For many people the best Android tablet on the market today does not come from an obvious tablet maker such as Motorola or Asus, it comes from Barnes and Noble and is the Nook Color. Android is the underlying operating system of the Nook Color, but it is pretty much hidden away by the eBook software. It didn’t take long for developers to root the Nook Color, enabling it to run a full version of Android. Selling at $249, a rooted Nook Color is one of the cheapest Android tablets on the market.
Recently Barnes and Noble released an update for the Nook Color that installed Android 2.2 (code named Froyo) and added an app store and an email app. After my wife upgraded her Nook Color I checked it out by opening the Nook Apps store. When I checked the store it had 138 apps. Unfortunately, it is not organized very well, so there is no quick way for me to look for social media apps. Worse, when you run a search in the Nook Apps store it searches across Barnes and Nobel’s entire store, and returns all items containing the search term, including books.
After sorting the apps by title name I browsed through the F’s and did not find a Facebook app, nor a Foursquare app, and I did not find a Twitter app. I did find my6Sense, which has the ability to post to Twitter and Facebook, though it is mostly intended for sharing news articles. This is not to mean there aren’t any useful apps in the Nook App store, but I think it’s curious that Barnes and Noble included apps like Touchdown, which is an Exchange client for Android, over Facebook.
What you can do on the Nook Color is access Twitter and Facebook using the web browser. In both cases you default to the mobile web versions of the app. You can browse web pages in both landscape and portrait. You will find the web browser on the Nook Color to be as functional as the browser on Android phones.
As it currently exists, the Nook Color is not a very functional social media tablet. However, if you are adventurous, you could root the tablet and install a full version, which would allow you to run the Facebook and Twitter apps. I expect that over time Barnes and Noble will make these apps available in the Nook App store, so I think the Nook Color is still a great device for those interested in an eReader with the flexiblity to do more.