While plenty of people have "rooted" their Nook Colors with custom firmware that allows them to access the Android Market and download applications, most Nook Color buyers have stuck with the official firmware that came with the device. If you're in the latter group, you'll be happy to note that you'll soon have access to Barnes & Noble's version of an app store, which is due to launch in April, according to the HSN Web site, where the Nook is being sold for $299.90.
While the HSN site doesn't offer a specific launch date, it does have some nice nuggets of info:
None of this comes as much of surprise, as Barnes & Noble has been showing journalists apps running on the Nook Color from the day it launched. But it has taken a little longer than we thought for the company to launch an app store for the device.
It's worth noting that Barnes & Noble seems to be shying away from actually calling the Nook app store the Nook App Store, which may be a good idea considering Apple just sued Amazon.com for naming its Android app store the Amazon Appstore for Android. Apple says it has trademarked the term "App Store."
As for HSN selling the Nook Color for $299.90, that's $50 more than you need to spend for the Nook Color (its list price is $249.99). Sure, the HSN Nook Color has some e-books preloaded on it, but they're all public-domain titles you can load up yourself--for free. (HSN will reportedly start its "sneak peeks" of the updates sometime this Saturday.)
We'll have an in-depth look at the Nook Color update once it launches in April. From the looks of it, it will include not only the Nook Store but also a version of Android 2.2 (Froyo), which would bring the Flash support mentioned above. Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch has previously stated that the Nook Color would offer Flash support in 2011, though he never committed to a more specific time frame.