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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.

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

  1. Any luck with Audible and Overdrive?

    This hack will come in handy when the T1 starts getting discounted in january.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Audible installed and ran just fine, but with Overdrive I had a little trouble with their website.

  3. How about the Kobo app?

  4. 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.)

  5. I cannot see it in the Amazon Appstore and the copy on Freeware Lovers will not install.

  6. Graffiti for Android. GO!

    And you just HAD to put Dragon Tattoo on it, didn’t you? To twist the knife!

  7. It installed and it runs. But I’m not sure how to get it to pop up somewhere useful.

  8. Try a search for, ahem, Nook.
    It should offer up Kobo and Aldiko. 😀

  9. No. The Amazon Appstore won’t show apps if they’re not compatible. That’s why I didn’t find them. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

  10. 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.

  11. I’ve noticed that when I visit via the Amazon appstore client I am not shown apps that aren’t compatible with the device I’m holding at the moment.

  12. 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?

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

  14. please try out Vudroid ….the .djvu reader!…want to see how it works on prs t1..

  15. It loads, but I don’t have any books to try.

  16. I just tried one .djvu on my T1 and it works fine, but you should notice that the e-ink display flicks a lot when scrolling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BDeGXiTvGg

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  21. Can you please try ebookdroid with the djvu document. You can download it here: http://code.google.com/p/ebookdroid/ its free.

    Vudroid has been discontinued

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

    Vudroid scrolls half page with the hardware button. Works fine

  23. Hi, could you please try the Scholarley app (Mendeley app for academic pdf reading)?
    https://market.android.com/details?id=info.matthewwardrop.scholarley
    Thanks a lot.

  24. My hacked Sony Reader Wifi doesn’t have access to the Android Market, and I cannot find the app on a site that looks trustworthy.

  25. 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 (?).

  26. Just noticed this.
    Did you try to set the Aldiko page turn to zero seconds?

  27. The lowest I can set it to is 0.2 second.

  28. 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.

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  3. Sony Reader Hacked To Run The Kindle Android App And More | TechCrunch
  4. Hack turns Sony Reader into an E Ink Android tablet - Liliputing
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  6. A little hacking reveals Android on Sony e-Reader | HiTech Daily
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  10. How to Unhack The Sony Reader Wifi - The Digital Reader
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  12. New Trick: Sony Reader Wifi has a Hidden Partial Refresh Mode - The Digital Reader
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  15. The Morning Lowdown 10-25-11 — paidContent

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