The Nook Color is Barnes & Noble’s curated e-reading tablet experience running on top of the Android operating system and with a 7-inch color capacitive touchscreen. The hack requires users to root their device, essentially jailbreaking the Barnes & Noble Android experience, and then installing Android Market, the official Google app store for Android devices. With Android Market installed, users can install apps, such as other e-reader apps like Amazon’s Kindle app or Borders’ and Kobo’s e-reader apps for additional e-books.
If you own Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and have part of your library on the Kindle ecosystem and another portion of your library via Borders, you can now consolidate your experience into one e-reader tablet. Of course, the other option, if you have books spread throughout various disparate libraries, is to purchase a regular Android tablet, such as the Galaxy Tab with its built-in 3G access or another WiFi-only model, and load the apps onto your tablet so you don’t have to perform a root or hackery.
If you’re interested in seeing how all this is done, you can visit the Kindle Blog, an unofficial blog for Kindle readers, to learn more.
Rooting is now legal in the U.S. thanks to revisions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, but there are still risks when rooting a device, such as the potential to brick the device and render it useless. Also, while rooting is now legalized, manufacturers such as Barnes & Noble, may not honor warranties as related to rooted devices, so if you do decide to perform the hack, you will be doing so at your own risk.
With Android Market, however, the payoff may be greater than the risk as users can load on other Android apps onto the Nook Color. This would transform the Nook Color as a primarily color e-reading device to a low-cost tablet running the Android experience.