NookColor getting Froyo and Android Market -- officially -- in January [updated: Erm, not so much]

Good news for those of you looking longingly at your Barnes & Noble NookColor and wishing that the Android-based e-reader could one day legitimately run Android apps. An update to Android 2.2 Froyo is coming, and it's bringing with it the traditional Android home screens and access to the Android Market.

That's right, none of that hackery required -- and hackery that's as liable to give you a third eye as it is access to Android apps. The word is that the update's coming in January and in addition to the Market and homescreens will bring pinch-to-zoom to the browser. There's also the requisite battery and performance improvements you supposedly get with just about every update.

With the prospect of an official update and traditional Android features, the $250 NookColor is starting to look like an affordable and attractive Android tablet. [SmartphoneMag via Engadget]

Update: Bad news folks. Barnes and Noble PR got in touch with the authors of the original piece at Engadget, and while the Nook Color will be adding apps to it's own market, there is no plan to add the official Android Market to the device. Back to the hackery, I guess.

Phil Nickinson
  • So I'm assuming that means the ability to download the Kindle app? Cool.
  • i bet they block the kindle app
  • Root cures all such ailments ;-)
  • i bet they block the kindle app
  • Engadget updated their post:
    "Barnes & Noble PR just got back to us to reiterate that Nook Color's own shop will begin adding apps in early 2011 and that there are currently no plans to enable Android Market.."
  • This is great. Best deal right now for an android tablet. Thee are a lot of features of the nook color that are pretty cool in Barnes and noble. Nice gift for parents I think.
  • So is it rootable? That would take care of a Kindle block...
  • "...hackery that's as liable to give you a third eye as it is access to Android apps." Well, I've been rooting Android devices for over two years now, and I still just have the eyes I was born with. Seriously...why so discouraging about rooting? The ability to root and truly own an Android device is, by far, the biggest thing separating it from the iPhone and Apple's walled garden. Why would you want to scare people off from doing so? Especially with a device like this, where the benefits are so huge.
  • Nothing. We love rooting. But the NC's rooting method isn't one I'd try to teach my parents just yet. :p
  • Heck, I'm starting to enjoy the challenges of the sacrificing a chicken while hopping on one leg and rubbing my belly rooting methods.
  • This is beautiful news.
  • Starting to? It already was an attractive and affordable Android tablet! The fact that it will get an official update is just gravy. There must be some sharp people at B&N because they are giving us what we want! I think I'll go buy a book to reward them for this goodness.
  • Hows about a sub-forum for the NC?
  • Awesome!!! Just have to convince the wife that this will be a great buy
  • Hopefully santa will be bringing me one!
  • Bought one for Christmas for my girlfriend. Hope it will be able to play angry birds so I can have my phone back from her.
  • Well I know one gadget that's now on my Christmas list!
  • Great news. Cannot wait for this update. Love the nook color reader, but would like to play angry birds on it too. Got my phone for all the other stuff I need.
  • "The Android Market app was still under development and was not on the device to see. I was told that Nook users may not have access to the full market." Based on this quote from the linked article, this doesn't sound like the actual Android Market, but B&N's own market which they have been talking about for some time.
  • Sounds promissing.
  • Picking one of these up for my mom for the holidays. Thinking about purchasing one for myself after I mess around with it.
  • CNET disagree :
  • My older brother just bought a Nook Color for the express purpose to root it and download apps. He said that the process is easy enough, but then if you want apps you have no access to the market. His work around was to simply transfer them from his phone. Google apps in particular will not work till there is market support, obviously. My only concern is the 800MHz processor. This may not be an issue for some, but considering what is available on my iPad and on my Droid 2, I would likely get frustrated in some situations with a slow processor. The price is very compelling, in any case.