The people behind N2A cards for the Nook Color are offering a sizable reward to the first person who can crack the Nook Tablet’s locked bootloader and provide a bootable microSD card for Android 2.3 or Android 4.0.
N2A cards are a popular aftermarket mod for the Nook Color that turns it into a open Android tablet running CM7 (Android 2.3). All you do is place an N2A microSD in the Nook and everything runs from there, and you can choose to boot the Nook’s stock functionality as well, so it takes no technical work and the Nook Color isn’t changed in anyway so the warranty remains valid.
But unlike the Nook Color, the Nook Tablet has a locked bootloader (blame the HD version of Netflix for that). A locked bookloader prevents it from running custom ROMs like CM7 and CM9 (Android 4.0), and greatly hinders development as a whole.
The development community has been working hard on opening up the Nook Tablet since it was released back in the middle of November. It is currently possible to root the Nook Tablet and install the Android Market, but not much beyond that.
N2A is hoping to give developers more incentive to hurry up and get things going by offering a reward. Right now the total bounty is $5140, and people can donate to the cause to increase that number. The deadline to finish the project is January 22, 2012 for the full amount. Beyond that date the reward drops to $2500.
These past few days progress was made on bypassing the locked bootloader. It looks like ROMs are in the future for the Nook Tablet after all. But can they get it done before the deadline?