Sunday December 17 , 2017

Easy NookColor Rooting & Hacking?

kindlenookcolorThe first nookColor rooting mechanisms were really best for experienced computer pros willing to follow very detailed instructions.  There is a new mechanism called an "auto-nooter" that executes all these steps for you and is probably the first root tool that's easy enough for an average user to follow.  I've summarized the steps that are outlined in detail on the Nookdevs site. If you are basic computer skills and a serious desire for the Kindle app or Angry Birds on your nook you are in luck!

Disclaimer: This could void your warranty or destroy your device.  Reality is it's pretty safe and easy to undo but you've been warned.

1) Make sure you've updated to 1.0.1
If you aren't familiar with how to update your nookColor to 1.0.1 just go the the B&N downloads for NookColor and copy the zip file to your nook directory (don't unzip it). Eject your nook and wait about 10 minutes and it should start the update and reboot.

2) Download the Auto Nooter tool and use a special tool to write it to an SD card.
The instructions on the nookDev page are pretty detailed just read them carefully.  The tool you are using "dd" can do something bad to your computer hard drive if you specify the wrong drive! Just read carefully, it's not hard.  If you are on Windows you'll need to download a "dd" tool to create the image on your SD card.  You cannot do this operation with the MicroSD card in the nook (image will be created but root will not work).  NOTE: Your SD Card will be deleted.

3) Start the nookColor with the special SD card and let it do the magic.
The nookDev page has some good post-install instructions but honestly mine didn't follow the path they had very well. The big deal is to get your google id setup in the tool for the market, etc. It does seem after installing from the Market a reboot is required before the new apps show up on "Extras" page.


nookColor has been rooted

ROOTEDThe game Angry Birds usually makes me... Angry. If it was on my extras page of my new nookColor it would make me...? Happy!

Yes the nookColor has been rooted. You can read the ugly details unfolding in a gynormous thread on xda. I predicted it would happen by Thanksgiving, I was a few days off!

If you are dying to install Android apps on your new nookColor the nookDevs team has updated their wiki with the steps to take to root it. This isn't a simple flash of your OS like the nookDevs nook 3G root... Yet. If you aren't the daring type to take your device into dangerous waters many apps will likely be a part of the coming nook app store early next year. Usual disclaimers about this damaging your device, violating your user agreement, or voiding your warranty apply.

What does this mean? It means the nookColor may have just become the most popular Android tablet for the price before Christmas! :)


The nook 1.5 Firmware Update - Snore

bignookupdateDid the title give it away?

When I read the update summary on the web site I thought, "Wait, isn't this the biggest nook update EVER?" Ok, I'm done complaining now, let's get on to what's in the 1.5 package and what's not.

The Daily

No updates here. Call me crazy but I thought just maybe the Dave Barry "Your New Nook" article would feature all new content! Nope, the "daily" update that never goes away can still be counted on. :)

My Library

Most of the updates can be found here, which is a good thing.

A lot of people have complained about book management on the nook and B&N listened and added "Categories" (they call them "Shelves").  If you've seen the nookColor it's the same feature on the new nook.  You might hope all your shelves are uploaded to B&N servers and sync'd with other apps but my shelves don't seem to sync with my nookColor. So if you have a nook problem and reset you'll lose all your categorizations. The shelves concept seems to work pretty well and you can even change your main view to sub-group books by the shelf you added them to.

You might also hope that your categories bridge both B&N content and content you've loaded on your nook - but it seems you have different shelves in My Documents versus My B&N Library. That takes us to the next topic - library integration.  I hoped based on a lot of feedback we'd see some integrated view of our B&N content with non-B&N content.  I don't see this in the update. Really I think shelves would have been a nice bridge but they continue to be two completely different libraries with the "special" features only for B&N content. My editorial comment here is one word, "silly".

Search hasn't really improved. You still have separate searches for your content and B&N content. The search has no ability to restrict the view to a specific shelf. If you view search as an important tool to manage a lot of books there isn't much new here to help. I'm glad I don't have a ton of books!

The "auto-save" option for last read page can be found on the menu for a book, but it isn't book specific - it's nook-wide. That's good and bad. It would be nice for people who share B&N accounts in their family to do it by book but that's a really unusual usage. I've tested it and it seems to work pretty well with my other supported devices. It does seem to require wi-fi and my tests didn't work in 3G only mode.

The page turns are supposed to be 50% faster and I can't dispute it. With my wife's 1.4 nook side by side mine seems clearly to win the page turn battle (yes she'll get 1.5 soon enough).

Shop, Games, and Audio Player

I didn't see any upgrades to the Shop application, I'm a pretty big fan of how this works. I don't want games on my nook so I'm glad to see they didn't sacrifice quick page turns for a checkers game. No game updates at all. Given the ease to port some simple Android games to the nook this surprised me, but no big loss. The audio player didn't seem to get updated for playlists or simple filtering by artist or album from what I see.


Password protection for purchases is one new feature that will make a lot of people happy. I know when the nook launched we had people that were panicked over this issue. Personally I won't turn it on, if you get my nook and buy something I'll just contact B&N and then dispute the charge on my card.  The other nice feature is the ability to add a lock code to the nook that must be entered before use. If you read a lot of steamy trashy romance books this might be a good idea to keep the kids extreme mental damage (that's a joke).  These are things B&N has been asked for and they listened. 

The Browser

The feature most people tried a few times and gave up on is now out of "Beta". I didn't see anything from B&N on updates to the browser but my side by side comparision with 1.4 shows no menu changes and I did some speed tests - no changes there either. I don't use the browser on the nook so something might have escaped me.

Last Thoughts and a Warning

Overall the fact B&N is still updating the nook after a year - even with a brand new color device out is a great thing. I don't feel like this update was as big of a deal they made it out to be and IMHO there is still a lot of room for improvement in book management. I was particularly surprised to see the separation of "My Documents" and the lack of backing up notes, highlights, and shelves to the cloud. I would be very careful about spending a lot of time "organizing" your nook until we see if there is a way to backup.

If you are using the nookdev firmware and want to continue I would not recommend updating to 1.5. The nookdevs site has some content that makes it appear the 1.4.+ firmware were part of the problem with rooting newer devices.


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