NOOKcolor SDK Released; Will Anyone Take Advantage Of It?



Barnes & Noble has just informed folks that they’ve released the SDK for the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor for developers to create apps for. Unfortunately, developers looking to port their Android-based apps are left in the dark: you’ll have to build your application from the ground up using B&N’s SDK if you want it featured on their eReading tablet. The question is: will anyone bother? We haven’t really heard of anyone buying this thing, and asking developers to spend expensive time and resources on developing applications from the ground up – when they already have Android apps and games that should work on it – is kind of unrealistic. If you are the type who wants to take advantage of it, though, you’ll find the goods you’re looking for right here. [via The Digital Reader]

[Update]: Upon closer inspection, it sounds like you won’t have to build from the ground up after all. But the question still remains: who will go through the added work? There appears to be a cozy development community over at XDA, but bringing apps over to the NOOKcolor still just seems like a waste of time and effort. My 2 cents.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Right now, this is the tablet I want most. It’s somewhere between a Kindle and iPad but for only $250.

  2. I don’t think people will buy this until they know it has developer support. Kind of a Catch 22. Won’t have developer support unless people buy it.

  3. I may actually make use of it, as a developer. The NOOK really is a different device than most Android tablets and phones, so it’s not too big of an inconvenience. Still though, I agree, was it _really_ necessary to create an entirely different SDK just for ONE device?

  4. I think this article is inaccurate. What makes you think you would have to build your app from the ground up? If you look at the site – the nook SDK is simply an ADDON to the android SDK (similar to the Galaxy Tab addon).

  5. This thing rooted is amazing. It runs everything so smooth. Forget the sdk give us source code!! 1ghz Cyanogenmod Froyo tablet with 1024×600 ips screen for 250 bucks.

  6. I did indeed see that on the SDK download page. That’s just how much I gathered from someone familiar with the device @ Jack. But is there still any reason one simply can’t install a .apk file on their NOOKcolor as they would any other phone or tablet? Even if you don’t have to do it completely from the ground up, the added headache of having to make sure you’re working within the bounds of yet another SDK is ridiculous.

  7. Come on over to the nook color home on XDA-Developers and take a look at what’s going on.

    We might not have market access yet on the device but don’t let that fool you. You can install apps on it and everything, although some apps have issues do to the stripped down version of Android that is currently running on the device.

    Angry birds runs great on the device and it’s the stock version, not some hacked version to run on the nook either.

    I think some more investigating should be done before you start making claims that you have to build an app from the ground up…

    And Jack is right, this is an addon for the Android 2.1 SDK.

  8. @Quentyn – If it is anything like the Galaxy Tab addon to the SDK, it basically just adds presets for the resolution/buttons available etc… It also probably removes API features that don’t exist on the nook like phone specific APIs. I can’t say for sure because I haven’t tried it yet (probably will over the weekend), but it doesn’t look like a complete separate SDK.

  9. i bought one, its pretty cool!
    havent really enjoyed it yet, since i’m in the middle of finals!
    I think they’ve been selling plenty, all my local B&N stores were sold out, and only one Best Buy had only one NookColor left! I got the last one :)

  10. I was gonna grab one but changed my because it felt like a brash decision. Gonna wait it out to see what Gingerbread brings to the table in 2011. Fingers crossed for a pure Google Gingerbread Android experience 10″ carrier-free tablet in the sub $400 price range — Nexus Tab anyone?

  11. Damn brain dead today… Meant “Honeycomb”, not Gingerbread!

  12. @Terrormaster:
    For $250 it’s not a large investment that won’t pay out. It’s not $500+ with a monthly contract fee like the Tab or iPad.

    For $250, you won’t find anything better. I’ll even go as far to say that or $400 you won’t find anything better either.

  13. @ Novaglarion
    That’s with rooting though. The article is talking about devs wanting to make apps for the device with out having to root. Although I would really love to get one of these myself and root it.

  14. Well, with more reason for developers to go and work on the NC !!!!! . They won’t have hundreds of developers to compete with !!!!!

  15. @Novaglarion: not gonna argue there, it’s DEFINITELY a far better deal than the Tab – but not right out the box. Would love to see if/what Cyanogen comes up with for giggles. But when I buy a tablet it’s gonna be THE tablet for me and will have to last a couple years at least. I make the mistake last year of rushing into Android and got an Eris when I should have waited for the Nexus One. Don’t want to make that mistake again.

