NOOK Color gets Android 4.2 with CyanogenMod 10.1 Alpha

It’s been almost two and a half years since Barnes & Noble released the NOOK Color, and it’s been over a year since the company stopped offering any significant software updates for the 7 inch tablet. But just because the NOOK Color has been discontinued doesn’t mean you can’t teach an old color eReader new tricks.

The NookieDevs team has released an alpha build of CyanogenMod 10.1 for the NOOK Color, bringing a first taste of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to the aging tablet.

That’s good news if you’ve already got a NOOK Color lying around — or even if you don’t. You can pick up a pre-owned NOOK Color from CowBoom for just $60, or  pick up a used or refurbished model from eBay for $100 or less.

 NOOK Color with CyanogenMod 10.1

CM10.1 doesn’t run quite as well on the NOOK Color as CyanogenMod 10 (which is based on Android 4.1), and the developers warn there are some performance issues and bugs. But seeing as Barnes & Noble doesn’t support anything newer than Android 2.2 on the NOOK Color, it’s impressive that Android 4.2 runs at all.

Like many earlier unofficial builds of Google Android fro the NOOK Color, you can either install CM10.1 to the device’s built-in storage or install it to a microSD card so you can dual boot the official B&N software or CM10.1 simply by inserting or removing the storage card.

The NOOK Color features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel IPS display, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It features an 800 MHz TI OMAP 3621 ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor and PowerVR SGX 530 graphics.

While that hardware is a bit dated, hackers have been able to get every major version of Android to run on the NOOK Color.

image credit: Fine Oils

  • rsanchez1

    I took advantage of that deal yesterday, and man will it be nice to have an Android 4.2 tablet for only $60.

    • http://nortonpeabody.blogspot.com/ Norton Peabody

      I purchased a refurbished Color from B&N a little over a year ago for $130 currently running CM7 and am quite happy with it. Makes a nice portable Netflix player with a surprisingly good screen (and a nice e-reader too…).

  • Mary

    Is it possible to do this as a non-techy person? I know my way around a computer and I think if I were given good instructions (in plain English) I could do it…

    • buzz86us

      very simple look up on the net for a Clockwork Mod SD card image for nook color write the image to an sd card put the rom on the root of the newly imaged sd card, make a backup if you need to, do a full wipe, go to mounts and storage format system, then flash the rom.

      • offtoseethewizard

        Hi buzz86us.

        Your reply is way too full of jargon for a non-tech person (me) to understand.

        What does it mean and how do you “flash the rom”?

        Then what do you do after that?

        Is your response an extension of the instructions from the earlier link?

        Thanks

  • stuart

    re: “HACKERS have been able to get every major version of Android to run on the NOOK Color.”

    I think you should have written ‘hobbyists’ instead of ‘hackers’

    • Irick

      No, hackers is the correct term.
      Hackers are hobbyists that make software, hardware, logic, cookbooks, or language do interesting or unintended things in a playfully clever way.

  • Buckly

    I just installed CyanogenMod 10 (Jelly Bean 4.1) on my wifes Nook Color and it took less than 20 minutes. Thats 20 minutes from down loading the files to booting into Jelly Bean.

    It could not have been any easier.

    I used a 2gb micro sd card i had laying around, and i used the instructions from this page……….http://www.jamesrigg.com/2012/11/android-4-1-jelly-bean-on-the-nook-color/

    On that site, you will find detailed instructions, as well as links to the 5 files that you need,

    The only link that did not have the file i needed was the one for “ImageWriter for Windows, but i did a Google search, and found it here…….http://www.softsea.com/review/Image-Writer-for-Windows.html

    The entire process was super easy to do. Please dont go out and pay for any of the software that you need to do this because every file you need is free of charge.

    Earlier today when i was looking up info on this, i came across tons of sites that were trying to sell you a pre installed micro sd card with the EXACT same software that you can get for free from the two sites i talked about above.

    Give it a try and see how easy it really is……for free.