Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Nook Color software update vs. rooting

You might have noticed that the new banner ad across the top of my blog states that the Nook Color now has apps.  It's true!  Barnes & Noble just did an update to the operating software that allows you to download apps onto your Nook Color.  The main justification for this seems to be Angry Birds, which if you haven't heard of it yet, is a highly addictive game on the iPhone, iPad, and other touch-screen smart phones.

I'm not sure if the new update allows you to download the Kindle app, but of course I rather doubt it.  However I've long thought that would be a great way for Barnes & Noble to capture previous Kindle customers.  Because buying DRM'd Kindle books locks Amazon customers into the Kindle, since the ebooks can't be read on any other device without stripping the DRM, allowing the Kindle app to be downloaded to the Nook Color would enable Kindle customers to switch over to another eReader without losing their existing library.

Of course, there is a workaround.  Rooting the Nook Color turns it into an Android tablet and allows you to download the Kindle app, although of course that means you need to read your ebooks with the Nook app (instead of the built-in Nook software that you had pre-rooting).  Not a bad deal for previous Kindle customers who want to switch over to B&N, or who want to expand the number of ebooks available to them.  Although the agency pricing model has eliminated many of the pricing discrepancies, Amazon still does have more free ebooks and often has ebooks available at better prices than B&N, so rooting the Nook Color would give you, quite literally, the best of both worlds.

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