Nook Tablet with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Review and How To (Videos)

Nook Tablet CM9

There is now an Alpha release of CyanogenMod 9 available on the Nook Tablet for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The build is still in its early stages of development so it’s not recommended for public consumption at this point, but I went ahead and installed it anyway and am surprised by how well it works and how smooth it is already.

I decided to put together a video review showing Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the Nook Tablet, and a second video showing how to install CM9 on your Nook Tablet and how to add Google apps.

The first video is a general walkthrough of how everything looks and operates with Android 4.0. Transitions are smooth. Wi-Fi connects well. Sound works, and so does the accelerometer for automatic screen rotation.

As expected with an early release, there are some bugs and features that don’t work yet, such as video decoding, the microphone, Bluetooth, and there’s a sleep bug that requires holding down the power button and restarting if it goes to sleep.

I also flashed the ICS Google apps right after installing CM9 on my Nook Tablet and they are working well—Gmail, Calandar, Maps, Search, Reader, YouTube. The Android Market updated to Google’s new Play Store and I was able to download some apps without a problem.

I tried a few games and they worked fine. So do widgets, live wallpapers, the recent apps list, and sd card. Regular definition YouTube videos play okay, but not HD. Flash doesn’t work with the web browser yet either. All in all, it’s very similar to CM9 on the Kindle Fire at this point, which I reviewed last week. CM7 on the Nook Tablet is more polished for everyday use; CM9 needs a little more time to catch up.

Nook Tablet with Android 4.0 Video Walkthrough

How to Install Android 4.0 (CM9) on the Nook Tablet

Once the developers get everything working and the bugs ironed out, you will be able to run CM9 off a memory card, which won’t require rooting the Nook Tablet or modding it in any way. Right now CM9 has to run off the internal memory. Subscribe to keep updated on when a stable sd card version is released to the public.

1. Your Nook Tablet needs to be rooted to install CM9 on the internal (emmc) memory. Hit the Nook Tablet rooting guide for directions.

2. Once rooted, you need CWM recovery installed. Hit this link to download the Nook Recovery Flasher.apk from over at XDA and install it on your Nook Tablet. The Nook Recovery Flasher app is pretty self-explanatory. Open it and choose to “Flash CWM”. It will say when it’s finished at the top. Now use this app anytime to launch CWM recovery by tapping the “Reboot Recovery” button.

3. Download the latest CM9 package for the Nook Tablet from this thread at XDA. Then download this Google apps package for Android 4.0. Place both zip files as is on a microSD card and insert it into your Nook Tablet.

4. Boot your Nook Tablet into recovery mode using the Nook Recovery Flasher app. Use the volume buttons to move the cursor, the Nook’s “n” button to make selections, and the power button to go back to the previous menu .

5. Before doing anything else, it’s a good idea to go to the “backup and restore” menu and create a backup so you can revert back to how your Nook was before installing CM9. It will take it a few minutes to complete the backup.

6. After creating a backup, hit the power button to go back to the main menu and then select “wipe data/factory reset” to perform a factory reset. This step may not be absolutely required but I always do it anyway.

7. From the main menu, select “install zip from sdcard”, then “choose zip from sdcard”. Select the CM9 file that you added to the memory card and confirm by choosing “yes”. If your SD card isn’t showing up on the list, try removing it and then putting it back in.

8. Once the install is completed, hit the power button to back out to the previous menu. Now navigate down to “wipe data/factory reset” and proceed to do a factory reset again.

9. Now it’s time to install the Google apps. Just go back to “install zip from sdcard” again and select the Google apps zip from the list to install it.

10. Then select “reboot system now” from the main menu. Connect Wi-Fi. Then enter your Google account. Done!

Until the sleep of death bug gets fixed you’re going to want to go into settings > display and change the screen timeout to something longer than the 1 minute default.

Video: Installing CM9 on a Nook Tablet

14 Responses to “Nook Tablet with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Review and How To (Videos)”

  1. How does it compare to the kindle fires cm9, which feels soother and flows better?

    • Development is further along with the Kindle Fire so it has the edge in smoothness, but with the Nook doubling up RAM it will probably have the edge in the end.

  2. When I run CWM and go into Recovery Mode it immediately reverts me to the “Please Restart your Device Again” screen. I am rooted but because of this I cannot install ics. Help?

  3. Updated my Nook tablet to CM9(Sweetness!!!). Took me a second to get the root process, but after that everything was very simple and easy to follow. One question though, after following this process will over the air updates from B&N be prevented from happening?

  4. Can you compare the Kindle and Nook running ICS? I’m considering getting one of them and installing ICS, but I’d like to know which one handles the OS better. I’m leaning toward the 16GB Nook Tablet.

    • Last time I checked they were about the same. The Kindle might have the slight edge. The endgame should be the same. Check the XDA threads for the latest updates and revisions.

  5. There has been a rumor going around for a while that Verizon want to clear the shelves of the first gen iPad and 16G versions is available at Verizon outlets for $299. However, I could not find this deal at the Verizon store I visited yesterday and they knew nothing about it. Have you located an outlet that has the deal?

    • I’ve never heard of such a deal but then again haven’t been paying attention. I know Micro Center has them for $359 in stores.

  6. In my case, after being upgraded to 1.4.3, I have re-rooted successfully by SD card method, however the problem is tablet cannot upgrade to CM9 due to Nook Recovery App doesn’t work. There is a notice of B&N that it has a problem ans pl. contact B&N support.
    Pl. kindly suggest for a solution.

  7. The videos don’t play – says “Video unavailable”

    • It must be something with YouTube. The videos are working from my desktop’s browser but on the iPad it says unavailable as well.

  8. from above step 2

    opened Recovery Flasher app and executed “Flash CWM”. when it finished then i clickedon “Reboot Recovery” button.
    it reboted and my 8Gb NT tries to start, shows the brown box for a few second and then the box starts “jumping” and flickering and the device hangs.

    can you please let me know how to unblock this. thanks

  9. The thing that kills this MOD for me is the lack of Netflix support. I use Netflix all the time. My Nook is jailbroke so I can run most Android apps but I must have Netflix and the microphone. Too bad B&N didn’t think to add a few things like a front camera, bluetooth support, 3g/4g option, and usb2 slots for periferals ie. keyboard etc. I’ve seen cheaper units that have these things.