Rooted Nook Touch with GlowLight Review, Plus Tips and Tricks (Video)

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Rooted Nook Glow

This review includes a video review of a rooted Nook Glow showing what operations can be performed and some different Android apps that can be installed, including Kindle, Kobo, Aldiko, Cool Reader, ezPDF, and others.

This review also includes some tips and tricks for getting started with a rooted Nook Glow, along with links to popular apps to install.

First off, here’s the earlier post for directions on how to root the Nook Glow using TinyNoot. It is surprisingly simple. Plus there’s a newer rooting method called GlowNooter that includes Google apps.

For those new to all this, rooting is essentially the process of gaining access to files normally hidden to the user. The Nook runs Android, which is open source software, so once you gain access to those files you can make changes to the operating system with commonly available tools that Android developers have created and made available to the masses, wrapped up all nice and neat in easy-to-use automated packages.

Once rooted, the Nook Glow still operates exactly the same as always, all the B&N features are still there and work just the same. But now you have the option to install Android apps, including a number of ereading apps, news apps, web browsers, note apps, and other utilities.

Because the Nook Glow is an E Ink device, it is fairly limited in what type of apps can be installed and used properly. Even still, you’d be surprised by the number of apps that do work. However, I’ve noticed the newer versions of some apps won’t run but an older version will, such as Kindle and Aldiko. I added some links for them in the tips and tricks section below.

Rooted Nook Glow Tips and Tricks

Before you can install apps, make sure to open Nook Color tools and uncheck and recheck “allow non-market apps”.

The TinyNoot rooting package doesn’t come with Google apps so you need to get apps from Amazon and alternate appstores.

The Nook’s web browser isn’t very good. You can install a better web browser such as the Opera browser from Amazon and pretty much any other appstore.

A quick way to uninstall apps it to press and hold the app icon and drag it to the trash icon at the top of the homescreen, hold it there for a couple of seconds and it will prompt to uninstall.

Button Savior – Button Savior comes pre-installed with the rooting package. It is a small icon on the center right edge of the screen that brings up on-screen buttons for navigation. You can open the Button Savior app from the app drawer to customize the appearance and position of the buttons.

Recent Apps List – Hold down the home icon on Button Savior for two seconds to bring up the recent apps list.

Kindle App – The newer versions of the Kindle app won’t install on the Nook but an older version at Android Freeware works fine. Scroll down and download the Kindle app version 3.1.0.30.

Aldiko App – The newest version of the Aldiko app from Amazon worked fine at first, but then after a while it wouldn’t open anymore. I downgraded to 2.0 and it seems to be working fine.

No Refresh App – This is a useful app that makes scrolling much smoother.

Battery Widget – The battery widget is cool because you can add it to your homescreen to get an exact percentage of battery life without having to go into the setting menu.

Minimalistic Black Theme for ADW – This makes the app icons more legible on the homescreen and in the app drawer. To apply it, download and then hit menu from the Android homescreen, select More, then ADW Settings. You can apply it in themes settings and choose whether to use regular icons or the theme’s icons.

Change Homescreen Layout – You can access the ADW settings as described above and then customize a number of elements for the homescreen and app drawer. I changed the desktop columns so that more apps fit on the homescreen.

NewsRob – Since TinyRoot doesn’t include Google apps, Google Reader won’t work, but there are other RSS readers. NewsRob works well and uses your Google Reader feeds.

DropBox – Dropbox is one of the easiest ways to transfer files to and from a rooted Nook Glow.

Rooted Nook Glow Review – Plus Tips and Tricks

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42 Responses to “Rooted Nook Touch with GlowLight Review, Plus Tips and Tricks (Video)”

  1. My experience with the rooted NookGL is pretty positive. That siad, I wasn’t quite as impressed by it as I was with the original NST. Maybe just getting jaded here. The lack of google apps is a bit of a pain, but alternative app stores work fine (so long as they worked on a rooted NST). Using online resources at some of these stores, I can download the APK file to my PC (having a keyboard, mouse, and a screen made for internet is nice for this), upload to a directory on my SD card in my NookGL, and using ES File Explorer (great app, by the way, and free, to boot) install the APK. Doing this, older versions of the Google Market will install, though with a bit less available apps than the version that came with the NST Touchnooter package. It’s a bit of a pain, but it works. Really, this is my only gripe. As Nathan noted in part 2 of his NookGL review, contrast is a bit lower than the stock NST. I really didn’t notice this, as I already has a screen protector installed on my NST.

    Other than that, nothing really new, other than the light. TinyNoot is a pretty slick package, and does what it’s designed for. Easy, painless, effective. If you have any inkling to root your shiny, new NookGL, this is the way to do it (until Touchnooter is updated, anyhow).

