NookColor Now a Kindle Reader and Android Tablet

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Owners of the Barnes & Noble NookColor e-reader can now expand their digital library with Amazon Kindle titles, thanks to the device’s use of Google Android. CrunchGear today notes that rooting the NookColor allows for installation of the Android Market, and that opens up the ability to install the Kindle for Amazon application. You’ll need a microSD card and these relatively simple rooting instructions put together by Blog Kindle. After that, you can pick and choose your e-bookstore based on price or title.

While this process opens the NookColor to Kindle content, it helps turn the device into more of an Android tablet device at a reasonable price. The NookColor retails for $249, or roughly $350 less than the Samsung Galaxy Tab that’s currently never out of my reach. The Wi-Fi Nook doesn’t have the integrated 3G that my Tab does, but it doesn’t have a monthly data bill either. Access to the Android Market brings a world of possibilities beyond e-books: web browsing with a different browser, using Gmail, social networking, online video content, games and more.

This development makes the NookColor more attractive to at least two audiences. Folks that already purchased Kindle content to read on a phone or a computer might be more apt to grab the Barnes & Noble device, since it can leverage a user’s current Kindle bookshelf. And it can still be used for native B&N content in case of price differences between titles. The other group is made of people looking for a solid, but inexpensive, 7-inch Android tablet without a monthly charge. Had I not purchased a Tab earlier this month, I’d strongly be considering a NookColor right about now, since I’m in both camps. Thanks to available hacks, the NookColor is becoming both a versatile e-reader and tablet!

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