Although Barnes & Noble’s tablets have never been on top of many tech enthusiasts’ wishlists, the independent developer community has always taken the time to root the gadgets and come out with custom ROMs to replace B&N’s own forks of Android.
The Nook HD and HD+ duo couldn’t have made an exception from that rule, so it’s not a shocker that just a couple of weeks after the tabs’ launches, the first step to software freedom has been made.
Senior XDA member verygreen is the brilliant mind behind the first rooting method for the Nook HD and HD+, though it seems Barnes & Noble has gone the extra mile this time around to stop hackers from having their way with the gadgets.
Due to that extra diligence, even if you’ll follow verygreen’s straightforward rooting instructions from here, you won’t accomplish much, as the devices will go into a reboot loop and restore to factory settings. This “wall” seems to have been built however after the root was accomplished, so we have faith that the XDA community will find a way to dribble past this new obstacle and make other breakthroughs.
Meanwhile, if you want to lend a helping hand to verygreen, you could still test the rooting method on your Nook HD and HD+ and see what happens. You’ll be doing that at your own risk, so voiding your warranty or even bricking the devices are likely, but if you’re willing to make an effort for the community, you’ll want to first enable adb from your Nook developer settings.
After that, you should connect the tab to a PC with a USB cable, download su and busybox from here and here, install the Android SDK, and then push the su and busybox apps to your system.
If you’re lucky and your tablet won’t go in a crazy cycle of 8 failed boots, it means that the developing of custom ROMs or the obtaining of access to Google Play on the two tabs are not that far ahead. If not, then there’s still a lot of work to be done.
We should also tell you that, before the root was blocked, it seemed that the Nook HD and HD+ tabs were capable of booting from microSD cards, so running two operating systems alternatively (aka dual booting) might also be doable soon enough.
Barnes & Noble is currently selling the 7-inch Nook HD for $199 and up, with 8 or 16 GB of on-board storage, a 1440 x 900 pix res screen, a 1.3 GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4470 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, HDMI and a heavily customized version of Android 4.0 ICS. Meanwhile, the 9-inch HD+ starts at $269, with 16 GB of internal memory, a 1920 x 1080 pix res display, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, HDMI and the same forked Android 4.0.
Who’s thinking of getting one of the tablets now that it seems likely they will run custom ROMs in the future?
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I wish there was a rooting option for the Nook HD that could inspire confidence. The Nook HD is unquestionably the best 7″ tablet out there from the standpoint of hardware (if you don’t mind foregoing a camera and gps), but being locked into the B&N universe is too tough a trade-off. If I knew I could get ICS running flawlessly on a Nook HD, I’d buy it. As things are, I’m leaning towards the Nexus 7.
@Andrew you are right. they are great tablets the operating system that they come loaded with need to be completely redone. Barnes and Nobles shame on you for having great hardware but crappy software