Nook Color: sneaky Android tablet

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
16,755
1. Root your Android.
2. Make a backup of libflashplayer.so
3. Take a hex editor to the installed copy of libflashplayer.so and find an ASCII string like "AND 10,1,120,1"--numbers will vary with the version number. Overwrite with "WIN 10,1,102,64" (it's fine that that's a longer string).
4. Use a browser like Dolphin HD that lets you set the user-agent. Set it to a desktop user-agent.
5. Watch hulu.
The following worked on my rooted Incredible.

3. Open up your stock browser.

4. Type “about:debug” and press enter. (No quotations) The browser will not change at all. That's ok.

5. Hit “menu” and then select “Settings.”

6. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the settings and tap on “UAString.”

7. Select “Desktop.”

8. Back out of settings and go to this URL: hulu.com/widget/player
 

InsideTheParker

persists in error
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
36,102
Pioneer Valley
I would dearly love to know what you guys are talking about. I wonder if anyone will develop a business "rooting" these things and reselling them to computer illiterates. Perhaps that'd be illegal, but I know that I would love to have one, and feel reading your posts as if I were a kid with no pennies pressing my nose up against the window of the candy store.
 

I12XU

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 5, 2003
3,445
Brooklyn
I would dearly love to know what you guys are talking about. I wonder if anyone will develop a business "rooting" these things and reselling them to computer illiterates. Perhaps that'd be illegal, but I know that I would love to have one, and feel reading your posts as if I were a kid with no pennies pressing my nose up against the window of the candy store.
craigslist in NY always has jailbreaks, roots and jailbreaking svcs listed; check your area.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
One hint. Don't try rooting on Vista. It gave me a bitch of a time trying to write the .img file to my SD card, but then I tried it my roommate's comp running windows 7 and it worked like a charm. Frustrating as hell up to that point.

So this is android. I have a lot to learn.
 

Hextall

lurker
Mar 5, 2010
189
I would dearly love to know what you guys are talking about. I wonder if anyone will develop a business "rooting" these things and reselling them to computer illiterates. Perhaps that'd be illegal, but I know that I would love to have one, and feel reading your posts as if I were a kid with no pennies pressing my nose up against the window of the candy store.
Last week when this thread got started, I checked around on craigslist, and found a couple of postings for rooted Nooks for sale. There is one right now (posted a few days ago) for sale for $400 (Windham/Salem). It's rooted with android 2.2. $400 seems steep for a $250 e-reader. Then again... $250 for an e-reader is pretty steep.

Either way... Rooting it is not hard. If you can read and follow step by step directions, then you can do it. Apparently, the nook is kind of hard to brick as B&N left the option to boot from the SD card being the primary boot method (if I read it correctly). So if it messes up, it's relatively easy to get back to the factory defaults. But people have bricked them. so there is some risk.
 

SumnerH

Malt Liquor Picker
Dope
Jul 18, 2005
30,252
Alexandria, VA
The following worked on my rooted Incredible.

3. Open up your stock browser.

4. Type “about:debug” and press enter. (No quotations) The browser will not change at all. That's ok.

5. Hit “menu” and then select “Settings.”

6. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the settings and tap on “UAString.”

7. Select “Desktop.”

8. Back out of settings and go to this URL: hulu.com/widget/player
Is it still working? The libflashplayer.so hack was needed because they started checking the Flash version number as well as the browser version string a couple of months ago, but maybe they've backed off of that (in which case, for the computer illiterate, simply installing Dolphin HD and selecting the "Desktop" user-agent string would make things work).
 

jayhoz

Ronald Bartel
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
16,755
Is it still working? The libflashplayer.so hack was needed because they started checking the Flash version number as well as the browser version string a couple of months ago, but maybe they've backed off of that (in which case, for the computer illiterate, simply installing Dolphin HD and selecting the "Desktop" user-agent string would make things work).
I made the change to desktop for the first time today. As of now it is working.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
Played around a little last night, it's pretty cool. Definitely going to get a new interface and get my own personal stuff setup to a format that I like. Was able to watch some episodes of The Wire in .avi format using rockplayer free, one thing that had my confused was that the app looked only at the SD card memory, which I originally had the files stored on the device memory. I grabbed Zeam Launcher this morning but haven't played around with it, I think that should help.

