So you want to hack your Novel. Greetings.
Update: (18 January) A lot has changed in the past couple months. At this point I don’t think you should hack your white Novel. The current firmware for the white Novel is for a standard Android tablet.
Basically if your Novel has a menu that looks kinda like the lead picture then you don’t need to hack it. I wouldn’t bother because I don’t think it’s worth the effort. You might want to read this instead.
Sidenote: If you’re wondering why I’m bothering with the new post, it’s because I’m still getting hits on the old one. I really didn’t expect it to still be getting attention at this late date, and honestly, I thought it would disappear in about a month. I don’t like giving out old instructions, and this has been bugging me since September.
How to Hack your Novel
Update: I’ve just found another option for hacking your Novel. If you have one of the newer models, you might be able to install the Cruz Reader firmware. You’ll have a much better tablet when you’re done.
You now have a number of options for hacking your Novel. First, Pandigital have released a bare Android install. I haven’t tried it myself yet, so I can’t comment on how it works. Second, you could follow my original instructions. There’s a fair amount of work involved, but it is an option.
The third option is actually very easy. All you have to do is download a hacked firmware and run through the update process. If you use this option, you will be able to install the necessary button hacks, Home screen, as well as several vital apps like Spare Parts and the Android Market.
Yes, you do get access to the Android Market and yes, it is unauthorized. It also voids your warranty. Use at your own risk.
Since this post is intended for a beginner, I’m going to provide as much detail as I can.
- Go to this page on SlateDroid, and download one of the firmware options. I would recommend that you get the one dated 9/24 (ver4). I have ver4, and aside from a few quirks it works okay.
- Download the ZIP file, copy it to a SD card, and insert the SD card into your white Novel.
- Press and hold the power switch until you have the option to turn off the Novel. Do so.
- When you reboot, press and hold the up volume button and the power switch (at the same time) for 5 seconds. This should trigger the firmware update process.
At this point you should be in the middle of an update. Let it do its job while I point out a couple new features.
- One of the changes to the Novel is a new taskbar at the top of the screen. On of the new buttons looks like a house. Click on it when you want to switch between the new and original home screens.
- You have other new icons on the taskbar including volume, back, menu. Also, the taskbar is now persistent; it won’t be covered up by apps and menus.
- You might have trouble when waking the Novel from sleep mode. It will look like it’s frozen, but you actually are in the screen lock mode. Press the up volume button to unlock the screen.
- Be sure to recalibrate the screen and add your Wifi networks again. They were lost in the firmware update process.
At this point you should have an Android tablet. Enjoy.