Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet Update Removes Root, Disables Sideloading

Following in Amazon's footsteps, US bookseller Barnes & Noble has released a software update for its Android-powered tablet, the Nook Tablet, which removes the ability to install third-party software.

As with Amazon's Kindle Fire, which recently saw an update that removed root access from devices that had been so treated - a process analogous to 'jailbreaking' in the iOS world, the latest Nook Tablet 1.4.1 update removes root access as well as the ability to install third-party apps.

Known as 'sideloading,' installation of applications from non-approved sources is available by default in Android but often gets disabled by device manufacturers who rely on a locked-down Apple-style platform where users are forced to purchase apps, films, books and other content from a single source.

To increase the versatility of the devices, users often 'root' the locked-down tablets and re-enable sideloading - but in order to retain control of the ecosystem, updates close holes and make the process increasingly difficult.

According to Ubergizmo, the update is installed automatically when the Nook Tablet is connected to the internet, and while existing side-loaded apps will continue to work they will no longer be able to receive updates.