Other than the normal apps that I would get on the iPhone, are there any must haves for functionality purposes?
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
Astro File Manager is a must (you have that already)

Battery Indicator is a good battery app

I like App Brain as opposed to the stock Android Market

Button Savior is a good app to replace Softkeys

Droid Like Wallpaper pack has some nice wallpapers that fit the Nook screen well

Engadget, Huffpost, NY Times, BBC, and Fox are all good news apps that look good on the Nook

Mini Info is a good widget that shows battery life, sd card memory, nook memory

Nesoid is a must have. Play all the old school NES games on it. Works great on the Nook.

Google Reader has a nice app if you use that for your RSS feeds.
 

yecul

appreciates irony very much
Lifetime Member
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Jul 8, 2001
18,130
I have never rooted anything before, but am considering this. Doing the initial root seems fine. I am unclear on the ongoing maintanence/additional effort needed to keep it going. Having hoops to jump through, even fairly simple ones, might get a little old when it comes to updates, apps, etc. How has this been for you?
 

BigJimEd

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
3,970
- Angry Birds (regular version). This past weekend... angry birds had an upgrade (related to hidden levels in some SB commercial?)... but they accidentally (?) hit somethign that said they need to be able to read SMS. Since the market knows my tablet can't do SMS, apparently Angry Birds will not show up to download. bummer... as it's sort of the standard now to show people you've broken into the device.
Try going through AppBrain. I had the same problem with Angry Birds Seasons in the Market but had no problem going through AppBrain first.

I already had Angry Birds installed and that wouldn't let me upgrade that even through App Brain. I was going to try uninstalling Angry Birds first but haven't yet.


One hint. Don't try rooting on Vista. It gave me a bitch of a time trying to write the .img file to my SD card, but then I tried it my roommate's comp running windows 7 and it worked like a charm. Frustrating as hell up to that point.

So this is android. I have a lot to learn.
I had no problem with Vista. May be a version issue or something else going on.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
Yeah the Vista thing is an issue with my comp and external drives. Basically even though I have all programs shut down, it still says that drives are being accessed and won't eject them. I basically have to turn off my computer to be able to unplug my external HD. I think when trying to write the .img file to the SD card, it was being seen as in use by my comp and wouldn't write correctly.

Of course, that doesn't sound too bad but when it took me two hours to figure out and the Nook staring me in the face, it was pretty frustrating. Thankfully I had my own personal online support at the time.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
I have never rooted anything before, but am considering this. Doing the initial root seems fine. I am unclear on the ongoing maintanence/additional effort needed to keep it going. Having hoops to jump through, even fairly simple ones, might get a little old when it comes to updates, apps, etc. How has this been for you?
You definitely have to do a bit more than an iPad or something like that. I mean once it's rooted and you overclock it and maybe do a few other things it's 95% done. But then you have things like Angry Birds which now needs to be manually installed. It's important to remember that this wasn't designed to be doing what we are having it do, so there are always going to be things that require additional effort. I'm a tinkerer by nature, so it doesn't bother me, but I can see some people getting tired of it.

At the end of the day I still think it's well worth it for $250. I mean I'm sitting at my desk watching The West Wing on a 7+ inch screen. That's pretty sweet.
 

FL4WL3SS

my name sucks
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
14,283
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
At the end of the day I still think it's well worth it for $250. I mean I'm sitting at my desk watching The West Wing on a 7+ inch screen. That's pretty sweet.
That's really the crux of it for me. I never really wanted a tablet because of the price, it wasn't worth it. To me, having a device that was 1/3 of the price with a few warts, but does 85% of the stuff that an iPad does was completely worth it.
 

EddieYost

has a special friend in GHoff
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
10,045
NH
I would dearly love to know what you guys are talking about. I wonder if anyone will develop a business "rooting" these things and reselling them to computer illiterates. Perhaps that'd be illegal, but I know that I would love to have one, and feel reading your posts as if I were a kid with no pennies pressing my nose up against the window of the candy store.
I've sold rooted phones before in my part time side hobby/business. You really can't get much more for the phone that way. I just offer to root the phone for free, and perhaps that has helped me to get a sale or 2.

