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Honeycomb on the Nook Color PSA

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By poofyhairguy, Senior Member on 6th June 2011, 08:02 PM
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This is a public service announcement for those who want to use Honeycomb on the Nook Color:

Honeycomb on the Nook Color is basically a tech demo!!!

Yes, it is cool that the Nook Color runs Honeycomb, and the fact that it does is due to the great work of many developers who have stretched the limits of our ereader. With that said, Honeycomb on the Nook Color is not- and will not be- equivalent to the other ROM options. If you are trying to do something on Nook Honeycomb and it doesn't work, there are probably very good reasons for that.

Development on Honeycomb has run into many problems:

1. (by far biggest problem) Honeycomb's source is not released, unlike other versions of Android. This means developers cannot customize Honeycomb for Nook Color like what has been done with CM7 (which is the Gingerbread version of Android). Our Honeycomb is a binary SDK version hacked to work on our device.

2. Much of Honeycomb and its applications are optimized for the Tegra platform. Even if you don't know what that is, just know its something that all on-the-market Honeycomb tablets have that the Nook Color doesn't have.


Now for the big question:

But isn't Honeycomb Android's tablet version, so doesn't that mean I don't have a real tablet without Honeycomb?


I see many people fall into the trap that Honeycomb=Tablet and everything else Android=Phone. This could not be more untrue. Samsung released its Galaxy Tab without Honeycomb last year to high reviews, and HTC has just released a brand new tablet without Honeycomb.

The great developers in this community have modified the phone version of Android so significantly that it gives a great tablet experience. The CM7 developers (fattire, verygreen, dalingrin, nemith) have taken the Gingerbread source and have made the Nook Color's hardware work perfectly with that version of Android. In fact they have gone above and beyond and made it so hardware that Barnes and Nobles never intended to work (internal bluetooth, USB support, etc.) now works. Finally a developer named Mad-Murdock has modified Gingerbread itself so that it has many of the tablet features that Honeycomb has.

At this point, you may be wondering, what CAN I do without Honeycomb? The answer is quite a few things:

1. Honeycomb lacks Netflix support, our Nook Colors running CM7 can play Netflix.

2. Honeycomb games (aka Tegra games) can be run after installing the Chainfire 3D program from the market.

3. A CM7 Nook Color can be hacked to view Hulu, Honeycomb devices lack this ability currently.

4. A CM7 Nook Color has bluetooth and USB support that the Honeycomb ROM probably will never get.

5. A CM7 Nook Color has full support of its video playback capabilities which means programs like Slingplayer work, as do certain videos you encode for the Nook Color using Handbrake.


But poofyhairguy, I have convinced myself despite the above list that a tablet without Honeycomb isn't a tablet so I don't even want a Nook Color without Honeycomb!!!


If that is the case for you, then I suggest you sell your Nook Color and purchase a real Honeycomb device such as a Transformer or Xoom. Google has made it clear that it won't release the Honeycomb source before its next big version which is due this winter. That basically means that the Nook Color won't run a "real" tablet OS with full capabilities till the end of this year or the beginning of the next.

If that is unacceptable to you, time to move on. If getting all those non-Honeycomb benefits sounds great to you, then welcome to the party. In many ways the Nook Color is the best tablet on the market, you just have to think outside the box a little to get full enjoyment out of the device.

Have a nice day!
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9th June 2011, 04:28 PM |#2  
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Just have to +1 on this post.

I'm one of those guys that went for the hype, Honeycomb on the Nook, WOW!

In reality if ALL you do is check your email, view non flash websites, and play Angry Birds, sure its fine. But the nook can really do SO much more and after a while you want it to do more. You're just not going to get that with Honeycomb on the nook.

The ONLY advantage you get is that the UI is very much more "tablet" but theres many fixes out there for that if you decide to run something like CM7.

Anyway though I made the switch and am not looking back, fully functional Youtube (in HQ!), Netflix, Bluetooth, USB, etc, for 200 bucks, you can't beat it.
10th June 2011, 09:37 AM |#3  
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Thanks for the input. My number one goal for this thread was to game the new thread engine a little- anyone that posts a Nook Honeycomb problem thread should see my PSA.
10th June 2011, 07:07 PM |#4  
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I am waiting for my nook color to arrive and have been doing some searching around to learn more...this post was very helpful. Thx!
10th June 2011, 08:00 PM |#5  
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I think saying that CM7 runs perfectly on a Nook Color is a little bold. I have run both and have remained on Honeycomb due to the fact that the battery issues with CM7 were too unacceptable to deal with. I'd end up with an unusable tablet for several hours all the time when the Battery would reach ultra low levels.

