How to Add Google Play to the 9″ Pandigital Novel

  Update: The link to the firmware no longer works, sorry, and I have not found a replacement.

I've just learned of an update for one of the better budget tablets that came out last year.

Pandigital is one of the more successful budget tablet makers, and they've been releasing tablets since July 2010. Late last fall they released the 9" Novel, and at the time it was one of the better  budget Android tablets. It's getting a little long in the tooth now, given that it has a single core CPU, resistive touchscreen, and runs Android v2.0.

But I'm still seeing readers show up and ask questions about this tablet. Given that in the past week someone came looking for a way to update this tablet, I thought it worth a post.

Now, Pandigital never released any firmware updates for this device, but someone else did. It's a hacked update, and it actually came out in March. I only found it today.  I just finished with the update, and I've confirmed that the Android market does work, and so does the Kindle app and the Amazon Appstore. The process went without a hitch, and I think it's safe for the average user.

This firmware is based on the one that originally shipped with the 9" Novel. It was copied off of one and then modified. It comes with a number of apps, including:

  • Android Market
  • Kobo
  • B&N
  • Kindle
  • Android Appstore
  • File Manager
  • Spare Parts
  • Task manager

It's still running an old version of Android, and you can get most of the apps online. But I would still get this update just because it adds the official Marketplace.

How To

The process is pretty simple. You'll need an SD card and you should charge your tablet first.

  1. Download this ZIP file.
  2. Copy the DAT inside that ZIP file to the SD card in your 9" Novel.
  3. Turn off your Novel.
  4. Start the update cycle by pressing the up volume button and the power button at the same time.

I found the update via SlateDroid. The developer had a 9" Novel back in March and April, but he returned. He's not supporting it anymore, but there are a number of tablet owners over at SlateDroid who probably already have this update installed.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. 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.

50 Comments

  1. Ellen Hage30 December, 2011

    I think I’ll dig mine out, blow off the dust and give this a try. Thanks, Nate.

    Reply
  2. Scott Washburn4 January, 2012

    That’s awesome! I tried it too and it works! What a great performer for the money!

    Reply
    1. Celine6 January, 2012

      were you able to get the android market and kobo? .. all i have witht he update is samslide and b&N

      Reply
      1. Scott Washburn31 January, 2012

        Yes, it’s all there.

        Reply
  3. heather5 January, 2012

    I tried doing this and now my tablet wont turn back on….what should I do next?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 January, 2012

      I’d head over to SlateDroid and ask for help there. Sorry, but that’s more tech support than I know how to provide.

      Reply
    2. Tony8 September, 2012

      Hold the power button and the up volume key for several minutes. It should come back on.

      Reply
  4. Celine6 January, 2012

    I have done the update but it looks exactly the same as before .. i still have sam slide, b&N, etc.. but no android market … help??.. please:)

    Reply
  5. Arlis11 January, 2012

    very cool. I just down loaded and it works great. Thank you.

    Reply
  6. john12 January, 2012

    i got it on here ..android market isnt coming up with no results on anything i type in android market anyone know how to get it going?
    ..

    Reply
  7. Jeff17 February, 2012

    Wondered why this works for some and not others. Are they not doing the reset right?
    Mine works and I loaded KOBO from freewarelovers.com maybe I should leave it alone. With this update will it play videos mine will not the way it is. Any help appreciated.
    Also is there a way to download kobo books so they stay there and do not have to refresh through wifi everytime? New at this ereader stuff thanks

    Reply
  8. Dan Eddy21 February, 2012

    I downloaded this file and I see it in ES Explorer. But I dont know how to copy to the SD card. How do I know if is is already copied to the card? I think not cause I booted up with the volumn up and power at the same time but nothing has changed. Thanks if you can help

    Reply
  9. Eric11 March, 2012

    SIMPLY AMAZING HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE THAT DOWNLOAD MADE. ANDROID MARKET AND ALL. DONT KNOW WHO YOU ARE BUT THANKS FOR THE BLESSING. NOW MY WIFE IS HAPPY AGAIN.

    Reply
  10. zach25 March, 2012

    wont turn on 🙁

    Reply
  11. cburna6 April, 2012

    Thanks works great. I’ve been checking Pandigital’s website every week for the last few months for a firmware update with no success. Thankfully we have geniuses out there!

    Reply
  12. James11 April, 2012

    Thanks Nate. It breathed new life in my tablet.

