The Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet is a 7 inch tablet with a dual core processor, 16GB of storage, and an excellent display. It comes with a custom version of Google Android designed to work with the B&N book and app stores, but customers have been hacking the NOOK Tablet since it hit the streets in November.
Rooting the tablet lets you install the Android Market and make other changes which make it much easier to install third party apps that aren’t available from the B&N Shop. You can also dramatically change the look and feel of the tablet once you’ve enabled support for third party apps.
Unfortunately, Barnes & Noble rolled out a software update which made it much more difficult to root the tablet. There is a way to sideload apps even if your’e running software version 1.4.1, but it’s not as simple as it was on NOOK Tablets running OS 1.4.0.
Fortunately xda-developers forum member DeanGibson has found a way to root a NOOK Tablet running OS 1.4.1. Or rather, he’s found a way to upgrade from 1.4.0 to 1.4.1 while enabling root access in the process.
The steps are a little complicated right now, and they’re subject to change. Eventually DeanGibson may offer an automated script that users can run, but right now the tools are still in beta and there may be some kinks to work out.
The long and short of it is that if you want to run OS 1.4.1 on the NOOK Tablet and have root access, now there’s a way to do it. Barnes & Noble’s software update fixes a number of bugs found in OS 1.4.0, so this is generally a good thing.
You don’t have to hack the tablet to prevent it from downloading the software update if you follow DeanGibson’s guide — although if you want to prevent your tablet from updating to OS 1.4.2 or whatever comes next before you’re ready you may want to attempt to block future over-the-air updates.
There are a few caveats:
- If you’re already running OS 1.4.1 you’ll have to roll back to 1.4.0 by performing a factory restore. This will wipe your data.
- DeanGibson’s tutorial assumes you’ve already installed the Android SDK or at least enabled adb access to the tablet using other tools.
- You’ll probably void your warranty if you attempt to root the tablet and nobody’s responsible for anything that goes wrong except for you.
If that doesn’t scare you off, you can find instructions, tools, and more information at the xda-developers forum.