK Tablet, you can open up these capabilities to make your NOOK Tablet more powerful and useful.
Following are just a few of the things you can do after you root your NOOK Tablet:
- Add additional games
- Use alternative browsers, PDF readers, and media players
- Add calculator and note-taking apps
- Access the Android Market
These are just a few examples of the power unleashed by rooting your NOOK Tablet.
The type of rooting we will be conducting is called an internal flash root. In this rooting method, you alter the memory on the NOOK Tablet itself. In other words, you alter the basic software on the NOOK Tablet.
Why do I use the internal Flash method for the NOOK Tablet? I am doing this primarily because at the time of writing this is the only method for rooting the NOOK Tablet. Eventually, I expect to see a microSD rooting method for the NOOK Tablet, but this will take some time to develop. (And it mirrors the pattern of the NOOK Color.) That said, if you follow the internal Flash rooting method, you do void the warranty on your NOOK Tablet.
With that said, rooting your NOOK Tablet is not sanctioned by B&N. Rooting is one of those things you must do at your own risk, and in my opinion, the benefits of using the microSD card rooting process are more than acceptable. Rooting your NOOK Tablet does void the warranty.