NookColor 1.2 Update & Advice on Rooting

We've been waiting for this day ever since we heard about the Home Shopping Network NookColor "deal" with fancy new features! Hopefully your excited about having an "official" path to buy apps, run Flash in the browser, and a few other enhancements.  Obviously the big deal with this update is the apps feature. If you are familiar with other Android devices, this is not full Market access. This new feature is a way to get new apps from a custom B&N App Store.  Unfortunately, none of the Google apps are in this update either. B&N has provided a pretty decent email client (better than the Gmail one from Google, but nowhere close to what Samsung provided for Tab users). This update is exactly what B&N promised - "nook" apps delivered to the NookColor using your B&N account. The experience is right on par with the nook interface. Apps are purchased directly from the device and sit in the NookColor interface along with B&N purchased books.

The reading experience has also been improved somewhat by adding page turning animations (which was a pet peeve of mine, I wanted some visual cue it had updated).  Reading can be done in landscape mode which is nice for something content. Books can now include  video, and one of the new "default" books contains some examples of how this works (how-to cooking videos).  It's a nice add, and something you would expect from a color eReader tablet.  The kid's books feature has been updated to allow for "read and play" which allows the reader to interact more with the book.

The built in browser now supports Flash, and reasonably well. I did notice some lag at times in videos and scrolling around Flash applications. The performance is about what you expect from an eReader :)  If you want a tablet with killer Flash support you might want to pick up a $700 Honeycomb-based device. Frankly, I could care less about Flash support 90% of the time - but it's good to have when you need it.

Another interesting idea that I've been talking about since the original nook came out is now part of the device - a new social portal. The idea is you can see what your friends are reading ( and taunt them to borrow the latest books). I think the lack of integration of the social network into your use of the device has really prevented book lending from taking off - we'll see how much this app grows to fill a need. I think this will make the device more fun.

If you've been holding off "rooting" your nook this might just be the "fix" you needed to get some apps, Flash, etc.  If you've already rooted you'll likely be disappointed with the very minimal selection on the B&N App Store. The biggest motivation for a 1.0.1 rooted nook is the Flash player.

So what to do if your device is rooted? Well you can do a hard reset and restore the device to stock, then apply the update (The best method is to power down, hold down 'n' button, then hold power until you get prompts to reset the device). I tried a 1.2 update over rooted nook and it booted, but didn't function correctly.  WARNING: When you update to 1.2 you may affect your ability to root the device in the near future (You can always boot from the SD card; that's a device feature).  Personally I think if you are rooted and using Android apps you should wait until there is an update to keep the root that works well.

So you like the update? Snore? Wish there were more free apps on B&N app site?