The first build of Android 4.0 for the NOOK Tablet is now available thanks to a group of independent developers who have ported CyanogenMod 9 to run on the 7 inch tablet. CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0 is still rough around the edges and not everything works properly, but you can use the software to surf the web, play games, download apps, read books, and much more.
Update: There’s a new build available, and CM9 Alpha 0.1 fixes many of the problems in Alpha 0.
At this point, audio, video, touch, WiFi, storage, and accelerometer functions all work. The microphone doesn’t work and neither does hardware video acceleration, which means that Netflix won’t play videos and YouTube won’t display high definition videos.
The device also has a tendency to fall asleep and fail to wake up from time to time. In fact, almost every time the screen went dark during my tests this morning, I had to press and hold the power and Nook buttons to reboot the device.
Update: CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0.1 solves many of the sleep problems, but doesn’t offer hardware video acceleration.
All three of those problems should be addressed when the developers move from the 2.6 kernel to a 3.x kernel.
For now, once I installed the latest Google Apps package for CyanogenMod 9 I was able to use the Android Market (which was quickly updated to the Google Play Market) and install apps including the Amazon Kindle and B&N NOOK apps for reading eBooks. Google Music was also happy to stream music from my Google account to the NOOK Tablet.
Installing CyanogenMod 9 will also install the CyanoBoot bootloader to your device, making it possible to choose at startup whether you want to boot from internal storage or a microSD card. So while CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0 will install to your internal storage by default, you can theoretically run a different operating system from an SD card.
You can find instructions for installing CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 0 at the xda-developers forum.
But if you’ve already installed CyanogenMod 7 following our instructions, here’s how to upgrade:
- Download the CM9 Alpha 0 file from the xda-developers forum link.
- Reboot into ClockworkMod Recovery.
- Backup your system if you want to be able to restore later.
- Choose to install a zip from the SD card.
- Locate the file you downloaded and install it.
- Perform a data wipe/factory reset.
- Reboot your system.
If you’ve already installed ClockworkMod Recovery to your internal storage in order to install CM7 or a different ROM, you can ignore the instructions at the xda-developers forum about flashing a new recovery.img. Those instructions assume you’re running ClockworkMod from an SD card.