New Update for Pandigital Novel (Black 7″) Adds Android Market

A couple hours ago I posted about a new firmware for the 9″ Novel, and after I posted that article I was inspired to go find an update for my other Pandigital Novel.

This is the cheaper, junky, 7″ tablet that is running Android v1.5. I really don’t think this tablet is worth buying; there isn’t much you can do with it due to the outdated version of Android.

But lots of people keep buying it so I figure that I might as well point you in the right direction.

Before I continue, let me add that I still see some value in this model as an ebook reader.  It does read Epub and you can buy ebooks. It’s just that there aren’t very many apps that you can install, so I don’t think it’s a very good tablet.

But if you already have this tablet then by all means install this update. It adds value.

I went looking over at SlateDroid and found a bunch of firmwares for this tablet.  I picked one which looked to be recently updated and installed it on my tablet. It works fine.

This update comes with:

  • Android Market
  • Youtube
  • SlideMe Appstore
  • and other apps

HowTo

Installing this update is simple. You’ll need a charged tablet and an SD card.

  1. Download this DAT file.
  2. Copy it over to the SD card in your Novel, and rename it to polaris_update.dat
  3. Copy it over to your Novel a second time and rename it to S64N_SLST_KOBO_PD_20110602.dat.
  4. Turn off your tablet.
  5. Start the update cycle by pressing the up volume button and the power button at the same time.

I’m having you copy the file twice because some Novels will want one name and some will want the other. That’s weird, I know, but just go with it.

BTW, this tablet also comes with a number of apps that are included but not installed. The hacker wanted to give you an option, I guess.

  • Kobo
  • B&N
  • SpareParts
  • Titanium Backup

You can find these apps using the file manager. Launch it, then click the “/” button. Select the PD_Novel folder, then select the Download folder. Double click on the files to install them.

via SlateDroid

190 thoughts on “New Update for Pandigital Novel (Black 7″) Adds Android Market

  1. I am having a BIG problem flashing my Pandigital Novel 7″ White. When I hold down to power button and volume up keys my device keeps getting stock on the white triangle with the yellow exclamation point in the middle with the android man beneath it. I have searched for a solution to this and have found none. Is there another way to flash my device, like using ADB commands?

    1. when i “updated” my reader, i kept getting the ‘attention droid’ i disconnected the battery and let it start up on its own. it updated the system itself w/ out pressing the power and volume up button. after that i logged onto the browswer to update the “SLIDE ME” app. once that updated there was a lot more apps to connect to than the old slide me app. good luck

    2. Hola buenas noches la solucion es reiniciar la tablen en el oyito que tiene aun lado del boton de encendido y la entrada usb. Saludos

      1. como puedo bajar aplicaciones de juegos no puedo hacer nada todo se me bloquea nesecito ayuda porfabor ..grasias

  2. Happy New Year! I hear what you’re saying about this ‘black box’, but I have to say I’m quite happy being an owner. I purchased it in early summer here in Vancouver for a ridiculously low price, regardless of the fact the salespeople at BestBuy (three of them!) tried talking me out of it. Once I went through hell trying to get it to work properly, I trundled over to an Android user group and found several helpful hints about tweaking it to make it work better. After a day of said tweaking, I’m still happy with the results six months later. No, it isn’t an iPad, a Fire, or anything other than itself – it is what it is. But it’s light, colour, and carries dozens of books and magazines. ‘Nuff said. Cheers!

  3. thank you so so so so much i tried everything to get this thing updated to something (mainly just youtube) useful. i have a bpdn us software. the market works but it wont show any apps. is there a fix for this? and thanks again

  4. When you say copy over to your SD card in your novel….are you speaking of copying it to a SD card and mounting in the novel> I have read where some say remove the back of the novel and there is a mini SD card inside. Can the file not be copied to the internal card. How do I do that if so?

    You also mention copying and renaming the file on the novel. Where do I place that file?

  5. Help! I downloaded the new firmware, I have the Android Market app, but there is nothing on it. I keep getting “No matching content in Android Market” for everything. I also lost my B&N app which was the only good thing about this piece of junk. Any suggestions?