There were also many other feature in Honeycomb that just made it more enjoyable (tablet apps section in Market, keyboard just seems to work better, space on homescreens, etc) I also am a fan of the XboxExperts builds which include all the key elements you need in a ROM. That's the way these should be released IMO, just like they would from the store, with everything included. Having to search around for the latest GApps version is just a waste of time.

I realize the battery issue is close, but I don't feel like messing around with nightlies and OCing until it is stable. And it's taking forever and a day it seems to get it there.

Just my 2c.
12th June 2011, 01:54 AM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WWWestonC

I think saying that CM7 runs perfectly on a Nook Color is a little bold. I have run both and have remained on Honeycomb due to the fact that the battery issues with CM7 were too unacceptable to deal with. I'd end up with an unusable tablet for several hours all the time when the Battery would reach ultra low levels.

Um, I don't really know what you are talking about. Early versions of CM7 would eat down a battery, but any recent version will give you MUCH better battery life than Honeycomb thanks to the fact that CM7 has working sleep, and the Honeycomb ROM doesn't (and won't).

Quote:

tablet apps section in Market

Yes, but many are made for Tegra which means they won't work on the Nook's Honeycomb ROM. In fact CM7 is better for these tablet programs because you can use Chainfire3D to make the Tegra programs work.

Also we can't run the newest version of Honeycomb (3.1) as easily, which means eventually the app support will dry up as all REAL Honeycomb tablets have had that update available to them for a while or they ship with the 3.1 version.

Quote:

keyboard just seems to work better

Both Gingerbread and Honeycomb's keyboards are bested by the free Swiftkey Tablet Beta. I use it on CM7, just like my friend with a Xoom uses it on Honeycomb. Much better styling and function than the defaults.

Quote:

space on homescreens

Easily replicated in Launcher Pro.

I will admit that there are some things that are nice about Honeycomb that CM7 doesn't have- an orientation lock that works in landcape, a visual task switcher, a cleaner notification system, and a two-pane settings window. No one is saying that Honeycomb overall is inferior. Just our out of date HC ROMs are inferier to real Honeycomb tablets, despite the hard work of those who make them.

CM7 is much more usable overall.

Quote:

I also am a fan of the XboxExperts builds which include all the key elements you need in a ROM. That's the way these should be released IMO, just like they would from the store, with everything included. Having to search around for the latest GApps version is just a waste of time.

The nightly and stable CM7 builds lack GAPPS because Google made a deal with the community to not package those binaries into official CM ROMs. Some individuals (like XboxExpert, or phiredrop) ignore this and put out complete ROMs that are separated from official CM7 to avoid getting CM7 into more trouble. If you don't want to hunt GAPPS but you want CM7 use the phiremod ROM.

Quote:

I realize the battery issue is close but I don't feel like messing around with nightlies and OCing until it is stable. And it's taking forever and a day it seems to get it there.

It is not up to the Nook Color CM7 developers when new stable releases are put out- that is something that is done all at the same time for all CM roms across supported devices.

Plus the work on CM7 is still happening at a breakneck pace. Recently USB host support was added, as well as superior headphone and speaker controls.

We will get our stable version eventually, but until then the newest CM7 nightlies plus the overclock kernel plus GAPPS is more stable and usable than any Honeycomb ROM we have. And that is a fact...
14th June 2011, 11:39 PM |#7  
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I use the Divine Honeycomb off the SD card and like it.
Except for battery life.
I have it overclocked to 1.1ghz using setcpu
when screen is off, I have it clocked down to 300mhz.
Battery life is about 2-3hours of normal use and 1-2 days if it's off.
Pretty sad.
Is CM7 much better?
15th June 2011, 01:08 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poofyhairguy

Thanks for the input. My number one goal for this thread was to game the new thread engine a little- anyone that posts a Nook Honeycomb problem thread should see my PSA.

I did the same thing over on YouTube:


I just added a link to this thread in the description.
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15th June 2011, 01:21 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadiankorean

Is CM7 much better?

Much much better.
15th June 2011, 06:37 AM |#10  
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Gotta agree with the others on this one. Even with some of the niggles that annoyed me with CM7, I simply wasn't patient enough to deal with Honeycomb on my NC for more than about two hours. Back to CM7 I went.

Hopefully Ice Cream Sandwich will rectify this; knowing Google, they'll probably release that source code first.
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