    I really want something with a Google experience right out the box (which is why I’m staying clear of the Archos 101 as well – which is an even better deal than the NookColor price:feature:size). So yeah, gonna hold out for a 10″ Honeycomb Nexus tablet.

  16. Getting one for my girlfriend to use as an e-reader and possibly for me to add a few apps to it. As the hacking scene develops and gets a little more stable I will probably pick one up myself so I can install a custom ROM on it. Most likely I will leave hers stock so I don’t eff up the core functionality which she actually wants it for.

  17. Actually, the Color Nook is selling very well and were reported as double their sales projections. My wife owns the original Nook, and she loves the color after using it at a B&N Store. It’s a very nice device.

  18. Bought one on Wednesday because I’m flying from LA to Aus this weekend. With some extra apps sideloaded it’s a great little tablet for a good price. Sure, the next version will be better/cheaper but you have to pull the trigger at some point…

    One app that I’d like would be to connect to my phone and use its GPS with Google Nav or Maps as both work fine on the device sans positioning.

  19. Forget iPad and Galaxy tab and their cheap clones. Get Nook Color, it’s expected to ship out 1 million units by the end of 2010 which is less than 2 months since the shipping started and it’s already rooted. Nook Color specs:
    – $249 with free shipping
    – 7 inch Color LG Touchscreen 16 million colors with anti-glare coating 1024 x 600 delivering 169 pixels per inch.
    – 8GB built in memory expandable to 32 GB with microSD card.
    – 512 MB RAM
    – Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), USB port
    – OS: Android 2.1
    – Processor: TI 800 Mhz ARM Cortex A8-based, 45nm OMAP3621
    – Nook allows to lend books for 2 weeks to friends or to your other devices that run B&N app. Barnes & Noble allows (when you walk in with the Nook to B&N store) to read any available eBook for free while in the store via free provided in the store Wi-Fi. With Nook, while in BN store you get exclusive articles from top authors, and great offers including cafe treats and unique deals. There’s over a million of free public ebooks as well as over a million of ebooks that you need to pay for available through Barnes & Noble eBook store. Prices are generally much lower than for physical books.
    – Nook Color is better as a color e-Reader than Kindle simply because it has color and Kindle is black and white. Content that greatly benefits from color – such as kids books and magazines – looks much better and sharper on Nook Color’s screen.
    – Nook Color is better as an e-Reader in general than iPad. It has a new generation screen which is anti-glare coated and is better performing in sunlight than iPad’s. Also, as it’s smaller in size than iPad, the text appears sharper on Nook’s screen. Also it has 12,000 (more soon) kids books that are built as a game with feedback.
    – Nook Color has been picked as the editors choice by PC Magazine while pro reviewers of other sites (CNET, ZDNet, Engadget, AllThingsDigital, etc.) mentioned that it tested to be pretty fast for apps and PDF’s, and has a beautiful screen.
    – Overall, Nook Color is more than e-Reader as you can also watch video and use Android applications on it. It’s a hybrid device, much more than just an e-Reader but not a full tablet as it doesn’t have a camera. If all you want is to read novels, Kindle (or the original e-Ink Nook) might be better for you. If you want something more from your device at half of the price of iPad or Galaxy tab, then Nook Color is your best bet.
    – Nook (unlike Kindle) can be used for library ebooks.
    – Nook (unlike Kindle) can be used for renting text-ebooks.

  20. I just bought two, and am very pleased. Granted – it is limited at the present, but still a beautiful little web browser, e-mail machine, and I’ve found sources of thousands of free books in several formats.
    Like having a tea cup, but filled to the brim.

  21. Please tell it’s not true! This happens when an executive become arrogant and decide he can can play Apple; usually while talking big profits. B&N is trying to hold on in a changing industry. They are under the illusion delvelopers will spend millions developing for just for Nook…H e l l o? A more prudent business approach would be to embrace the Android community, userers and developers, and cast a wide net for Nook. Embrace Android through its Marketplace, then issue the developers kit. This is a big opportunity missed. Too bad, as I am a big B&N supporter.

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