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New firmware update available for the (black) Pandigital Novel

Pandigital recently uploaded a new firmware for the black Novel. It's dated 14 January. I've downloaded and installed it. It's still based on v1.5 and still uses the B&N ebookstore, but on the plus side the new firmware turned the Novel from an ereader into a tablet.With this firmware you can now install apps without having to hack the Novel. (Of course, you could already do that with the CA firmware.) Update: If you're looking for a the latest firmware update for this tablet, read this post. Much of this post is outdated. The update didn't affect any of the apps I already had installed, which is a plus. But it also didn't add much besides the new home screen.

No, I was wrong. It turns out that the update did wipe all the apps I had installed; I didn't notice at first because they got replaced by a set of nearly identical apps! Hehehe They added a file manager, an office suite, and a link to SlideMe. This is actually a very nice start. It's not all the apps you need, but it's an improvement on the CA firmware.

This firmware might not be compatible with your black Novel, so you should first download the update app from Pandigital. I think you should use it to check which firmware is compatible with your particular Novel.

I've heard a few complaints about people having trouble with the update app so I'll give you a direct link to the download section for the updates. Before you visit the link you really should use the update app to find out which firmware is compatible. Don't mess with these files unless you know what you're doing. If you break something it's your own fault.

Curiously enough, I don't see a firmware update for the 9" Novel.

About Nate Hoffelder (11124 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

114 Comments on New firmware update available for the (black) Pandigital Novel

  1. Does it let you access the Android Marketplace or do you have to side load the apps?

  2. You still have to side load the apps.

  3. Well, at least you dont have to go through Kobo website to get to your ebook inventory now(Canadian firmware). Nice. They have a facebook icon on it too.

    The B&N inventory look has changed and there is a Officesuite pro program too. Don’t know what type of program SlideMe is but it’s new.

    The music section actually separates songs by album now. Good.

  4. Is the office suite new? I already had it, actually.

  5. I might be mistaken and it was on my Canadian firmwire, but I don’t remember seeing the icon for it on my tablet.

  6. *wasn’t on my Canadian firmwire

    I mean

  7. I’m a total newbie and unwittingly downloaded the firmware update, based on erroneous info from my library’s ebook info page. I’m wondering if you know whether there are problems with ADE transferring books to the Novel after this update? ADE shows it has loaded onto the Novel, but I get an error message when trying to open from the reader. I can’t for the life of me figure what else could be wrong, but I noticed that I don’t have the Adobe ebooks application icon now, with the update. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

  8. Hi there,
    I was thinking of updating the firmware on myblack canadian pandigital novel because that is what the manufacturer reccomends. However, I have heard bad things about the update. Once you update the firmware pre-installed apps like the bookstore, adobe applicationa dn es explorer had disappeared. Now I am hesitant. What does the firmware update do exactly, and is it needed?

  9. It would basically give you what you already have: an Android tablet. The only difference is that it would then be tied to B&N, not Kobo. Also, it would wipe your apps.

  10. Hi 100% new to figuring out my Pandigital Novel (Canadian version) Should I do the new up date? What will it do to my e-reader? I’ve just kind of figured out how it works. I don’t really want to do something that might ruin it.
    Also does anyone use Overdrive from their public library to borrow books? When I open my borrowed books they do no display properly. The bottoms and right sides of the pages get cut off and I have no way of scrolling to finish the page. I’ve tried changing the font size and it does not make the page fit the screen.
    Help please!

  11. Not sure if you can help me or not but when I keep updating the firmware from the update they provide on the site, I get an error in the second step saying checking firmware. Is there a way to do it through the device without having to go through a PC?

  12. A number of people have had this problem.

    Go through the update process again. Note the update that PD downloads for you, and then go here:

    Find that file and download it yourself. Copy the file t0 your Novel, and turn it off. Hold down the up volume button and the power button for 5 seconds and release. This will start the manual update.

  13. i downloaded to root , not one of the folders.
    when i try to restart to update, i only see a few lines of text for a second before it starts normally.
    in settings, i see my firmaware as ending with 2010-10-28.

  14. The download was corrupted, maybe?

  15. It might also simply not be compatible.

  16. I have the 7 in black pandigital and i have downloaded the update from their webiste several times and nothing has changed. What am i doing wrong?