  2. Have you had any luck using the fast refresh mode with Coolreader?

    • Nah, I just grabbed the latest version from 1mobile instead of hunting down the apk for the Nook-specific version. I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work though.

  3. It turns out that I had an older version, the one from 1mobile works great! Thanks!

  4. its great. Try out Moon reader app, it working better than cool reader. even the physical button work for this and lot of themes and auto scrolling options included.
    Another app which make use of physical button in Nomad reader, but still Moon reader is better according to me.Cheers:)

  5. Grr, I followed all your procedures but I’m unable to install a filemanager.

    When I download apk from the internet I get :
    there is a problem parsing the package

    Or I get a crash!!!

    What can I do to execute apk files ?

  6. Hello,
    I have successfully rooted my imported Nook Touch Glowlight (to the Netherlands), thanks to your clear description.
    But I do not know how to install apk’s to the Nook.
    - When I have downloaded an apk using my pc, how do I install it?
    - How do I install 1Mobile/google play ??
    Thanks in advance

    • 1. One way is to put the apks on a memory card and then stick it in the Nook and use a file manager to locate and install the apps.

      2. To install 1Mobile just go to that website with the web browser and hit the download button. The Android Market app is Google Play.

  7. Thanks for your reply. Still having some questions:
    1 I believe there is no file manger on the rooted nook, or did I miss it?
    2 I will try to download 1Mobile later. But how do I install / use Google play?

    • You have to install a file manager and working browser from Google Play first. That’s shown in the above video and the previous one for the rooting guide.

  8. @Nathan,
    I try to install an file manager with the kindle app store, but I get the message, that there is an error with purchusing the (free!!) app and tht I must add my credit card info to my account. The standard Browser did not do much, so I added the credit card info to my account via the pc. Tried again, but still getting the error message.
    I have updated the kindle app, shouldn’t I do that??
    Help me please???

  9. hmmm, sounds like I will not be able to install any apps then?!

  10. And how do I install the google market?
    Sorry for all the questions. I am new on nook and android…

  11. Went to https://play.google.com/store but when I want to login or search for an app, the standard browser closes…

  12. what should a non US guy do to install apps…!!!plz help

  13. Hi Nathan, can you hide the Button Savior or move at bottom of screen so that it doesn’t interfere with reading a book?
    What do you think is a better reader for the rooted Nook Glowlite, FBReader or Cool Reader. Thanks for the great work.

    • Hit the button savior app in the app drawer and you can customize it in a number of ways, like changing where the arrow appears and you can adjust the transparency levels (just don’t go too low or it will disappear entirely).

  14. Hi, I noticed people talking about the Moon+ reader, I would like to try that. I really like the Cool Reader so far, but it seams to be unable to show intended white lines between paragraphs. I mean intended white lines used by writers for scene changes or whatever. (this seems like a major issue to me, is nobody else bothered?)

    However on the market moon+ reader says it needs android 2.2 and up!
    Are you guys using an older version?
    How do I get it installed on my nook? It does not show up on the market (I assume because android 2.1 isn’t supported)

  15. So, now that you have rooted with both GlowNooter and TinyNoot, which did you prefer, after all was said and done? Thank you.

  16. Thanks for the reply. I wasn’t sure if there was a trade off with each. I will definitely you GlowNooter now. Great blog!

  17. Sorry, but do yo have any idea why, after successfully rooting my nook, my Win 7 PC goes bluescreen whenever I plug the nook in through USB? Have you heard of this happening to others? Thanks.

  18. Actually, just found that it was an issue with the USB 3 drivers (even the latest), the USB 2 port still works. Odd.

  19. Is landscape mode available, once rooted, such as within the Kindle app?

  20. Cool! Thank you for that info!

  21. Hello. Can I uninstall useless apps that came with GlowNooter without getting future issues? (Camara, Musica, Dialer etc.)

  22. Does the light still work with various reading apps? (E.g., the Kindle app, ezPDF)

  23. nathan is there a option for apps to “move to SD card.” because my internal memory is full. I have 8 gb sd card it is all empty but ı cant use. Help please :)

  24. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1649699

    I found this but I really dont understand what should I do? and link is dead :/

    • Dead links suck, and unfortunately that’s kind of what happened to development on the Nook Touch: it died. The past year has been very quiet, and I haven’t used the Nook in ages so I’m afraid I can’t be of much help at this point.

  25. dont you know how to make glowworm ? Without glowworm I can install just 5 apps. Then memory full. I guess everyone faces this problem. It should be a solution.

  26. how haent you have memory full problems because Nook glow’s memory is just 2 gb. After root it says 600mb. I have 8 gb memory card ı am putting it on the device. When I try to install app it says memory full. You think I made some mistake during root?

  27. without sd card after the root How much memory your nook had do you remember?