On the tablets, since they are new, you might be able to sell them at a premium, at least for a while.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
That's really the crux of it for me. I never really wanted a tablet because of the price, it wasn't worth it. To me, having a device that was 1/3 of the price with a few warts, but does 85% of the stuff that an iPad does was completely worth it.
Exactly. And on top of that it's actually a really, really nice reader.
 

Corsi

isn't shy about blowing his wad early
Lifetime Member
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Dec 3, 2010
12,955
Boston, MA
Seriously tempted to do this. I have $60 in B&N gift cards, so now is probably the time. Ordering online scares me with the 2-week delay and the rumors of them making it "un-rootable." I work upstairs from a B&N, so I'm going to check it out at lunch.

edit: Just checked bn.com and it now says "Available Now" for the Nook Color.
 

Hextall

lurker
Mar 5, 2010
189
Foulkey, did you follow the how-to overclock on android central? The one where you use clockworkmod recovery?

I get stuck in cwr and had to uninstall it.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
Foulkey, did you follow the how-to overclock on android central? The one where you use clockworkmod recovery?

I get stuck in cwr and had to uninstall it.
I just downloaded the overclocked kernel and installed it with CWM like you would a rom on an Android phone. It was actually the easiest part of the whole process for me.

All you should have to do is reboot into recovery with CWM and then load the kernel from your SD card.
 

Blacken

Robespierre in a Cape
SoSH Member
Jul 24, 2007
12,149
Alright, this thing is pretty cool. Won't replace my iPhone, and I'll probably still get an iPad when the second rev comes out, but it's a nice stopgap and I'm excited to use it for Android development. Reading on it's a lot nicer than my iPhone. Will be rooting it when I get home.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
Foulkey-
How long did it take you to root? Like out of the box to finished product?
I took it slow and read the directions a few times before I really went for it. I was chatting with a friend on Gchat too so maybe a half hour just to get it rooted?


If I had to do it all over I could probably do it in 10 minutes.
 

FL4WL3SS

my name sucks
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
14,283
Andy Brickley's potty mouth
To be fair, I don't think Foulkey is a good gauge for people that have never played with an Android device (so if you are ignore this).

I rooted and re-rooted a couple of times just to make sure I got it right, so I invested a couple hours into the process just learning. (Part of this was my own paranoia that I didn't do it right, so I started over and re-rooted). I could do it in about 10 mins at this point as well, but coming to it fresh, you should be willing to invest a couple hours learning what you're actually doing and how the device will behave once you're done.
 

Seven Costanza

Fred Astaire of SoSH
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2007
2,935
Oh wow. I've never done anything like this before, so I had no idea if it would take an hour or 6 hours. I suspect if I get one with my tax return this year that I'll take it mighty mighty slow and be very careful with what I'm doing.
 

Blacken

Robespierre in a Cape
SoSH Member
Jul 24, 2007
12,149
You don't need to be particularly careful. You can't hurt the device. If you manage to wedge it, you can just do a full restore and try again.
 

Joshv02

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,633
Brookline
This is a great, thanks Foulkey. FWIW, its possible to get another 10% or so off the Nook by getting gift certificates from one of the exchange sites (plastic jungle, etc.).

For the technologically impaired, like me, there is a great how-to video that walks you through pretty much the same instructions, but with moving pictures to keep my attention: http://theunlockr.com/2011/02/05/how-to-root-the-nook-color-autonooter-method/
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
Seven, I think it should probably take you an hour or so. That's what it would have taken me if I hadn't related into the roadblock with Vista, so I think you're ok. I'd just read through it a couple times to be sure before you start, but it's not that bad.
 

Seven Costanza

Fred Astaire of SoSH
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2007
2,935
You guys are discounting the fact that my technical expertise consists of being able to navigate to SoSH and various adult websites.

Thanks tho- this looks wicked cool, and affordable. If I'm able to scrounge up the cash, I'll be getting one ASAP.
 

zenter

indian sweet
SoSH Member
Oct 11, 2005
5,641
Astoria, NY
To be fair, I don't think Foulkey is a good gauge for people that have never played with an Android device (so if you are ignore this).