  17. What did you download, exactly? Was it a DAT file?

    If you copied the DAT file over to your black Novel, tried to run the update process, and it didn’t work, then you might not have quite the right firmware. There a couple different versions that don’t want to work with each other even though they can.

    If you have a file named polaris.dat, try looking for another DAT file on the Pandigital website and rename your file. If your file isn’t polaris.dat, try renaming your file to that name. Then try to update the firmware a second time.

  18. lol i honestly have no idea. when i went to the website i saw the link for the update and clicked it. I did also see the polaris and tried that to and it didnt work.

  19. the name of the one i did was called: pandigital novel. Upgrader.exe

  20. I also downloaded what you did, Amanda. Straight from the website a few times. Everything said it went well, but then when it restarted nothing was changed.

  21. The exact same thing is has happened to me. Anyone have a simple solution?

  22. I also have a US version of the black 7″ Novel and tried to download the android firmware update. But it just downloads the same version of the firmware I have. Polaris_update.dat with a 11-05-2010 date. I looked at the firmware directory you mentioned, but don’t know what is the right firmware for this Novel. Do you know what is the right download for the official Android update for the US version of the black 7″ Novel? Thanks.

  23. tried to download from web site through pc usb today- feb 21 2011. did not work even though it stated successful download. Called pandigital techie and they state that there seem to be problems and when they are fixed I will have to download it again.
    Also after the download I had to reconfigure my router for it to recognize the tablet.
    yikes…they should have taken the download off the website if they knew there were issues!

  24. Also same deal here “used Pandigital’s exe and IT did its job,then i hit the correct buttons and it showed a update bar, went through its thing and rebooted/nothing new except i was able to use a -support- app ONCE that was there,then it disappeared. -it showed system info-“

  25. I downloaded the polaris_update.exe from this link. Copied it to the root of my internal drive on the US black PD novel. Shut down the device. Held the + volume and power button for 5 + seconds and the Novel upgraded to the new version of the Android OS. The reader is contained in the B&N link. Suggest you read the manual that comes included in the upgrade. there are many new features and the reader has been greatly improved. No more swipes for page turns. just tap the screen on the left or right. Problem though…it doesn’t find the previously loaded epub books. so I’ll either need to reload them or figure out what the problem is. Here is the link:

  26. Thanks Mike! Worked like a charm.

  27. My library does not support the black Pandigital Novel. So maybe that is why there are problems downloading from the libraries on the go site. Found that out the hard way.

  28. Mike how did you figure out which file for you black U.S. Pandigital?
    Does it have the apps included that are shown on the pandigital upgrade page?
    Are you able to sideload the u-tube app?
    Sorry for all the questions, but I need to know.
    Your answer would be appreciated.

  29. Hey Mike one more question is yours the QVC 4 gig or the standard 2 gig sold at everyplace else, and is the update you posted the QVC update?
    Thanks again

  30. Ron,
    I have the 2 GB Black novel I bought at Ebay. I determined that link for the polaris_update was the correct one through some google searches and process of elimination of the other links on that site.

    The KOBO one must be for Canada (that comes with the Kobo ereader), and the dates on many others didn’t match up with the recent official Android update from PD. The previous one was called Polaris_update.dat so I figured the one in the link I used must be the correct one. I don’t know if this is different or the same as the QVC one. The only difference I know with the QVC one is that it had a 4GB card instead of 2GB, but there maybe something else. Maybe Pandigital has their update software installer working now, so you can skip this guesswork.

    The update has the apps shown on the pandigital page, plus others on the expanded screen. I was able to download several additional apps from the SLIDE application that took me to a large android marketplace. However some apps wouldn’t install because it saw my PD Novel as a Android 1.5 OS and the app needed 1.6 or 2.1 etc. The adobe flash install would not install and said my OS was not compatible. I believe it needed Android 2.1 or 2.2. Thats the drawback to this PD Novel. The OS is pretty low-end. (I see that K-Mart has a Coby tablet with Android 2.1 on sale Sunday for $149. That might be worth looking at.) But I have to admit the ereader on this upgrade is very nice. The page turning is good, and it recognizes the book metadata so it shows the book cover for all books, including those copied over from the libray through Adobe digital editions or copied over through Calibre.

    If you know how to get flash video to play on this PD novel I would appreciate it.


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