I have had a Nook Color ereader for some time now, and it’s been a pretty good device. I’ve tried using the canned OS and “apps” provided by B&N, but quickly turned to hacking it. I was able to get CyanogenMod running on the device, and was overall pretty pleased. It ran as a tablet, and despite thinking it was a phone, ran the Nook app and most all other apps from the Google Play store. However, core OS upgrades we a pain and it although the CM team does a great job, their focus is on phones, not the Nook.
I have been looking at upgrading to a Nexus 7 since its arrival. However, with the Nook “pretty good”, I’ve had a hard time justifying it. I really wanted the JellyBean OS. Enter Nook2Android Cards. They sell pre-burned microSD cards in various storage capacities with software suited for specific versions of the Nook.
The installation went as simple as was documented on their pag
e at http://n2acards.com/learn-more. I powered off the Nook, replaced the old SD card with the N2A card, and powered up the device. After the main screen showed the N2A logo with a spinning circle progress indicator for some time (more than I was expecting it to… be patient), the first startup screen showed up. After a few questions about the local wifi, language settings, etc., it was ready for use!
Honestly, I was leery of seeing Android 4.1.2 run on a Nook. It is a older device and not the most powerful of it’s class. However, after installing the N2A card, it seems to have breathed new life into my old Nook Color. When I first setup the device, I sync’d all my existing apps from Google to the device. This took some time and seemed to tax the machine while I was running other apps at the same time, but this is not unexpected.
After the apps were installed, the device rebooted for good measure to check for any startup issues, I tried out several apps that I had never attempted before on the Nook. The only issue I consistently ran into with the Nook Color was a delay in the touch screen on the hardware. It took a few ms to recognize when I had tapped a control. I was forced to go a bit slower in navigating some controls, but otherwise the device worked normally. I have not attempted to adjust the processor speed or other setting to see if this make a difference, but may do so as I get to know the “personality” of the new hardware/software mix.
For the $40 I spent on the 16Gb card, it is hands down the best investment for my Nook Color so far. I now have my ereader back, plus a fully-functional Android 4.1.2 tablet. It isn’t a full Nexus 7, but also without the pricetag. If you have a Nook collecting dust in your desk, pickup a N2A card and give this a try.