Barnes & Noble has announced a big update for the Nook Color e-reader coming in April which will include a number of new functions such as applications and email, essentially bringing the LCD e-reader closer to being a full-fledged Android tablet.

It has been understood for a while that the Nook Color can be jailbroken and rooted to give it full tablet functionality, and the rooted tablet compares favorably to the Galaxy Tab—a bit slower, but a lot cheaper. But it’s been attracting a lot more attention lately: NPR’s All Things Considered did a story on the practice over the weekend. (Found via Slashdot.)

"It’s a little slower [than the Galaxy Tab]," [David] Cogen [of] says. "There are occasional glitches. Sometimes things don’t appear correctly on the screen in certain applications. If you’re just using it to surf the Internet, use some apps, play Angry Birds, etc., it works very well — and the thing I like about it is it’s very lightweight and thin, even more so than, say, the Galaxy Tab."

Still no comment from Barnes & Noble on the practice. Still, it will certainly add a lot of appeal for ordinary users who don’t want to bother with even a simple unlocking process. Under the auspices of an e-book reader, Barnes & Noble is sneaking a full-fledged Android tablet into the hands of consumers. (Or at least fuller-fledged than before the update.)


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