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AndroidForNook Frees Nooks From B&N

JOY2[1] What with all the bad financial news out of B&N HQ many Nook owners are concerned that B&N plans to abandon the Nook. This would leave many few in the lurch, and today I am thrilled to share a solution which will let Nook owners escape from B&N’s clutches.

Remember Nook2Android, the service that sells microSD cards that turn a Nook Color/Tablet/HD/HD+ into a real Android tablet? They have some competition.

I’ve just come across AndroidForNook, a site that offers pretty much the same service only at a lower cost. They have been around for at least a year and currently offer cards for all of Barnes & Nobles family of Nook media devices.

AFN sells cards (they are even available on Amazon), and they also offer a second option. For $10 you can pay to download a disc image that you can copy over to the microSD card you have on hand. This is both faster and cheaper than ordering a card, but no matter which choice you take the destination will be the same.

I know, I know, this isn’t the first company to offer this kind of service. NFA is the second to do so and that means that we now get to see them compete on price, quality, and support. That is a win for the end user.

Both AFN and N2A cards will turn a locked down Nook media device into a real Android tablet. It will be running a version of Android 4.1 based on the work of the open source CyanogenMod project. Along with the OS you’ll get Google Play, the ability to install apps which weren’t pre-approved by B&N, and access to more sources of content that far exceed B&N’s paltry app store and ebookstore.

Has anyone tried AFN? What did you think?


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J M March 5, 2013 um 9:27 am

A fitting way to bury the pitiful nook.

Michael March 5, 2013 um 9:30 am

Why pay for it when you can do it for free? The XDA websie has forums that point to several developers that are making 4.1 and 4.2 Jellybean ports. is another, I’m running his 4.2.2 Jelly bean right now.

Nate Hoffelder March 5, 2013 um 9:36 am

Because some of us either don’t want to do it ourselves or don’t have the technical skills. Also, I’ve had bad luck with similar projects.

Michael March 5, 2013 um 9:46 am

I just downloaded their image file, and burned it to a sd card. Plug it into the Nook Tablet, power on, and you’re there.

MJ March 5, 2013 um 9:58 am

…and you’re not exactly un-technical. 🙂

I run Cyanogen Mod (7, because I’m too lazy to upgrade while it’s still working nicely) on a microSD on my Nook tablet. I remember that when I first did this–about this time last year, a day or so after I bought my Nook and realized how incredibly disappointing the Nook interface was–there was an excellent tutorial that brought together all the stuff you had to do. I’ve been using Linux for more than a decade, so I was accustomed to having to do a lot of extra things to get a system up and running, but most people aren’t. Even some highly technical people I know just don’t want to put that much effort into an entertainment device.

I’d say that if you can get a reasonably priced, pretty-much-guaranteed way to do it without having to pull your hair out and start over several times (which didn’t happen to me this time, but often has with similar projects), then GO FOR IT.

Mike Cane March 5, 2013 um 9:40 am

What are you running it on?

Michael March 5, 2013 um 9:53 am

I got a 16gb Nook Tablet off Newegg for $110 (refurb, looks like new), burned image to sdcard to boot to 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and it works like a charm. The Nook Tablet doesn’t have GPS, phone, front or rear camera, and bluetooth, so it’s a lot easier to port to it, fewer drivers to mess with. Not bad for a cheap 7″ tablet with full Google apps and Jelly Bean…

kurt March 5, 2013 um 12:43 pm

I have been waiting to unlock my HD+

Last time i checked the 10.1 or whatever version wasn’t quite stable

Hoping for a single file to download too as when i did the nook color (c7) i had to get several files and find software to do the "image" – after what seemed many steps it worked the first time around, but don’t want to put much effort into it (getting old or lazy or both)

Already have the 32mb card so don’t want to buy one already done for me either

Geert March 5, 2013 um 12:54 pm

They also have recovery cards. With these cards you can replace the B&N Android version on the device with a regular Android version. I used one of those cards last week to turn my Nook Color (which I was not using anymore) into a regular Android 4.1 Jellybean tablet for someone else. Very easy (anyone can do this) and even with Jellybean performance is better than with the original Nook OS.

And yes, I work at an IT department so I probably could create my own card. But for $15 I rather use my spare time for other things.

AFN Fan March 6, 2013 um 10:09 am

Actually, AFN has been offering the download option for almost a year. N2A didn’t offer the downloads until a few months ago. Just sayin…

phritzg March 6, 2013 um 12:07 pm

I bought the n2a card soon after getting my Nook Color. I have all kinds of lovely apps installed for use when I boot into Android. The problems is the Nook Color spends about 30-45 minutes updating many of these apps every time I boot it up, because so many of them are constantly putting out updates. This seriously cuts into my enjoyment of the rooted device. I’m thinking about just getting an Archos 70 Titanium when they finally are available.

Michael March 6, 2013 um 1:03 pm

1) Set Playstore settings to not auto-update apps…
2) What makes you think you wouldn’t have the same problem with another tablet?

phritzg March 6, 2013 um 2:50 pm

Must that be done for each app individually? And will doing so make the Nook usable much more quickly?

Nate Hoffelder March 6, 2013 um 3:03 pm

All you need to do is disable the auto-update option in the settings menu of the Google Play app.

Rob Siders March 6, 2013 um 10:06 pm

I bought the AFN download for 4.1. The install was smooth, but I knew what I was doing going in. I like this ROM a lot, but was never a fan of CM7. I don’t really need another Android tab, so this was curiosity more than anything. I don’t think the Nook Color has enough under the hood to run this particular ROM, but it’s nice for what it is.

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