Chapter 18. Rooting Your NOOK

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AS YOU’VE FOUND OUT throughout this book, your NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ are much more than just ereaders—they’ve full-blown tablets that let you browse the Web, read email, keep track of your contacts, watch TV and movies, and download apps that let you do even more.

Both tablets are on Google’s Android operating system, which Google gives away for free, letting companies do whatever they want with it. Barnes & Noble used Android 4.0 (also called Ice Cream Sandwich) as the basic operating system for the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, and then performed some magic and turned them into combination ereaders and Android tablets.

Along the way, Barnes & Noble made so many changes that the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ don’t work like other Android devices in some ways. If you compare the NOOKs to all-purpose Android tablets such as the Motorola XOOM or Samsung Galaxy Tab, you’ll notice that the NOOKs simply don’t look like other Android tablets. Even though companies like Samsung have made changes to Android, the interface is still recognizable as Android on their tablets. That’s not really the case with the NOOKs.

Those changes are more than just skin deep; they’re baked into the operating system. Most notably, the only apps you can download onto them are those available through the NOOK Shop. Unlike with other Android tablets, you can’t download apps from Google’s Android Market ...

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