Sony Reader Wifi Hacked – Now Runs Kindle, ezPDF, and more (video)

It looks like I jumped the gun yesterday when I announced a new hack for the Sony Reader. Last night the developer released a new version of the hack which added a bunch of new functionality. Most importantly, the update finally let me install new apps.

It’s been just over a week since the first proof of concept video,  and I’d say that we now have a hack that’s finally ready for the end user. I’ve installed various versions of the hack 3 or 4 times this weekend and all the installs went off without a hitch.

The hack doesn’t come with much (but now that I can install apps that ‘s no longer a problem). All it has at the moment is ADW Launcher, CoolReader, Dropbox, as well as a few things that we can’t use (phone, camera, etc).

If there’s an app you’d like me to try, please ask.

I now have the Kindle Android app running on my PRS-T1, and I got it from the Amazon Appstore. The app turns the page a little slower than my K4, but it does run. I’ve sent several ebooks to the T1 and I even downloaded a library book. The T1’s page turn buttons don’t work with the Kindle app, but the rest of the app works just like it should (bookmarks, highlights, etc).

I also tried Angry Birds (just because it’s there). I could download it from Amazon but I couldn’t install it. This might be due to the space  limitations; I’m told there’s a limit on how much space the T1 will provide for apps.

The install process is pretty simple. I feel comfortable in suggesting that you try it and it looks relatively foolproof.

  1. Download and unzip the hack from here. Look for one that says “package installer”; that’s what you’ll need in order to install apps.
  2. Plug your T1 into your PC and put it in USB mode.
  3. Find the folder for the hack and double click on flash_reader.bat. Read the prompts on the screen and respond.
  4. Let the T1 sit until the software finishes installing. If successful, your T1 will reboot.

If it doesn’t work, you can ask for help here. BTW, if you have already hacked the T1 then you might need to install the restore firmware first. That will remove any remaining parts of the hack.  If you don’t install the restore then the broken parts might hang around.

Okay, now that the initial joy of hacking the T1 has worn off, I’m beginning to see it in a different light. Yes, this is a $150 Android tablet with a funky screen, but so is the Nook Touch. And the Nook Touch is actually a better option because you can get it for $80 – or just over half the price of the Sony Reader PRS-T1. True, that’s the refurb price, but it comes with the same warranty and it’s only $80.

On the other hand, I am liking the buttons on the T1 as well as the general appearance. It’s a sleek looking tablet.


For more ebook news, subscribe to the RSS feed or the daily email newsletter. You can also follow me on Twitter: @thDigitalReader or find me on FaceBook.

96 thoughts on “Sony Reader Wifi Hacked – Now Runs Kindle, ezPDF, and more (video)

      1. Well, since the Sony and Kindle readers do library books, too, it’s no biggie.
        But audible is something no epub reader can do but Kindles can so it’s a win.
        Now to wait for the T1 to start getting discounted. ;)
        (Or Sony to wise up and do an android 950.)

          1. Ah. I’ve found the appstore app search to be…unreliable. Which is odd for Amazon. The web-based store will show everything, regardless of compatibility, though.

      1. How can you say it runs if you can’t get it to pop up?

        As for useful, just as a bloody test, create a note in a book and write with G instead of the KB. Can that be done?

  1. We are readers people. I would only be interested if it ran Instafectch, Google Reader, Gmail, Read it later, Aldiko, USA Today, Opera Mobile

    1. The apps don’t work (I’m told), but Gmail and Google reader are surprisingly useful in the browser. No, really, it’s better on the Sony Reader Wifi than on most Android tablets. That’s weird, I know, but it’s true.

      Instafetch installed and opened just fine. I got the app from freeware lovers.

      Aldiko 2.0 did not install, but Aldiko v1.2 did. I don’t think it’s usable; it wants to scroll the page turn and I find the extra flashing to be annoying.

      I cannot see an app for read it later.

      USA Today installed and launched just fine.