    1. The B&N app is still there. It just needs to be installed again. Scroll up for the instructions.

      And the reason there are so few apps in the marketplace is that this tablet runs an old version of Android. hardly anything supports it.

      1. I tried searching for it using the instructions above with no luck finding it or anything else of use in it. I think I’ll just put it back to the way I had it before. At least its a good reader…even though everything else sucks on it.

        1. Thanks for trying to help me. I put back on the factory firmware upgrade from the Pandigital wedsite. Keep me updated if you figure out if this thing will ever be able to have a full (newer) version of the Android Market. I sent Pandigital I nice little nasty message as I am sure most purchased this thing have done. maybe if they hear enough screaming, they will do something.

      1. what about the model PRD7T20WBL1, i downloaded the files renamed them and cant get it to work right. i can build a computer but these tablets are new to me. i got this used for 25 bucks and want to convert to a tablet so i can put some games on it for my daughter

  6. Hi again, I followed yous instructions but I have no results.

    I copied twice the fie to the SD card, as I figure you wrote. I turn it on with the volume + key and power. Say as it will works but enter finally to the original firmware. Mine comes with the updated firmware from pandigital. Please help e, I want to use android market and watch youtube videos.

    Thanks again.

  7. Thank you! I have been trying to update my 7″ black novel so I can access recently purchased books from B&N and have been unable to do so until now! Followed your instructions and it worked perfectly!

  8. My husband got this device for Christmas from our girls. I’m sure it was a black Friday special, so I am not sure if it can be returned or exchanged. I’m unsure if this is the right device for him or not, but hey it was free as a gift, so why not go with it and experiment with a tablet right? As I am reading information on this device, and it’s competitors, I’m unsure if this is worth the trouble to download and install these upgrades or not. Here’s the deal. I think it will do most everything he wants if I either download the new firmware or the hacker version so he can get ebooks from multiple sources. He would also like the ability to download ebooks from the local library (much like a kindle). Android apps are not so critical in my opinion to him but he would like to read his email (check), browse the internet (check), perform secure transactions? i.e., pay bills and check his stocks (not sure but possibly if you use a secure internet connection and an SSL session), open documents like word, excel and powerpoint (check, I think, it has a viewer), does any of the firmware allow you to create docs?; but the biggest thing ever – can he watch his dish online? He would like to watch his scheduled recorded programs when he is on travel, like football, or a movie, etc. Currently, this version of the Android OS did not allow Adobe Flash to be installed or run which was required by the dish network in order to allow him to do this. Will the hacker version or even the firmware update from the company allow him to run flash on this version of the tablet? If so, given what I have asked, which version is the best version to upgrade the device with – the pandigital firmware or the hacker version? BTW, has support improved from pandigital if you need technical support and finally is there any option for purchasing an after market warranty beyond the 1 yr mfg warranty? Thanks for your response.

    1. Rosey, I think is a good device for basic purpose. About flash player, I like to use Opera Browser, with it I can watch you tube videos (are in flash version), maybe hi can try to do it, and if it serves just keep it and use.

      About the update, well, I have no success in that, but another users really do it. Just try a couples of time, if you cannot do it, may just leave as you have.

      I am new in this world of tablets, maybe another user can give you better tips.

  9. Followed the instructions but how do I get the new download to work. Do I have to access it somehow from the card? Sorry I just want to get my daughters gift to work! Help me please

  10. Rosey, with all things that are not plug and play right out of the box, the Pandigital takes some patience. For adding books to your Novel, you can download via a torrent online. Then you can use a program that is called “Calibre Ebook Manager” to convert them to ePub if they are not already in that format and then load them via SD. As for “Creating” docs rather than just viewing, you can download the program Picsel Smart Office v1.9.2 Apk. Works great! Also, you can down load the ePrint Apk if you have a HP printer with internet and print to it from anywhere. For video…download the SkyFire 2.1 APK. Not a complete fix, but it helps with many video sites like TV.com and more. If you want to know more about these apps and more, you can read my blog at http://smalltechie.wordpress.com/ Meanwhile, I am here too get an idea about how to flash the firmware. =)

  11. Tracy,

    I just downloaded the update and had the same dilemma. I put in my SD card, and add the renamed .dat file to the root of the SD card.

