Barnes & Noble Nook tablets get Android 4.4 KitKat courtesy of N2A Cards

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Seems like it’s every other day we hear about a new Android device receiving their KitKat update, but would you believe Barnes & Noble’s line of Nook tablets can also partake in the latest Android confection? Okay, so not officially, but the fellas at N2A Cards might have the next best thing. Recently, they’ve updated their specialized plug-and-play SD card that gives the Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Nook HD, and Nook HD+ the ability to boot into stock Android 4.4 KitKat without all the bloat. Yum.

Of course, N2A Cards don’t come free. Preloaded micro SD cards with everything you need to get up and running with KitKat can be picked up on their site for $30. Given that most of us have a few SD card laying around, there’s also a downloadable version of their software offered at a discounted $20. Previous N2A customers get the best deal, with the update to KitKat setting them back a mere $10. Because it’s more or less like dual-booting, you can always return to the stock Barnes & Noble software where all the apps and media you’ve purchased will be waiting for you.

With access to a near stock Android 4.4 experience, KitKat might be exactly what the doctor ordered to breathe new life into the aging tablets. No reports on exactly how well KitKat runs on any of these tabs (technically, they’re running CyanogenMod), but with KitKat said to be lightest version of Android yet, we’re expecting good things. For a quick rundown of the painless installation process, check out the video below.

[N2A Cards | Nook HD 7-inch | Nook HD+ | via CNET]

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  • Chris

    Download CyanogenMod and you get that for free.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Try telling my aunt that. :P

      • Chris

        I don’t know your aunt.

        • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

          Well, sh*t.

    • Tomen8r

      Been running cyanogenmod 11 on hd+ for sometime now. Much much better than BN stock. And for free of course.

  • P.Robbie

    I find this ironic. I saw Chris at CES and said hi but he didn’t really pay attention to me. I am sure he was busy but now he wrote an article about the company I use to work for and posted a video I created. On to this N2A card. I think it is great for them and for anyone that has a Nook. They really help a lot of people that don’t have the know how or the desire to find the steps and create their own card.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Hey, sorry about that. CES is always hectic. Promise to chat more next year if I run into you again. Who are you working for now?

      • P.Robbie

        Its all good. I was basically there to just hang out and I was super busy too. I now work at Scratch Wireless where mobile lives free. It is an awesome company and a great concept.

    • Simon Belmont

      Okay, I can understand the non-tech savvy people maybe not wanting to dilly dally with it. But, honestly, it’s a COUPLE MINUTES process to create your own CM bootable SD card for free.

      Detailed and easy to follow instructions (and video guides) are readily available. The likelihood of screwing up your B&N Nook Color is almost nil.

  • spicymeatball

    Can’t wait to hear how well it performs.

    • JLogre9182

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    • Simon Belmont

      I’ll tell you now. It’s runs great (installed it myself for free, and not with one of those prefab N2A cards).

      RAM usage is down A LOT, so more apps can stay in memory without being kicked out when multitasking. I’ve also noticed a big increase in UI smoothness and a bump in frame rates in games. It’s definitely a big upgrade from Android 4.3 on the B&N Nook Color. Go for it.

  • eyeballer

    Nice research on this article. Might want to mention they’re just rebranding and selling CyanogenMod.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Knew this before writing the article, and updated the post mentioning CM for those interested. Thanks.

      • Alex Bonilla

        Said to the guy who’s hard work and dedication brought many great Roms all from source. No kanging. Look up eyeballer on xda. You should remove this post it’s disrespectful. How would you like to me copy and paste all your articles and sell them in a magazine giving you no credit and making all the profit????

    • Simon Belmont

      Hey, eyeballer. The ironic thing is, I tipped about official CM11 nightlies (linked the xda thread and CM download spot) for the Nook Color a few days ago and it got no article, but the N2A cards did. :(

      People making money off others’ hard work, when it’s relatively easy to do it yourself. Hate that. :(

      • StacyD

        True in many cases.
        If they did significant work to the OS, I would argue that they have the ability to sell their work. I am interested how they are handling the GPL.

        PLUS, if this makes it easier and simple for the end user, is this a bad thing? In all fairness, they need to cite sources and give thanks.

        Saying that they have no right is perhaps not fair. If you have ever worked on your own Linux distro or drivers/libs/etc. you may think otherwise.

  • Lactose_the_Intolerant

    This “kills” the microSD slot… as in, you have to leave this card in all the time — thereby ruling out the use of another memory card. The bonus is — what to revert to stock BN? Just remove the N2A card and reboot.

    • Simon Belmont

      If you throw in a 32GB or 64GB card bootable CM card, then who cares? You’ll still have tons of space for media and such.

      It’s honestly really simple to make your own bootable CyanogenMod card for the B&N Nook Color. I’d never pay someone to do what I can do in a few minutes myself.

      • Lactose_the_Intolerant

        For sure… there are enough ‘how to” videos on youtube and forum websites for this procedure that it seems ludicrous to me that people would pay for this. And don’t get me started on selling somebody else’s work…

  • Lactose_the_Intolerant

    @corrections “KitKat might be exactly what the doctored ordered…”
    doctor not doctored.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Got it, thanks! :)

  • Tony

    Actually I am back to CM-10.2.1 now. I’ve been running CM-11 for several weeks but the nightly/unofficial version wasn’t not stable enough for my standard. CM-10.2.1 looks pretty stable.

    • nestazhe265

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      working at home online. you can try here J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Modman

    With tablets like N7 cheaper tablets than nook color.
    Ive already jumped ship. Just use b and n app on regular tablet.
    You want an ink reader use mantano ink reader mode.
    Why waste time with amazon b@n ereaders anymore?

  • ReneeG1957

    Just updated my N2A card for my Nook HD+ last week – works great! I don’t miss Jelly Bean or any of the earlier versions at ALL!