How to install Android apps on Nook Glowlight 4

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The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 4 has the ability to install Android apps on it, but it requires a little bit of work. This new system works on both MAC and PC.

What You Need

A Windows or macOS laptop or desktop, a Nook Glowlight 4, and a USB cable to connect the two.

Step One: Installing ADB On Your Computer

If you don’t know what ADB is, or if it is on your computer, it probably isn’t! If you have ADB on your computer, you can skip this step.

1) Windows: Download Minimal ADB and Fastboot, which you can find here. Install it to your desktop as that will make it easier to find and use. Your Windows PC should be ready.

2) Mac: Open the Terminal app, which is in the Other app group in Launchpad. We will install the homebrew package manager first. Copy the following and paste it at the Terminal prompt:

/bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)”

Hit enter. You may be prompted to enter your computer’s password here. Do so. Once the
homebrew installation is complete and you are back at the prompt, type or paste
the following: brew install android-platform-tools
Hit enter.
Once this is complete, your Mac should be ready.

Step Two: Preparing Your Nook

Turn on your Nook. Tap the upper right hand corner. You should see the Quick Settings dropdown window. Tap “See All Settings”. Tap the lower right arrow to go to page 2. Tap “About”. Tap the Nook icon at least five times in rapid succession. You should see a new window appear with a number of options in rectangles. Tap “Android Development Settings”. Scroll down to USB Debugging and turn it on. Your Nook should be ready.

Step Three: Test The ADB Connection

For Windows, start up Minimal ADB And Fastboot. It should take you to a command prompt. For Mac, open Terminal. Connect your Nook with your computer using your USB cable. Ignore the window that pops up on your Nook asking you to turn on USB Mode. At the prompt (Windows and Mac), type adb devices

Hit enter.

You should see a line that says “List of devices attached” and, under this line, a long sequence of numbers on the left and the word “device” on the right. If you see this, then ADB is correctly set up on your computer and your Nook.

Step Four: Install an Android launcher

You can now install apps over ADB. The first thing you need to do is install an Android launcher app. Why? The stock Nook launcher has no app drawer, so it will not show any apps you install. Any launcher that runs on Android 8.1 will work. I use Nova Launcher. You can obtain the apk from a number of places. I use apkpure.com. Get the launcher apk and save it to your desktop. Follow Step Three above to connect your Nook to your computer and test the connection with adb devices. If your connection is good, then, at the prompt, type adb install, hit the spacebar once, copy your launcher apk and paste it at the prompt, and hit enter. You should get a message that the apk is being installed.

Step Five: Test the New Launcher

Reboot your Nook. It will not boot automatically into the Nook stock launcher, but will ask you which launcher you want to use. Select the one you have just installed, and select “just once” (for now). You will now be in your new launcher. Scroll up or find the icon that takes you to the app drawer. You’ll find several app icons already there. Note the Nook icon. This is for the stock launcher. This means that if you select your new launcher as default, you can still access the stock Nook launcher. You will also see two Settings icons. The first one is the Settings list from the stock Nook launcher. The second is a fuller list of Settings that you can only access through the launcher you’ve installed.

You can choose your new launcher as default by hitting the home button on your Nook, or rebooting. When you are given the choice of launchers, pick your new launcher and choose ‘always’. If you opt for the Nook stock launcher and choose “always” by mistake, don’t panic! Install another launcher as above.

Step Six: Install Other Apps

You are now ready to install other apps. You can download them from a place like apkpure.com and install them in the same way you installed your launcher. You have other options, though. You can install the Amazon Appstore app. This is valuable if you want to install paid apps. You can install the Aurora Store. This gives you access to many free Play Store apps. When installing, opt for an anonymous account. Unless you are more skilled than I am, don’t bother trying to install Play Store. Save yourself the frustration.

For Calibre users, the best way to go – in my experience – is to install Calibre Companion from the Amazon Appstore. This allows you to connect with Calibre wirelessly. You can install third party reading apps to use with your Calibre books. Everyone has their favorites. I recommend Moon Reader Pro, KOReader and Librera.

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