CyanogenMod 10 Alpha brings Android 4.1 to the NOOK Color

Almost exactly two years after Barnes & Noble first released the NOOK Color, a team of independent developers have released an unofficial build of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the 7 inch tablet.

Update: This is now an official build. You can download the latest builds directly from the CyanogenMod download page.

The NOOK Color features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, an 800 MHz TI OMAP 3 processor, 8GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. It ships with a custom version of Google Android 2.3 that’s been skinned by B&N and tweaked to use a NOOK app store. But hackers have been running alternate builds of Android on the tablet almost as long as it’s been around.

NOOK Color with CyanogenMod 10 (Android 4.1)

Image credit: Bryce Walter

Android 4.1 turned out to be a tough nut to crack though. Developers started working on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the NOOK Color last year. Since then they’ve spent a lot of time upgrading to a newer kernel and improving hardware support.

Now that CyanogenMod 10 Alpha is available for the NOOK Color, almost everything works the way you’d expect it to on a tablet that shipped with the operating system.

There are still some issues. Netflix doesn’t work, and HD YouTube video playback isn’t supported, although standard definition YouTube videos look fine. Pressing the “n” button doesn’t wake the tablet from sleep yet. And if you want to plug the NOOK Color into a wall charger, make sure to wake it from sleep first, or the device won’t detect the charger.

Developers are still looking for solutions to these problems… and to any others that users may discover now that the software is widely available.

You can either install CyanogenMod 10 to the NOOK Color’s internal memory, or load it on a microSD card. The external storage option is handy, because it lets you dual-boot the NOOK Color. Insert the microSD card and reboot your system and you’ll be in CyanogenMod 10. Remove the card and reboot and you’re running the stock NOOK Color software (or whatever else you may have installed on the internal storage.

Out of the box, CM10 Alpha for the NOOK Color provides the same  user interface used for the Google Nexus 7, Acer Iconia Tab A110, and other 7 inch tablets. It’s sort of a cross between the older Android tablet and smartphone user interfaces, with a notification bar at the top and buttons at the bottom.

But if you’d prefer the sort of design we usually see on 10 inch tablets, you can modify CyanogenMod 10 to use a “tablet UI.”

Note: An early build of Cyanogenmod 10 is also available for the NOOK Tablet. The NOOK Color version will not work on that 7 inch tablet.

thanks Scott!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1256270589 Mike Cui

    give the hp touchpad some cm10 love too!!

    • buzz86us

      it has CM10 but it doesn’t work very well just keep posted.

  • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

    I’ve been checking the XDA forums once every so often to see what progress they were making on CM10. I knew they were close to alpha, but there was no indication when they would pull the switch. Good to hear the news.

  • fredlave

    Will this work with a nook tablet 8gb?

    • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

      No, the Nook Tablet has its own CM10 project. Google “Nook Tablet CM10″

  • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

    Been using CM10 on my Nook Color for almost a day now. There are still some bugs — the calculator crashes, for example — but so far it’s been very stable overall. One big improvement over my last installation of CM9 is battery life. With CM9, the battery would run down in a matter of hours even if I was doing nothing with it. With CM10, the battery indicator has barely budged in 12 hours.

    • Mark-Anthony Faiva

      “the battery indicator has barely budged in 12 hours” that might not be a good thing….

      • http://rationaldreaming.com/ Mike

        Actually, as reported by other alpha users, the sleep mode battery life has been excellent. :-)