Dec 23 AT 5:43 PM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

The Nook is a hacker’s playground for Android developers

We recently reported the guys at nookDevs had managed to tear down a Nook and were able to obtain root access. It turns out hacking a Nook is actually much easier because the device will install unsigned updates from the microSD card. Now anyone can gain root access by copying a single file to their SD card and holding down the page turn button to force the update.

I attempted the hack on my Nook today and the entire process took all of five minutes. It was actually easier than all the Android phone hacks I have done over the last year. Now that I have root access, I can run ADB to install and launch any Android applications I want.


Our mobile site running in the Nook browser.

The software root method was actually made possible by old-school Android modder Jesusfreke (read our interview). He doesn’t even own a Nook, but he worked with the team at nookDevs and was able to use his previous Android experience to create the exploit.

Now that anyone can easily hack their Nook and install apps, the challenge becomes building apps that are designed for the device. Steven Troughton-Smith has a blog post up that explains how to setup the Android SDK to emulate the Nook environment.

Modders are also working to create a special input method since most apps are designed for touch input. The Nook’s bottom LED screen supports touch, but the e-Ink display does not. Users must setup a VNC server to control the top screen right now.

Now if only Barnes & Noble had some units to sell. The latest reports place the next shipment sometime in February, but you can pre-order one online or in stores.

I’m going to shoot some HD video over the holidays, so let me know which apps you guys would like to see running.

[Post image via nookDevs]

Via: JesusFreke

Source: nookDevs

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Mike Thompson

    It would be cool to see Twidroid running on a Nook.

  • http://Website brad

    a browser would definitely be amazing

  • @pixeladdikt

    looking into getting one soon – i’ve got a few concepts for apps that would benefit from this form factor – having 1000 ebooks- tech related – manuals – code banks – would be awesome to carry around – why read a book when u can flip thru the latest rss feeds on android – this would make a great device to have on long trips on train or bus – can’t wait – looking forward to taylor’s video – cool

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  • http://Website Luis

    THIS IS AWESOME! I ordered a Nook so I can’t hardly wait to be able to run some really cool Android apps on it!

  • http://no GIG

    Text to Speech would be great. I might start working on it.

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