Hack turns Nook Color into Kindle

The Blog Kindle has posted step-by-step instructions for rooting the Nook Color to run Android Marketplace and download the Kindle for Android app.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
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David Carnoy
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The Kindle for Android app sinfully running on the Nook Color. Blog Kindle

As soon as Barnes & Noble released the Android-powered Nook Color, one question that many people were asking was would you be able to run the Kindle app for Android on the device. Of course, Barnes & Noble wasn't going to authorize it, but it was only a matter of time before people started "rooting" the Nook Color to run a customized flavor of Android that would allow you to download Android apps, including the Kindle app.

The rooting actually started not long after the $250 Nook Color was released, but the Blog Kindle has now posted step-by-step rooting instructions that a lot of other blogs are linking to.

"It's actually quite easy now to get Kindle books on Nook color and have both eBook stores available to you on a single device," the how-to article begins. "This is possible because Nook Color is more of an entry level Android tablet than a dedicated eReader. As it comes out of the box it just happens to start the Nook application by default and not let users run anything else. However, that can easily be fixed by rooting the device and enabling the Android Market."

Obviously, with Android Market on board, you can download loads of applications, including Kindle for Android, play games such as Angry Birds, watch YouTube videos, and yes, still download Nookbooks. Apparently, the rooted Nook Color firmware is less than perfect, requiring a reboot now and again, but it's fairly stable (certain apps such as the Kobo Reader for Android don't always run properly).

Most average consumers will stick to what Barnes & Noble is offering and wait for official updates that will continuously arrive. Barnes & Noble has said it will deliver its own app marketplace early in 2011 and eventually update the device to Android 2.2. But a lot of techies looking for the best of all e-reader worlds may consider taking the root route. However, as with all hacks and jailbreaks, proceed at your own risk.