Barnes & Noble Nook Color owners now have a new option that can turn their e-readers into full-fledged Android tablets.
Available in three sizes and prices ($34.99 for 8 gigabytes, $49.99 for 16 GB, and $89.99 for 32GB), the SD card plugs directly into the Nook, letting the device boot into Android mode. A boot menu gives users the choice of loading Android or the Nook operating system, while removing the card will automatically transform the Nook back into its normal e-reader state.
In Android mode, Nook owners can use the built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n to surf the Web and run various preinstalled apps, such as Gmail, Facebook, and Pandora, according to Nook2Android. Apps can be downloaded and installed directly from the Android Market. The company also promises that using the cards won't affect the Nook's internal memory or void the warranty from B&N.
All three flavors of the card are being sold through Amazon. Although Nook2Android has picked up only a small number of user reviews at Amazon thus far, most of the people who have chimed in seem happy with it. Nook2Android also offers a FAQ page to answer questions from owners and potential buyers.
Until now, Nook Color owners eager to convert their devices into Android tablets have had to turn to various unofficial hacks, some of which have even been selling on eBay. Just like Nook2Android's solution, the hacks have consisted of microSD cards running some flavor of Android, including a preview version of Honeycomb.
But since Nook2Android is sold through Amazon and supported by a 14-day money-back guarantee, it seems the better and safer option at this point for Nook owners eager for a taste of Android.