How to Root/Unlock Nook Color 1.2 to Enable Non Market Android Apps (APK Enabler) ?

by Jawwad in Android, Guides, Mobile | 6 comments

nookcolor4 | How to Root/Unlock Nook Color 1.2 to Enable Non Market Android Apps (APK Enabler) ?

As it was mentioned before that B&N has released a major update of the FW in the form of Nook Color v1.2 that you can get right now here. Major new features include the Android Froyo, flash support, new email application and some other tablet centric enhancements. Of course, there is also a selected set of new applications for you eReader. Unfortunately no support for the Android Market yet. In other words, the long list of hacks that we mentioned in the past for your Nook Color still remains essential for power users! We were already one of the first to post a guide on how to root your Nook Color on 1.2 using the ManualNooter. Apart from rooting that method also installed GApps and Market.

Today we have an alternative method for you to root and enable non-Market application installs on your Nook Color. Please note the method we are going to detail is NOT a complete root yet but it is is enough to replace many stock applications with more useful Android application on the fresh 1.2 FW install.

Here is the step by step method to root your Nook Color on 1.2 and enable APK installs:

Installed Features

- Updates the SQLite Settings Database (data/data/ with a hacked version to allow non Market application installs.
- Installs a version of "su" in /bin and /xbin.
- Installs busybox to /system/bin and sets symlinks for most shell commands in /system/xbin
- Installs SuperUser.apk, SoftKeys_3.06.apk, NookColorTools_0.2.apk, and zeam-2.9.2.apk to /data/app. You may uninstall any of these if you wish.

What You Get

Your stock browser on the Nook color will be fully capable of downloading, launching, and installing .apk files that you want after the procedure!


- To update to 1.2 firmware you are required to do a complete wipe (see in the end of this article for details).
- Then to update to 1.2 see the instructions here (1.2 is a must to use ManualNooter 4.4.27).
- You must already have a registered NooKcolor
- You must have a Google Account, for Gmail, Market, etc.
- CWM Bootable from SD Card: (If you are not sure how to do it follow our step-by-step guide)

- Download the file.


Step 1: Assuming you have Clockwork setup on your SD card, now drop the in the root directory, and reboot your Nook Color.

Step 2: After Clockwork boots:

- Select "install zip from sdcard".
- "choose zip from sdcard".
- Select "Yes – Install".
- The install process will initiate.
- After flash you will be prompted to Reboot.

Step 3: After the reboot OS might crash (first reboot) If it happens then, hold the power button until the Nook powers off completely, then turn it back on. It should continue to boot normally after this point.

Step 4: Now you are done! after this you can download and run .APK files downloaded form anywhere. Please note that NOT all of them will work but many should work. (a list of known compatible applications is provided in the end).

How to Do a Complete Wipe:

Please follow our guide on doing a complete wipe of your Nook Color device.

Note that both Software Update & Factory Reset are required to do a complete wipe as mentioned in the above guide!

Some Issues:

Note that with the stock launcher you will not see your installed apps in the Extras area! Instead, you will need to install some other Launcher like Zeam that works well (it is already packaged with the attached file that you will flash). Once Zeam is installed, you can hit the "Home" (n) button and select it as your Launcher.

Some other issues mentioned by the developer:

Probably lots of things. I know ADW doesn’t work, and the open source Terminal emulator doesn’t either… Superuser.apk detects SU, which is a good thing. It isn’t "full root access" until I hack /etc/fstab to mount /system r/w (probably tomorrow.)


Applications That Work


Amazon App Store for Android (works beautifully)
Amazon Mobile
Collapse (today’s free game on Amazon)
Kindle Reader
File Manager
ES file explorer
Pulse (with widgets)
Remember The Milk
WP Clock – Live Wallpapers are enabled by default – the Google Maps and WP Clock live wallpapers appear in the stock Nook Home settings
Free Dictionary
TuneIn Radio
Google Voice
Button Savior
Adobe Reader


Stay tuned for more updates on Nook Color hacks & tips&trick in particular related to the 1.2 update! In the mean time take a look at our guide How to Root Nook Color on New 1.2 Firmware & Install Market, Google Apps and NookColor Tools ?


You Might Like:

Get Free Email Updates

Inspired Geek is your primary source for latest tech news, guides and articles on Windows software, games, Apple and Android devices.

  • Get extensive coverage on latest tech news.
  • Exclusive guides on rooting, jailbreaking and unlocking mobile devices.
  • Useful apps and tips&tricks for your iOS and Android devices.
  • Exlclusive Top Countdowns for the best software.

This post was written by...

for Inspired Geek.

Hi! We are trying our best to make this spot most interesting and useful for discovering news, articles, tips & tricks and bringing you the latest in Computer, Mobile and Internet technology areas. Please support our efforts by giving your feedback, subscribing to Inspired Geek RSS (Link on top & bottom of the page), by promoting us on social websites (Facebook, Digg, Twitter, StumbleUpon etc.) or any other way you might feel convenient. Thanks for your support!

  • Criatian

    Hi, thanks for this well written step by step article,
    I followed the procedure, except that I already had 1.2 installed on the Nook so I haven’t wiped it first
    Everything looks fine on the Nook now and Zeam works well.
    My problem is when I try to download apps from Android market, I login with my gmail account but I get a message telling me that the device is not registered on the android market. Any suggestions? Thanks

  • Ted

    Nice writeup. This works well except I can’t get an apk to install. I get messages like no application found to open this file. Or another about archiving and unarchiving.

    I’ve restarted the Nook and that doesn’t seem to work.

    • arcane

      Same here, the apps and launcher included in the .zip were installed just fine but I’m still getting the same standard message about not being able to install an apk.

  • dbjellqu
  • birdbas

    Do you have any updates for this? This is really how I would like to do this. Keeping it looking like a Nook but with the apps ability in the extras…. I am really not tech savy,….. I do not have a smart phone…. but I read all the time and have no space for books….. I want access to kindel as well as B&N and the library.

Previous post:

Next post:

wordpress counter