I rooted and re-rooted a couple of times just to make sure I got it right, so I invested a couple hours into the process just learning. (Part of this was my own paranoia that I didn't do it right, so I started over and re-rooted). I could do it in about 10 mins at this point as well, but coming to it fresh, you should be willing to invest a couple hours learning what you're actually doing and how the device will behave once you're done.
This. The actual process of rooting most devices is in the ~10-30 minute range. The process of learning about what ROM to use, the sequence, and generally becoming versed in the terminology of rooting takes at least a few hours. Someone built a one-click root program for the Samsung Galaxy S line that takes a few minutes, but it still took me a couple hours before I felt comfortable doing that. Then flashing a new ROM, which takes ~20 minutes procedurally, took me several hours of reading and re-reading (again, generally becoming versed) before I completed the process. All in all, research and prep took about 5-8 hours, execution took about 30 minutes.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
SoSH Member
Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
Yea 30 minutes was way too optimistic unless you're already comfortable using Android and have rooted another device. 5-8 hours of research and prep seems a bit much though.

Although I am definitely the type who rushes into stuff like this though, so what do I know.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
Is anyone able to post on SoSH with this? I tried using Dolphin mini (great browser) but every time I clicked in the text box, the keyboard either wouldn't show up or wouldn't type.
 

zenter

indian sweet
SoSH Member
Oct 11, 2005
5,641
Astoria, NY
Yea 30 minutes was way too optimistic unless you're already comfortable using Android and have rooted another device. 5-8 hours of research and prep seems a bit much though.

Although I am definitely the type who rushes into stuff like this though, so what do I know.
Yeah, 5-8 hours might be excessive, but I was in "measure thrice, cut once" mode because I didn't want to brick (and have to un-brick) my phone. Not to mention choosing the right ROM. Either way, a first-timer shouldn't think it can be done during a lunch break.
 

Hextall

lurker
Mar 5, 2010
189
Foulkey-
How long did it take you to root? Like out of the box to finished product?
For another data point... it took me about an hour and a half from doing the boot interuption 8 times to being able to access the android market (the end of rooting). Probably the most difficult part for me was doing the 8 reboot interruptions... I couldn't get the hang of it at first, would get to the 2nd or 3rd interruption, and goof it up. then have to restart.

I did a lot of reading before hand (the forum in the original post and XDA).... probably 2 or 3 hours worth to make sure I knew what I was doing. From that, I learned it's pretty hard to screw it up.

Read through steps in a rooting tutorial. Read it again, and if there's any step that doesn't make sense or is confusing, don't start and get some clarification on that step. It's an easy process though.


 

Blacken

Robespierre in a Cape
SoSH Member
Jul 24, 2007
12,149
Yeah, 5-8 hours might be excessive, but I was in "measure thrice, cut once" mode because I didn't want to brick (and have to un-brick) my phone. Not to mention choosing the right ROM. Either way, a first-timer shouldn't think it can be done during a lunch break.
ROM switching =/= rooting, though. I'm not bothering with a ROM switch right now because none of them are stable and feature-complete.

It seems like most people who have trouble are doing it from the 1.0.1 B&N software. 30 minutes doesn't seem at all unrealistic, and I had never owned an Android device before. Sideload the B&N 1.1 update, image the SD card with auto-nooter, turn the thing off, turn it on, wait a minute or two, done.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
I actually prefer the regular skin and haven't had a problem with that.

Is that what skin gave you issues 4P?
Yeah, it was the regular skin and it looks beautiful on the device especially compared to a phone. I can try again tonight, but nothing seemed to work either in the quick reply field or the full reply page.
 

Traut

lost his degree
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Jul 20, 2005
12,431
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This has really thrown me for a loop. I'm going to get an e-reader and eventually an iPad when I can justify purchasing one. My wife has a Kindle and it's an awesome e-reader. I think that the e-ink thing is easy on the eyes. Plus the Kindle's small size is appealing as is it's price. The color nook is cool but I'm not sold that it's a better dedicated reader than the Kindle because of screen and size. It's also too small to display magazines like the iPad does. Maybe I'll wait to see if the next-gen iPad is lighter and more holdable and perhaps slightly smaller.

Anyhow, how do you find it as a reader vis a vis the Kindle?
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,893
I haven't given it a full shot, but I'm guessing it won't come close for me. I absolutely love everything about the Kindle as an e-reader. The screen, e-ink, device size, and buttons are all perfect for me.

