The Barnes & Noble NOOK Color was the first popular 7 inch Android tablet to sell for under $250. It went on sale in the fall of 2010, and while the tablet features a highly customized version of Android designed to work with B&N’s app and book stores, it didn’t take hackers long to figure out how to load custom ROMs on the NOOK Color.

Nearly three years later, the state of NOOK Color hacking is still going strong. You can now download nightly builds of CyanogenMod 10.1 for the 7 inch tablet, allowing you to run a custom version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with full access to the Google Play Store.

NOOK Color with CyanogenMod 10.1

The NOOK Color is an aging tablet with an 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of storage.

So it may not work quite as well as a newer tablet with modern hardware. But it’s impressive to see that it can run Android 4.2 at all. Barnes & Noble’s latest software for the NOOK Color is still based on Android 2.2 Froyo.

CyanogenMod is a custom version of Android based on Google’s source code. But it includes a number of tweaks that make Android easier to customize, including options to change icons in the notification tray, customize the quick settings panel, or make other modifications.

Version 10.1 is based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. While the NOOK Color build is still a work in progress, developers have worked out many of the kinks since the first alpha builds were released in February.

Official nightly builds of CyanogenMod 10.1 for the newer NOOK Tablet also started rolling out earlier this month. That tablet looks a lot like the NOOK Color, but features a faster 1 GHz TI OMAP 4 ARM Cortex-A9 dual core CPU and 1GB of RAM.

via Android Police

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