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.
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]