Although we don’t usually pay much attention to niche tablets oriented towards kids due to their usual modest hardware configurations, Fuhu’s Nabi 2 is certainly a whole different kettle of fish.
Not only is the 7-incher available for sale for just $200, but it also comes with a quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and Android 4.0 ICS, being perfect for running much more complex apps and games than just Angry Birds or Temple Run.
Still, the overall Nabi 2 user experience of anyone over 14 years old was seriously crippled until now due to the manufacturers’ not very smart decision of failing to include access to Google Play. This might have not been a major downside for a run-of-the-mill kid-friendly tab, but for one with such snappy specs that had the potential of being a family device more than a children-oriented one it was a bit disappointing.
Worry not, all you custom ROM lovers, because it seems we haven’t been the only ones noticing Nabi 2’s huge potential. Recognized XDA contributor jmztaylor has even decided that it was time for the tab to explore said potential, so courtesy of a root and custom recovery, you can get Google Play access, as well as all other Google apps you all depend on so much, like Gmail or Google Maps, on your Nabi 2.
The Google Apps installing is pretty easy and straightforward, but if you don’t have much experience with rooting Android devices or flashing custom ROMs you shouldn’t take the risk of bricking your tab. Also, do keep in mind that your Nabi 2 warranty will become void once you root it, so think long and hard if you need Google Apps and know what you’re doing. As jmztaylor himself says in the XDA thread dedicated to the subject, “YOU are choosing to make these modifications, and if you point the finger at me for messing up your device, I will laugh at you.”
That said, the risk of harming your device is very slim if you have basic working knowledge of ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) and a working fastboot setup. If you do have these two things, you’ll want to download the actual root tool from here (jmzrootpackage.zip), extract the files to your PC, plug in your tab and then follow the instructions. Finally, you can get the actual Google Apps package from here, courtesy of the CyanogenMod team.
There aren’t any bugs or glitches reported at this time by users who’ve tried the root and recovery tool, so again, if you play your cards right you should make the Fuhu 2 a very neat and cool all family tablet in a jiffy.
Any parents around who are now sharing their Fuhu 2 tabs with their kids? Happy with the experience? Is the rooted tablet as functional as you expected it to be?