I mentioned on Twitter yesterday that Barnes and Noble have released their long-awaited update to the Nook Color which includes Android 2.2 Froyo, Flash support, an apps store, and other updates. Really cool!
While the app store has been down for me all day (not something I’d hold too hard against someone, since I’m sure the load is high and the site brand new), I’d overall give the rollout a “B” grade so far.
Pros: Excellent upgrade and the chance to buy and install apps! Flash support really rounds out the web experience. Things just overall seem faster. Essentially, they’re transitioning the $250 e-reader+ device into an actual tablet. Good deal! I know this is a short list, but it’s a big update. (A continued pro for the device itself is the better, less proprietary format of media in comparison to the Kindle.)
Cons: The app store is “curated,” meaning it’s a B&N store and *not* the whole Android market. While this makes me sad, I understand why they would do it, both from a profits perspective but also support. (Why allow users to install apps that won’t work? And what about the lack of the traditional Home/Menu/Back/Search/Settings buttons that some apps require?) Bluetooth radio is untouched and still not enabled (Can’t blame them, but *I* personally want it so I can hook up a gamepad). Also, still no geolocation, though I don’t think that’s even possible with the current hardware, and even if it were, the usefulness would be severely limited without 3G connectivity.
Compared to my autonootered Nook Color: Bottomline, my rooted Nook Color can do more apps and play more games (NES/SNES…) than my non-rooted Nook Color, so I don’t yet plan to unroot that particular one. Sure, there are some small issues like needing to kill a particular task to get the Extras to update after an install, but I still really value the apps that are not yet available on the B&N storefront. If and when they expand further and cover any apps I’d want, the move would be a no-brainer.
If you have a non-rooted Nook Color, this update is a no-brainer and a huge deal.