How to Sideload Android Apps on Nook HD and Nook HD+ Without Rooting

Nook HD Root

Much to my surprise, it turns out that it’s entirely possible to sideload third-party Android apps onto Barnes and Noble’s new Nook HD and Nook HD+ tablets.

But before you get too excited, B&N doesn’t make the process easy. In fact it’s pretty much a total pain in the ass, but it is possible, and other people have gotten it to work, so maybe you can too, if you really want to.

The crazy part of it is Barnes and Noble is the one offering the detailed step-by-step instructions on how to sideload apps. The directions are designed for Nook app developers, and the process apparently works on the older Nooks too (who knew?).

Basically, to sideload apps you have to use your computer to push the apk files to the Nook HD/Nook HD+ using ADB and your computer’s command line. This requires downloading and installing the Android SDK and the Nook SDK add-on.

The process doesn’t require any rooting or modding of the Nook whatsoever. The irony of it is rooting will likely be a much easier option than messing with this once the rooting packages are complete.

I came across this sideload rooting method over on a Nook HD questions and answers thread at B&N from the same person that put together the TinyNoot rooting package for the GlowLight Nook Touch.

I spent a few hours this morning going over the sideload directions and trying to get everything to work. The directions are somewhat intimidating, but none of it is really that hard to figure out, and doesn’t take very long to setup.

I got everything downloaded without any issues, but my computer simply refuses to recognize the Nook properly, even after following all the troubleshooting sections. I can’t get it to bring up the serial number no matter what I do. So I’ve decided to throw in the towel instead of wasting more time with it.

Sideloading apps this way has limitations anyway. For instance, you can’t load in an alternate appstore like Amazon because you can only use ADB to sideload apps, so if you try to install an app through another app from the device itself you’ll still get the blocked install warning.

I decided I’d rather wait for ROMs and rooting packages to come along for the Nook HD+ to get access to Google Play to bypass B&N’s limitations. In fact there’s already an early rooting method available for the Nook HD+ and Nook HD over at XDA, so future development is looking promising.

Directions for Sideloading Apps

16 Responses to “How to Sideload Android Apps on Nook HD and Nook HD+ Without Rooting”

  1. >>>and the Nook SDK add-on

    Is that from B&N or part of the Android SDK download? Have had the Andy SDK on my HD forever. Still no tablet to use it with. Some. Day.

  2. Nathan,

    I use a N2A card right now with my Nook Tablet. Will I be able to use that in the Nook HD? Is that being developed that you know of? Should I just be patient and wait for that because I believe it’s the easiest way to get Apps and have it look like a full functioning tablet. What are you thought?

    • No the cards aren’t compatible between different devices. There will likely be N2A cards for the new HD tablets but it probably won’t be for a few months.

  3. What is ad and do we have to be come an application developer

  4. Thanks for the information. It took about 5 hours to figure out but i was able to sideload apps onto the nook hd. It’s quite easy if you don’t run into the problems I did. The thing is I can only access the those apps from the “Extras” menu, which is a pain to get to.

  5. Anyone have any luck getting the Android Phone/ABD to show up in the device manager? I can’t get the serial number to come out of the cmd 🙁


  7. bola de ratas

  8. Quite easy to follow I thought and once its setup getting apps on is a 2 second job.

    Adb install sonic1.apk

    Booom fuck yeah sonic

  9. You can’t even do it unless you submit a developer application. There is no way unless you root.