    I attempted to copy the second renamed .dat to the root folder on the novel, but you don’t have permission to do that, so just add it to the top most level you can on you computer when it’s connected.

    Then press the volume + button and hold it. Press the power buttonfor 3 seconds. Keep holding the volume + button but release the power button.

    The update started for me then.

  12. Excellent! Thanks for this information. The update went perfectly. I signed in to the Market app, and nothing was there, but after adjusting my settings on the device, and finding a version of SkyFire that would work on Android 1.5, when I went back to work on the Market app, I noticed it was loading the app data normally.

    I downloaded several apps, and they all worked (for as much as I messed with them.)

    With the SkyFire browser, Facebook, and the YouTube apps, this thing is now usable. When the kids are hogging the computer, my wife can sit on the couch or lay in bed, and still be social :D

  13. I am having an issue I am doing as said but when I did the volume and power up at same time device went black will not do anything now is this normal I think not help

  14. Dan, press both the start and volume + buttons, count to three, and while continuing to hold the vol + button release the power button. The update should then start.

  15. what do i do when i get it to work but it stops at the verifying update and turns on and the update isnt there im soooo confused lol

  16. Everything has worked fine until I got to installing the apps. I launch the manager, and go to the PD_Novel file, however there is no “Download” folder. There is absolutely nothing, it says that PD_Novel is an empty folder.

    I don’t consider myself to be computer illiterate however I am obviously missing something here, maybe I am tablet illiterate………….Do I just have to find the Kobo reader in the app store or something since this isn’t working?

  17. Hey, every time I try to update, i get a half-second boot screen pop up, then disappear. this leads to a normal boot. Any idea what i could to to force the update?

  18. Hey, i downloaded the file, and its stuck in my downloading file. I dont know how to copy it. The only thing it will let me do is cancel the download. Can you help me out please?

    1. Kristie, if you have Windows Vista like me. I just down loaded the file to my downloads, dragged it once to the desktop holding down the right mouse button, chose to copy here, and then another right click and chose rename and gave it the first name. I did this a second time and then renamed the second name. I turned off my novel, took out the sd card, put it in the slot on my pc, opened it and dragged the two files to the card, not in any directory, reinserted the sd card to my novel and followed the rest of Nate’s instructions. Worked like a charm. I would think that all the copy and rename operations would be the same in other versions of Windows, but you can never be sure, especially with Vista. I used ES File explorer, went to the “/” option in the upper right, then to PC_Novel, then download and was able to reinstall B&N. Hope this helps…..

  19. Nate, this worked like a charm. I was able to reinstall B&N, so I can use it like the ereader I bought. I was able to reinstall OfficeSuitePro, which I use for work. I now have access to Android Market and YouTube ! I paid $49.00 for it at my local Big Lots and you just increased it’s productivity, for me, by at least 50% ! Any more tips would be great, thanks man !!!

  20. I downloaded the files and then transferred them to my pandigital. However, I can’t get it to update. I have shut it off and pressed the power and volume up button for three seconds and then continued to hold the volume up button but it won’t update! Please help me…I just want to be able to read books on it is all!

  21. also…I plugged my pandigital up to the computer using the usb cord…I didn’t know how else to trasfer the file. Is this right? Why can’t I just download it directly to the pandigital? I have wireless internet and it works on the pandigital. Please please please help me!

  22. Note: I found an upgrade file that gave me Eclair on my 7″ Novel Black. It’s over on SlateDroid.

    http://www.slatedroid.com/topic/26991-android-21-on-the-orginal-bpdn-coming-to-a-channel-near-you/

    Mind. Blown.

    It did take some time, I had to copy the files using a USB cable to the native memory (SD card DID NOT WORK), and I had to make about 8 copies until I found a filename that worked.

    But… Eclair… on a Novel Black (I have a RR7T20WBL1). It’s actually a full-fledged, if a little dated and slow, Android tablet.

    1. Damn. Right after I tell everyone that it’s not possible, someone proves me wrong.

      Thanks!

      Update: I’ve tried it. I would not recommend installing this update. It’s not ready for the end user. It is slow, unstable, and broken.

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