          1. Really? I’m running 1.2.13 which goes all the way to zero.
            Let me see if I can figure out which apk I used.

          2. Good to know, really.
            At the discounted price the hacked T1 is an interesting option for a webpad/reader.

    1. Sony did something funky with their screen redraw that’s unlike what other eInk devices do. It looks like they’re controlling refresh by smaller regions, which accounts for all the damn flashing. That needs to be redone.

      1. thank u Juan..I checked your video..yeah it should’ve been painful..I hope the flickering issues get corrected it future hacks..

        by the way does the hardware keys work in the app vudroid??
        if yes then the use of them might have lesser flickering…

  2. Hi can you try “Ebookdroid” for the djvu file. Vudroid has been discontinued and the author started a new project called “Ebookdroid” and it renders pages much faster.

  3. Sorry, Ebookdroid failed during the instalation. I’ll report the logcat

    Vudroid scrolls half page with the hardware button. Works fine

      1. I tried one andorid market app but it did not install. Amazon Store installed but is no use, as I am in Germany and the store says not available in your country.
        Weird thing this morning, Reader was off, battery empty. WLAN was turned off, I read a book in bed, am reasonably sure that I send it to sleep (which it would have gone after 10min. anyway). Battery display not checked, but showed full sometime in the evening. My guess is, that it was some android app running in the background (?).

  4. I want to get my mother-in-law the Kindle Fire this Xmas. All she will do is read books. I have thousands of books in epub format and I want to load some of them on the KiFire for her use. It seems very hazy about Amazon allowing you to install Aldiko on the Fire. I know it is in the Amazon App Store but I don’t think that means it will work on the Fire. If I can’t load my epubs on the Fire for MIL I don’t think I want the Fire. Does anyone know the answer to this question. Please, if you don’t know don’t post a reply just to see your name in print. Accurate answers, please, it is getting close to Xmas and I got to buy something.

  5. I wold like to know if you can install a program that can be used as a writing tool like taking notes with the stylus?

    By the way does the sony reeader come witha app to take notes with the sylus or it just to take notes on books and pdf’s?

      1. Thanks!

        Does the android kindel app/the sony ereader with hack support all the formats the kindle does? like HTML, DOC, DOCX, TXT and so on?

        thanks again. your blog is really helpful!

      1. Just checking; I’ve heard conflicting reports about the earlier models.

        It’s mostly a matter of taste but at small font sizes (the kind I grew used to on my Dell PDA) 6in screens can do dual column landscape nicely and the Sony paging buttons are (to me) awkwardly placed for portrait but perfect for landscape. (Which is something cooreader 3 does well.)
        I’m still debating which reader to get for hacking: Sony or Nook STR. Nook is cheaper but lacks audio and B&N seems determined to block hacking.
        I thought the native app might tip the balance.
        Oh, well; it’s not as if I really need either. :)
        (I do wish somebody would sell a decently priced eink android tablet.)

  6. I wold like to know if you can install a program that can be used as a writing tool like taking notes with the stylus?

    By the way does the sony reeader come witha app to take notes with the sylus or it just to take notes on books and pdf’s?

  7. I am not very used to these things. I have installed the ADWLauncher EX and Zeam Launcher. But how exactly do I get the Kindle App? I do not see any instruction for that anywhere.

  8. I installed and tested the hack and it works; then I anhacked the Prs to restore the original firmware.Now I find only 207 MB free space on the internal memory of the device to store books.I have now charged 10 ebooks and one audiobook .Any idea to empty the disk?

  9. Hi, Nate,

    Did you by any chance try the app “Moon+ Reader” on your Sony PRS-T1? Does it work, and would there be sufficient space to add a dictionary? Many thanks!

    1. The one I tried did not want to install. Then again I’ve added and removed so many apps that I probably caused the difficulty. And I’m not sure if there is room for a dictionary. There’s not much space for apps. If you’re talking about a stand alone app, then no. But if he dictionary is an ebook, then there’s probably room.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>