NookColor v1.4 Update – Does it Let You Sideload Apps? (No)

Barnes  Noble just pushed out a new update for their older Android tablet, the Nook Color. It’s been coming for some time now, and I’ve heard a rumor that it has an unmentioned feature.

Do you recall the loophole that lets us install apps on the Nook Tablet?  According to one source, the NC was supposed to get this same loophole in the v1.4 update.

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:

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 ( 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.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Nathan12 December, 2011

    Nope. No sideloading apps. It probably would have but I think they changed the update just to remove it. It used to say 1.4.0 would be the update, but it is 1.4.1 instead.

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 December, 2011

      Damn. I bet you’re right about the update version.

      But let’s not give in just yet. Everyone, please try to install the apps anyway. (I refuse to give up hope.)

  2. burger flipper12 December, 2011

    At least one report on XDA that the sideloading does work:

    1. Brad Linder12 December, 2011

      Also from that thread — you lose root, but you can re-root the tablet and you can still boot from an SD card, which means you can continue to have a dual-boot device with NOOK Color software and CyanogenMod or another OS.

  3. Lynne Connolly12 December, 2011

    Nope. I’m getting “For safety reasons, only apps from the Nook store can be installed.”

    1. Geert Meijer12 December, 2011

      I get the same result.

  4. Mike Bee12 December, 2011

    I couldn’t sideload Aldiko or Nook. Got message about only being able to install apps from Nook store. Bummer.

  5. Luqman12 December, 2011

    That lame message calls for a boycott. If you are going to lock people into your walled garden, fine. But don’t tell them its for ‘safety!’

    1. Syn12 December, 2011

      Couldn’t agree with you more. I detest being treated like I’m an idiot.

      As for the update, I can’t even get mine to install so I’m not sure what is up with mine.

    2. Bob Miller17 December, 2011

      Yes, total agreement, too. It’s patronizing and it a BS rationalization on their part.

      If I’m following this thread correctly it sounds like there was a side loading loophole pre-1.4. Can anyone assert that it did work in 1.2 or 1.3?

      If so, where could one find an “old” CN updater?

      1. Nate Hoffelder17 December, 2011

        No, the loophole is in the firmware for the Nook Tablet. I had been told (erroneously) that the NC would get it too.

  6. […] not affecting the many who didn’t care. Of course, these were the same sources that said the Nook Color would be getting the same loophole (it didn’t), so clearly I shouldn’t be listening to […]


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