Nook Color Getting Update: Flash, Froyo Apps, Animations
Barnes and Noble noticed when a number of customers started hacking their Nook Color e-readers into Android tablets. B&N has readied an update of their proprietary software, Nook Color v. 1.2., that will allow some Froyo apps to run on the color e-reader. But don't call it a full-fledged entry-level Android tablet yet. It's a lot more capable than it was, but there's still a few things missing before you'd confuse a Nook Color with an actual Android Tablet.
Missing in Action: Android Market, Google Services
You won't see the Android Market on the Nook Color, because this is still an e-reader, not a tablet. Sure, it's Android-powered, but Barnes and Noble is trying to keep the device running a certain way, and that means any apps that are available have to use B&N's customer libraries (I mean software libraries, not e-book repositories). It keeps the look and feel consistent, and also stops B&N from selling a "real" tablet at a substantial discount; remember, they're selling this device because they want you to buy e-books from Barnes & Noble to read on it.
You won't have GMail or Google Maps or those kinds of apps, either. There is e-mail, it's tailored to the Nook, though. What you will have includes a browser with Adobe Flash player, the Nook store of approved apps, plus books with animations or videos built in are fully available to you. Children's books include "Read & Play," which can include interactive animations and games. There's a beta social portal included in the update as well, so you can be part of a virtual book club and check out what your friends are reading.
You Can Hack It, or you can Update It
This won't stop the hard-core XDA-types from hacking the device, but the greater functionality may make a number of people much happier with the Nook Color's new capabilities. The update is coming "in the coming weeks," but if you just can't wait, head over to Barnes & Noble to update your Nook Color manually.
Video of Nook Color Update
Thanks to Engadget for this video of the Nook Color in action.
Here's Barnes & Nobel's list of what's been added in the new Nook Color 1.2 update:
The NOOK Color Ver1.2.0 update contains new features and enhancements, including:
- Access to shop a broad collection of popular NOOK Appsâ„¢ to enjoy great games, stay up to date on news and weather, and more
- Full-featured free email to check and send web-based email (i.e., Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL) all from one in-box
- NOOK Color's update to Android OS 2.2/Froyo offers system improvements, browser performance and a more complete Web experience giving customers access to enjoy even more video, interactive and animated content. NOOK Color now includes support for Adobe® Flash® Player
- NOOK Kidsâ„¢ exciting new Read and Play titles that bring animation, activities and stories together
- NOOK Books Enhanced offer in-page video and audio in a growing number of titles
- Enhancements to magazine navigation making it easier to enjoy even more of the growing selection of magazines in NOOK Newsstand
- NOOK Friendsâ„¢ (beta) to see your friends' reading activities, swap books with LendMeâ„¢, share recommendations and discover new titles
Gallery of Nook Color with 1.2 Update Photos
Click any image for a larger view. All photos from Engadget.
Pictures & Video: Engadget