    Reply
  13. jay2 July, 2012

    So I’m new to this and need sum serious help..I have a pandigital novel 9″ black R90L200 I just got yesterday and I wanna know how do I get it to have the Android market and play videos..basically I want it to run like a andriod suppose to run so can somebody please help me..

    Reply
  14. Ibin23 July, 2012

    when i press the Volume & power button and hold it , nothing happens… Any hints or Help me.. lol

    Reply
    1. Chuck28 July, 2012

      I followed instructions and it works great make sure you put the zip file on the card and not in any files on card the press and hold the volume up button the one on the left side and the power on hold both for about five seconds you will see the green light turn on the screen will say some stuff and take a few minutes i hope this helped.

      Also Thanks Nate your the man..

      Reply
  15. kjlintner30 July, 2012

    Copy the .dat file to the root of your SD card, not the zip file. Make sure you are using the correct volume button, (the one pointing at the power button) and it should work, I just flashed mine and it works great. 🙂

    Reply
  16. nninja4 August, 2012

    Thanks the procedure works great. I just updated my PND 9″ Novel with DAT file and now I have all the software. Thanks

    Reply
  17. John Ho24 August, 2012

    The dat file has to be the only file on the SD card.

    Reply
  18. Alysha Potts27 August, 2012

    I want to know if this is the only way that I can download apps to my Pandigital Tablet

    Reply
  19. Joe M.10 September, 2012

    I tried this update and both B&N and the Kobo app are having issues. Kobo gives me troubles with a file called com.android.library and B&N with com.adroid.homeui
    Do not use the above update, it doesn’t work and will only give you headaches and anxieties.
    Leave the unit the way it came!

    Reply
    1. S. Crews15 September, 2012

      Did you try getting any help at http://www.slatedroid.com/topic/15773-alternate-bpdn-9-inch-firmware-opdn9/

      Maybe the people there can help you out like they’ve done for so many others? Good luck!

      Reply
  20. Parker21 September, 2012

    I was just wondering if there was a specific SD card size that should be used?

    Reply
  21. lovuss20 November, 2012

    e y si sirve todo me funciono chido
    pero quisiera saber como fashearlo
    x q haci agarra imagenes flash y todo chido mas rapido o

    hacer el root para esta tablet

    Reply
  22. Ron28 November, 2012

    Just did the update, It is amazing, my son will be excited.
    Thanks for the info

    Reply
  23. Barb30 December, 2012

    I finally got the DAT file copied to the SD card. I did the power button/up volume thing. Nothing has changed. What now? Please help.

    Reply
  24. Genevieve4 January, 2013

    very rookie here how do you save DAT on SD card I am sorry but I am not sure how to do that 🙁

    Reply
  25. Genevieve5 January, 2013

    Please Please someone help me!! I was able to do the update!! hurray me but now after being able to go a couple time on the market it is giving me a “A server error has occurred. Retry or cancel and return to the previous screen.” what is happening? I tried a reboot but it didn’t help not sure what to do next…

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 January, 2013

      Try creating a new gmail account. Log into that account from the tablet.

      Reply
    2. Pascal30 January, 2013

      You need to go uninstall the updates for the android market.
      Once you are done, open the market again and install any free application.
      This should fix your issue.

      Reply
  26. Rebecca13 February, 2013

    is there anyway to hook tablet up to my compter and update that way…i just got one second hand yesterday but my SD slot on my computer does not work….?

    Reply
  27. Vivianne14 March, 2013

    I did this and It worked, how do u get my library back though?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder14 March, 2013

      You need to download it again.

      Reply
  28. nick19 March, 2013

    i am looking through the whole file and cant see anything that says DAT file, which is the one that needs to be on the sd card, i do see disc image file..?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder19 March, 2013

      I’m not sure why you are seeing something different, but there’s just the one file in the ZIP folder. That is the file you need to copy over to your tablet.

      Reply
  29. jogk22 May, 2013

    Perform the procedure to reset the tablet but did not return to light, I mean that no signs of life, I’m desperate that I can do?

    Reply
  30. teensey11 June, 2013

    i bought a 7″ pandigital tablet ereader 2011 for my grand-daughter so she can play games, down load kind, watch movies etc.. i cant get ANY thing to download, have a heck of a time touching to screen and swiping it to go up and down. i have a tramatic brain injury so directions need to real simply. also i know nothing of this devise. please help

    Reply

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