December 14, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
The Barnes & Noble “Nook” ereader has been rooted. On Sunday night, the team of modders at NookDevs.com announced that they had discovered a DNS hack, followed by a teardown of the physical device to gain more information about how the Nook operates. After discovering that the Nook OS is run from the SD card, the team soon announced via Twitter “We have root.”
Technical jargon and process aside, what does this mean for people who own, or were considering getting, a Nook? When I asked one of the NookDevs, he said this means that the Nook could eventually do “everything a rooted android phone can do.” The practicality of that remains to be seen given that the Nook is quite different from a phone, however, his statement points out that there is a great deal of potential. The LCD screen of the Nook is used only for the purposes of navigation, but what if devs managed to run apps or tweak the UI? The small screen will likely make running apps undesirable without some clever work, but giving devs a crack at re-skinning/themeing the UI (or the underwhelming keyboard) could be appealing.
Also consider this: rooting the G1 led to custom ROM’s that improved battery life, several unlocked features, increased memory, and porting of entire systems to the phone. Now that the NookDevs have obtained root, you can bet changes are in store. When will they start discussing the next step to making those changes? I asked an hour after the announcement and was told “We are now.”