The update also brings a number of usability improvements. Not everything is mentioned, but B&N is promising over 100 feature enhancements, including reading in landscape mode, more apps, a new Nook Store design, and more font choices. It also gets the Netflix app that the Nook tablet had on launch day.
You can get the update here: www.nookcolor.com/update.
But the sideloading apps is the real story here (if it works).
Update: It looks like my source was wrong. A number of readers have tried to install apps and all say that they were blocked. Oh, well. It was worth a shot.
I'd love if someone could check about sideloading apps for me (I don't have a NookColor) . After you install the update, go to a site like Freeware Lovers (www.freewarelovers.com) and try to download and install an app. I'd go with an older version of Aldiko or Kindle, myself.
If after you've downloaded the app you are told that you have to give permission to install apps then you do indeed have the loophole.
I've looked over my instructions for installing apps on the Nook Tablet, and they are still usable. Assuming that the NC has the loophole, you can probably use those instructions to get your first few apps on the Nook Color.
Please, someone, let me know if this works.
P.S. I'll hold off on pontificating until after I hear back from users.