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How to install / enable Android Market on your Nook Color

This is our second article from the Nook Color rooting / hacking series in which we are trying to enable as many Nook Color owners to use their device at its full potential. The first article dealt mostly with rooting process in which you enabled your Nook Color to allow side loading applications. This article will show you how to  install the Android Market on it and, as for the first article, the credit goes entirely to the fine folks from Nook Devs. They were the first to post a detailed step by step procedure and I’ll just try in here to touch some steps that are not very clear or where I had issues.

Note: Even the original Nook Devs article strongly warns that the process is hard to follow, I did not find it so. You just need to be very careful when editing the mentioned files that you absolutely follow the steps and you do not touch anything else. You will have to be used to using the command line and I imagine if you successfully followed the first article and rooted your Nook, you are quite there already.

Among the prerequisites,  you’ll need to root your Nook Color. Check  our article to do so. Then, you’ll have to download three files:

1. nc_gapps.zip as produced by MrMuffin, and modifed by Modembug. This is basically a package containing the Google Apps including Market and GMail, modified to work on the Nook Color. Copy it in the same folder with ADB.EXE application. (inside Android SDK \ Tools folder).

2. YouTube for Eclaire. A nice YouTube application which you might want to actually buy once the Marketplace is installed. For now, it will be used to give you a way to input your GMail credentials. Copy it in the same folder with ADB.EXE application. (inside Android SDK \ Tools folder).

3. Notepad++, a good text editor for Windows with the advantage that it preserve Unix style line endings. Remember that Android OS relies on Linux core (2.6 if I remember correctly). Download and install it. Do NOT use other editor to edit the described files. The ADB commands described in the tutorial will download packages.xml and build.prop in the same folder (Tools in my case) where ADB.EXE is located. Navigate to that folder and right click on them after you installed Notepad++. The Edit in Notepad++ option should be available.

For the actual Android Market install, I’ll direct you to the original Nook Devs article which is very clear and concise.  There are several issues I encountered:

  • When I tried to install YouTube apk, I got the message Error: Could not access the Package Manager. Is the system running? . Just reboot the Nook Color in this case and try again.
  • If after reboot you get the Android Setup Wizard screen, remember to Skip signing in with your Google Account. I went ahead trying to actually use my Google Account just to waste several minutes trying to unsuccessfully connect to Google’s servers.
  • If by any chance you already had YouTube app installed like I did, you don’t necessarily have to install in again, it will work just fine allowing you to input your username / password. Be sure to use a GMail account with username@gmail.com…
  • When everything else was installed, the YouTube application did not work for me anymore, I had to uninstall / reinstall it again.

That’s about it. Let me know if you had any issues and I’ll try to help you. Below, there is a gallery of screenshots from the Android Market and various applications installed. With this install, Nook Color is a full featured Android tablet on the very cheap side. There are tons of applications working on Nook Color including Amazon Kindle, NPR radio, New York Times, USA Today, Weather Bug, Dish Remote access (which will also allow you to access your DVR recordings, Guide and watch live TV from your DVR – and it is FREE!!!), etc.