Kindle for Touchpad doesn’t like outside ebooks

If you’ve been looking at getting a Touchpad, then you might want to know that the Kindle isn’t quite as useful as you might think. One frustrated hacker has been having a fair amount of trouble loading his own ebooks. Mike Cane pointed me at a blog written by Joe Sacher, a TouchPad owner. Joe has written a couple times now on his attempts to load his own kindle ebooks, and he’s had more than his share of problems.

Update: This problem has been solved. You can sideload Kindle ebooks but you will first need to hack your TouchPad and install Preware. Once you’ve done that you can find more details here.


The app won’t let you actually load an ebook directly; apparently you have to trick the app. Joe eventually figured out that he had to rename the ebook he was trying to use so it matched the same file name as one already in the app. He also had to fiddle with the cover images and replace the ones from the replaced ebook.

He did get the ebook to load, yes, but that sounds like far more work than I would want to bother with.

And then there’s the other problem he found:

If you feel like following my hacking example to load .mobi format books onto the Touchpad’s Kindle App, be ready to have to reload it. If the app has a problem parsing the book for any reason, you are done. With no back gesture on the Touchpad, there is no way to back out of the crashed book load. Each time you start the app, it will load the file into a crash situation. (This doesn’t crash the Touchpad, just the app.)

Um, yeah. If the Kindle app is this much of  PITA just to load an ebook, perhaps it might be better to get something not running webOS.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Joe Sacher10 August, 2011

    We are hacking on the Kindle App right now, to see what it is capable of and what it “may” support in the future. There is a perfectly capable eBook reader on the Touchpad right now, pReader. It is free and will work at the Tablet resolution.

    No reason to subject yourself to the worse UI of iOS, when there are WebOS option out there. : )

    1. Nate Hoffelder10 August, 2011

      I didn’t know there was another reading app (nor did any of my contacts). Thanks!

      1. Joe Sacher10 August, 2011

        pReader supports palmin text, HTML, PalmDoc, MobiPocket, eReader, ePub, and Amazon AZW.

        It supports DRM on MobiPocket and eReader, but not ePub or Amazon.

        1. Mike Cane11 August, 2011

          I hadn’t heard of pReader before now, either!

        2. sunita_d11 August, 2011

          I have pReader but when I load my calibre-formatted epubs & mobis it messes up the punctuation marks and is very hard to read.

          1. sunita_d11 August, 2011

            Duh, never mind. I just had to change the encoding. pReader works well on non- or de-DRM’d mobi and ePub books.

      2. daffy4u11 August, 2011

        I posted about pReader when it was in beta a couple of years ago on MobileRead (where I know you hang out). 🙂

        pReader only handles DRM-free ebooks so it would be nice for other apps like nook, kobo etc to make TouchPad apps as well.

        For me, I still don’t like reading books on an LCD screen so I’m sticking with my Kindle.

  2. Mike Cane11 August, 2011

    And credit for that post lead should really go to that fiend Jonathan Ezor 00 — aka @webOSquire — who made me aware the post existed.

  3. How to Read eBooks on the HP TouchPad - eBookNewser22 August, 2011

    […] You can also download and install the Kindle app. You’ll find it in the App Catalog on the TouchPad. But be careful with it; the hacking community is still trying to get it to open non-Amazon Kindle eBooks and the app doesn’t want to cooperate. […]

  4. […] most important detail about this app is that you cannot load your own ebooks. I just checked with the guy who was trying to hack this ability and he has given up.  The […]

  5. BLR21 November, 2011

    probably a dumb question, but I’m having trouble getting my .mobi books (from Calibre) onto my TP. I think I’m copying them, but they are never recognized by pReader.

    1. Nate Hoffelder21 November, 2011

      If calibre is moving the files then it is probably putting them in the folder that the Kindle app uses. Look there. If you cannot find them I’ll go dig up the proper folder for pReader so you can copy them manually.

      1. BLR21 November, 2011

        Thanks. I was copying manually from the Calibre library, and also tried saving to disk from Calibre and then copying that file.


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