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Nook Tablet Update 1.4.1 Breaks Root And Ends App Sideloading – You Can Stop OTA Updates Forever



It had to happen sometime, I suppose. Word is coming down that the latest firmware update from Barnes & Noble for the Nook Tablet and Nook Color — 1.4.1 — closes the loophole that allowed users to sideload any Android app and also breaks root for those who’ve gone that extra step to customize the device.

This is sad news for those of us who really enjoyed the ability to load apps that are not available via Nook’s small store. Though more apps were just announced, including Twitter and Plants vs. Zombies, some of my favorites still aren’t in there like NewsRob and DoubleTwist.

If you haven’t received the update yet turn off your Wi-Fi now if you want to save your tweaks! You can check and see what version of the firmware you have by going to Settings > Device Info > About Your NOOK. If you’re still on 1.4.0 there’s still time.

Nook Tablet Rooted

You can stop software updates like these from taking away your lovely root or other tweaks permanently, according to Brad at Lilipuing. However, doing so requires that you root the device first, plus a bunch of other steps. If you’re comfortable with doing that (or have already rooted), it’s probably worth the time.

If, like me, you just want to keep the ability to sideload apps but don’t want to root, you may be out of luck. Blocking OTA updates requires replacing the Nook’s device manager with a hacked version.

The diligent devs on the XDA forum may yet figure out a way around the patch in the new update, so there is a slim hope. However, I suggest installing the apps you want on there right now before the update finally gets to you. It looks like apps installed before the update comes through aren’t affected.

Given how nonchalant Barnes & Noble has been in the past toward rooting on the Nook Color, I’m surprised they issued an update that specifically addresses these minor loopholes. Perhaps the company fears a loss in app revenue. But I can’t imagine a large majority of users are taking advantage. Perhaps they’re taking their cues from Amazon on this front.



  1. Acassell111

    12/23/2011 at 9:01 am

    Was totally surprised by the update.  EVERYTHING works the same after the update except that the 3rd party box in settings gets unchecked and Google Market Place will not work.  All Google apps still work fine (they did not work prior to root).

    Ran settings and checked the 3rd party apps box.  Amazon now works fine.  Homepage still works and does not revert to the old Nook crap.

    Will try to revive google marketplace. 

    Need some time to see what else comes up from Indirect and the others.  May have to re-root and then set up the OTA prevent.  But with most everything working no real hurry.

  2. Albertwertz

    12/23/2011 at 3:16 pm

    I am uploading a workaround video that follows the XDA forums. Many people have asked for a step by step procedure. Will finish uploading in a few hours

  3. Jreese53

    12/26/2011 at 8:27 am

    Where is this Google Market Place?  I can’t find it.

    • K. T. Bradford

      12/29/2011 at 10:26 am

      it’s not available on the Nook by default. you have to root the tablet to get the Market. or just download B&N’s apps, instead.

  4. Email

    01/03/2012 at 12:28 pm

    what about the 1.4.1 update for the nook color? 1.4.1 still rootable and all?

  5. Bruce

    01/18/2012 at 12:49 pm

    I just soft rooted ( I can boot to android from a micro SD card)  Does this update kill that, too?

    • Acassell111

      01/18/2012 at 3:34 pm

      Yes the update sets you back to factory fresh state.

      Check out xda

      There are threads that help restore to version 1.4.0 and then lock put all future over the air updates as well as re root your device.

  6. Thenalongcamemary

    02/01/2012 at 11:05 am

    Let me get this straight even if I only use my Nook color with my N2A card it will still do an automatic update? I just bought the N2A card! I hate the Nook Color without it! Please tell me I didn’t waste my money on both the Nook and the N2A!

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