This is too heavy, too big, and too backlit for me to want to use it as a full time e-reader, but that's probably because I'm already used to the Kindle.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
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Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
When I use it as an E-reader I just turn the brightness to zero and it's been fine on my eyes. I don't get the appeal of a reader that requires you to have a light turned on. I love reading this thing in bed in the dark.

But 4P is right about the weight. It's significantly heavier than the Kindle.
 

Marceline

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Canton, MA
[quote name='Trautwein's Degree' timestamp='1297266397' post='3363930']
This has really thrown me for a loop. I'm going to get an e-reader and eventually an iPad when I can justify purchasing one. My wife has a Kindle and it's an awesome e-reader. I think that the e-ink thing is easy on the eyes. Plus the Kindle's small size is appealing as is it's price. The color nook is cool but I'm not sold that it's a better dedicated reader than the Kindle because of screen and size. It's also too small to display magazines like the iPad does. Maybe I'll wait to see if the next-gen iPad is lighter and more holdable and perhaps slightly smaller.

Anyhow, how do you find it as a reader vis a vis the Kindle?
[/quote]

I just got a Nook Color and have had a Kindle for about a year or so. The screen on the NC is great and my initial impression after spending some time reading on the train this morning with it is that if set to white text on a black background, it is very easy on the eyes. I think with the backlit screens it's the black text/white background that causes strain on the eyes.

I like that it's slightly smaller and lighter than the ipad. It's very comfortable to hold while reading. I feel like the ipad is just a bit too large/bulky to hold comfortably if reading for a long time.

I just got the NC last night but my initial impression is that it will probably replace my Kindle for reading (plus be able to do a bunch of other cool stuff that the Kindle can't).
 

yecul

appreciates irony very much
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Jul 8, 2001
18,130
I demo'd the NC just now and thought it was a pretty sharp device. I would have concerns about the screen size when it comes to non-book/video media consumption. The book reader was fine and the screen size is fine for watching videos. But the magazines seemed cumbersome and navigation was clunky/slow. Obviously this is the non-rooted one.

That said, considering the prize it seems like a no-brainer if you're willing to root it.
 

zenter

indian sweet
SoSH Member
Oct 11, 2005
5,641
Astoria, NY
In looking at mlb.com I saw this page which says you can watch on an Android phone. Is this new for 2011 or am I totally misreading the ad?
The 2011 Android app isn't out yet, and this is the first I heard of watching games on it. It would be pretty awesome if so, especially with NC.
 

Foulkey Reese

foulkiavelli
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Apr 12, 2006
21,795
Central CT
The 2011 Android app isn't out yet, and this is the first I heard of watching games on it. It would be pretty awesome if so, especially with NC.
The Netflix app is supposed to come out before summer as well. That would be another epic win if it happens.
 

smastroyin

simpering whimperer
Dope
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Jul 31, 2002
20,684
I have been using the Kindle app on my Droid X and I have no problem whatsoever with eye strain or anything like that. I am traveling for 11 days for work, re-reading The Wheel of Time in prep for it FINALLY fucking finishing in the next 12 months or so, and didn't want to carry around my hardcovers, and decided to try the Kindle app and I have liked it even on the 4.3" screen. Have people found the larger screen to start being a problem for strain? (I do realize we are not talking about a Kindle color here, but the Kindle app on the phone is backlit black text on white so I assume it is similar)

I am going to check it out when I get home, was definitely thinking about doing this before I left but just didn't have time. Also I have to carry a gigantic laptop for work so wasn't sure I also wanted to carry another tablet sized device.
 

Marceline

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I have been using the Kindle app on my Droid X and I have no problem whatsoever with eye strain or anything like that. I am traveling for 11 days for work, re-reading The Wheel of Time in prep for it FINALLY fucking finishing in the next 12 months or so, and didn't want to carry around my hardcovers, and decided to try the Kindle app and I have liked it even on the 4.3" screen. Have people found the larger screen to start being a problem for strain? (I do realize we are not talking about a Kindle color here, but the Kindle app on the phone is backlit black text on white so I assume it is similar)

I am going to check it out when I get home, was definitely thinking about doing this before I left but just didn't have time. Also I have to carry a gigantic laptop for work so wasn't sure I also wanted to carry another tablet sized device.
I have spent several hours reading over the past couple days on this device and have had no problem. I did, however, change it to use white text on a black background which I think is much easier on the eyes with a backlit screen (this is an option in the settings for kindle app).