Nook Color Getting Android 2.2 and App Store Next Month?

Nook Color Hacked

The big news story of the day is a rumor posted by SmartphoneMag about the Nook Color getting updated to Android 2.2 in January and that the update will include a Market app for downloading and installing apps.

Apparently the reporter for SmartphoneMag met with a representative from Barnes and Noble and was shown a Nook Color running the forthcoming update.

The article very clearly states the Market app wasn’t on the device and that the B&N employee said the app may not have full access to the Android Market.

I point this detail out because of all the tech news sites reporting on this exact story with headlines like “Nook Color to get Android Market”.

I just want to make it clear that this is not true. The Nook Color will never get full access to the official Android Market, and it’s pretty discouraging to see these big tech sites who you’d think would know what they are talking about but can’t figure out what’s blatantly obvious even to a newcomer like me that was just introduced to Android last month with the PocketBook IQ.

The Nook Color can’t have full access to the Android Market simply for the fact it doesn’t have the required hardware to run a good percentage of apps, such as a camera, GPS, a microphone, etc. They can’t sell apps for a device they’re not compatible with; it would be a disaster.

That’s why B&N will introduce an app store with only apps that are designed specifically for the Nook Color or apps that have been approved and optimized for the Nook Color so that consumers know what they are getting and know that it will work properly.

The big question is will B&N open the Nook Color up completely and allow users to install any 3rd party app? Even apps acquired from outside the Nook’s app store? I say probably not, but you never know. B&N would sell a heck of a lot more units that way to people who have no interest in buying books but are looking for a low-cost Android tablet.

I was able to finally hack my Nook Color over the weekend (the screenshot for this post is proof :)) and can attest to the fact that it does make a pretty decent tablet, especially for the price when compared to other Android tablets currently on the market. It has some limitations, though, because there’s no menu or back buttons. I can’t get several of my apps to work properly because there’s no way to open the menu; some apps are set up for this and add soft buttons on the bar at the bottom of the screen and others do not. Reasons like this are what will keep the Nook Color from having full Market access next month. But it does have a lot of potential.

6 Responses to “Nook Color Getting Android 2.2 and App Store Next Month?”

  1. You know, after reading this review i’ve been doing research and found out that the app store is coming out in January, on the 20th(or at least, according to the website I was at), so I’m not going to change it one bit. Thanks for the review, made my life ALOT easier!!:)

  2. Anyone know if the new app store will get us 3g network store that was rumored?
    Sadly I am very, very new to the nook and do I not understand most of the hints on the blogs. As yet my local store doesn’t have the nook nIghts, (San Luis Obispo, Ca,) hope enough people sign up for the service. heck, I would even pay.

  3. Have you figured out a way to make the Nook Color be able to edit SBI Sites from site central using the blockbuilder?

    I bought one thinking I could get it to do this but it is really difficult. Any info on the app store and the new software?

    I also can’t read some pdf files with this like I thought I would be able to. Any idea?

    fellow sbi’er!

    • No, I upload all my HTML so I’ve never tried that. I couldn’t imagine using the Nook’s keyboard to type a long post. Can you upload images? Stay tuned for app store and software updates—no news yet. And the only way to get better PDF support is to hack it and install something else like Adobe Reader X.

  4. I was told today that the apps won’t be available till mid year which is not what I was told when i bought the color nook. I was told at BN that it would be the first of the year. Also, be aware that when purchasing a magazine online that there is a lag time of nearly three weeks. In othewr words you see Vanity Fair March at the book store on February 8 but you cant get the nook Vanity Fair March until the first of March three weeks later!

  5. Peter this has always been the case. If you subscribe to a magazine (paper) then you get the issue first). I don’t subscribe to Vanity Fair but I do get National Geographic and the print magazine comes about 2 weeks before I see it on my Nook. Also it is the publisher AND NOT B&N that set the terms, so if you don’t like the cost of your book/magazine, when you get your magazine or how it is formatted then you have to go to the publisher.

    As for the Android apps – it seems from reading on the Google forums that Google does NOT support the purchasing of apps for most of the devices that they have the Android operating system on and from the age of the complaints it does not seem as if Google really does not care. So be forewarned that even if you purchase an Android device you very well may not have access to the Android market place.

    After reading all of the complaints I can away with this understanding that B&N does not want to put itself in the position of consumer backlash because Google does not support the Android App store.