Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet gets rooted

As bookseller Barnes & Noble pushes its Nook Tablet as an 'anything you can do, I can do better' answer to Amazon's Kindle fire, so too the modding communities battle it out to root the respective devices.

Although Amazon's Kindle Fire cut-price tablet was the first to get a full root - a term analogous to 'jailbreaking' in the iPhone world, and a method of installing third-party applications not usually available on the devices - Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet wasn't far behind.

The two companies originally competed with a range of greyscale eReaders - Barnes & Noble offering the Nook and Amazon offering the Kindle - but have recently taken their battle to the land of cut-price Android-powered tablets.

Both companies are able to undercut their direct competitors thanks to a restriction which forces users to procure apps from their respective app stores, and use their respective eBook and film repositories to get entertainment.

By rooting the tablets, buyers are able to take advantage of the semi-subsidised pricing - which hinges on future content sales - while installing any applications they choose. It's a neat trick, and one which can turn a cut-price tablet into a must-have purchase.

It's not always easy, but users on the XDA Developers forum have provided instructions for Nook Tablet users wanting to make their devices a lot more useful. As with the Kindle Fire root, users can install the official Android Market and even Amazon's own app store and Kindle app to further expand the eBook options on offer.

While a successful root can make a device more tempting in the minority modding community, it is unlikely to impact sales - and Barnes & Noble has a major fight on its hands, with Amazon expected to ship around four million Kindle Fires by the end of the year despite not yet having launched internationally.