Although we already know that it's possible to turn the NOOK Color into a full-fledged Android tablet by rooting the actual device, there's now an easy way to temporarily convert the tablet without permanently nuking the NOOK Color experience. Essentially users boot from a microSD card that loads either the NOOK OS or Android.
Called Nook2Android, this non-root method consists of a SanDisk microSD card preloaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. While this version of the popular OS isn't quite as "tablety" as v3.0 Honeycomb, users will still have access to Google services and the Android Market. Apps can also be downloaded and installed like any other Android tablet.
"Your new Android Tablet will connect to any Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n," reads the product description. "Once connected, open any of the pre-installed apps like Gmail, Facebook, Pandora, Nook, Kindle, or Tune-In Radio. Or check the weather, news, or your Google calendar. Stream Hulu and Netflix right on your Nook Color. You can also download 1000′s of free and paid apps from the Android Market. It’s like owning a $600 Android Tablet for half the price."
Getting Google's Gingerbread up and running seemingly takes no effort. Users merely power off the tablet, slap the microSD card into place under the gray corner door, and then turn the device back on. After that, the boot menu will load, asking whether the user wants the original NOOK OS or Android – doing nothing for 5 seconds means it will dart straight into Android.
According to the developer, the 8 GB version costs $34.99, and the 16 GB and 32 GB versions are priced at $49.99 and $89.99 respectively. For those looking for a cheap Android tablet, this may not be such a bad deal given that the 7-inch NOOK Color costs $249 out of the box. Nook2Android is also a safer way to transform the device without having to use unofficial hacks, as it's sold through Amazon and sports a 14-day money-back guarantee.
The developer added that use of the card doesn't affect the Color's internal memory nor does it void Barnes & Noble's warranty. For more information, head here.
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Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.