Sony Reader PRS-T2 Hacked – Not Yet Stable Enough for Prime Time

Remember how I wrote yesterday that a hack was in the works for Sony's new ereader? It turns out that I was about 12 hours ahead of the actual hack being released. I think I should have waited.

The complete multi-step hack was posted this morning on The-eBook.org. It requires updating your T2, jailbreaking it, and then installing a new set of apps (here). The process takes a bit of time but it does work, as you can see from the image at right.

But I'm not sure it is worth doing just yet. My T2 is surprisingly unstable. Virtually every app from the web browser to the search widget to the Amazon Appstore client has crashed at one point or another. I have not even tried to install any new apps and I'm not planning to do so.

The set of apps i installed are basically the same set of instal files as used on the earlier PRS-T1. It includes the Zeam launcher, CoolReader, FBReader,  Dropbox, and other apps. These apps work, so at the very least I have a minimum function tablet- not that it is worth much.

Now that I have hacked it I know that this ereader is running Android 2.2. That's rather disappointing considering that the previous model, the T1, is also running Android  2.2. Sony cares so little about this device that they didn't even bother to update the OS it is running on. Okay, the average user wasn't going to be able to use the features of the newer versions of Android, but they would still benefit from the under the hood improvements found in newer versions of Android.

If you have the T2, I would recommend waiting for a more stable version of the hack. And if you're thinking about getting this ereader, I'd go for the earlier model instead. It's cheaper now and has a headphone jack, which the T2 does not.

But if you are dead set on hacking your PRS-T2, here are the instructions.

  1. Update your Sony Reader to the latest firmware.
  2. This will take a will to download and run, so go get this ZIP file and this ZIP file while you are waiting.
  3. Reboot.
  4. Plug your T2 back in to the USB. Click yes on the screen.
  5. UnZIP the jailbreak file. Find the file labeled flash_reader. Run it.
  6. Reboot.
  7. Plug your T2 back in to the USB. Click yes on the screen.
  8. UnZIP the minimal-root-zeam file. Find the file labeled flash_reader. Run it.
  9. Reboot.
  10. When asked to choose between "Home" and "Zeam launcher",

At this point you should be looking at a standard Android home screen. If not, make sure you updated the ereader and then repeat steps 3 through 9.

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.

22 Comments

  1. fjtorres10 October, 2012

    Can you even get the T1 anywhere this side of ebay?

    I checked with all the usual online suspects when the T2 reviews came out… 😉

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder10 October, 2012

      Sony might still have them as refurbs.

      Reply
      1. fjtorres10 October, 2012

        I’ll check. Thanks.

        Reply
        1. Tyler10 October, 2012

          you can buy mine. I have the white model and the case with a light.

          Reply
  2. Joel11 October, 2012

    Do you Know which android version that runs on prs-t2 ?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder11 October, 2012

      Yes. As I wrote in the post, this ereader is running Android 2.2.

      Reply
  3. Angel32456 November, 2012

    Actually I’ve had my prs-t2 jail broken and rooted for over two weeks now and I’ve no complaints. It hasn’t crashed at all and everything appears to be quite stable. Having apps like Dropbox, amazon kindle, wikipedia offline (aard app with SDHC card) as well as lots of alternative dictionaries and readers really bring out the best in this device.

    Reply
  4. noar1217 November, 2012

    Thank you for this todo. It’s warked fine. I can now sync with dropbox the news catch by my mediacenter through calibre. Very usefull because the default browser in the prs can’t download epub through the web interface.

    Thanks a lot

    Reply
  5. JB6 December, 2012

    I rooted my PRS-T2 and noticed it does not come with Google play store. Is there any way to install it? I tried a couple of versions and it always crashes. Basically I want to install nook, kindle, kobo and Alkido ereader software. I also want to install gmail.

    Reply
    1. fjtorres6 December, 2012

      Getting Play and Gmail would be a further hack; not sure if it’s been done.
      You don’t need it to get Kindle, Kobo, Overdrive, or Aldiko; they are available via the Amazon appstore which (at least on the T1) installs fine.
      Otherwise, you can get the installation APK files from the freeware lovers website, among other places.
      (Overdrive offers their reader app straight from their website.)

      Reply
      1. Angel32458 December, 2012

        Google play store works on the prs-t2. Take a look at this this, it should still work for the prs-t2:
        http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/PRST1_Rooting_and_Tweaks#App_Markets

        Reply
        1. nelo28 December, 2012

          Can anyone confirm, that all these apps listed on mobileread will work also on the T2? Thanks, nelo

          Reply
  6. Tam5 January, 2013

    i jailbroke and rooted my t2, but didn’t like the way it was running, so i restored my reader back to factory settings and all is well, except that now the touch keyboard doesn’t come up. so i can’t connect to my wifi or make notes etc. does anyone know how to fix this?

    Reply
    1. Catfishman15 May, 2014

      I have this same damned problem and it’s driving me crazy. I think I’m going to ditch this reader. No blame on Sony, as I chose to hack a perfectly functioning device. Oh well, I think it was just about time to get something with a back lit screen anyway.
      That said, I would still love to know if there is a way to get my keyboard and other missing functions back.

      Reply
  7. tony24 January, 2013

    i have a prs t2 japan version
    but i can’t find any information about that.
    probably, urs is US version… i guess 🙁
    if u can find information about root of japan version.
    pls find for me.

    Reply
  8. tony24 January, 2013

    do you know any developer about prs t2?
    if you know them, please request to them.
    i can’t get a any information on internet about it 🙁

    Reply
  9. fernando16 October, 2013

    hi everyone!i’ve a nook simple touch and i want to try the sony prs t1 or t2 sotck reader aplication ,can anyone send it to my? I will be very grateful!my e-mail is [email protected] 🙂

    Reply
  10. Lucy14 December, 2013

    Hi, The only reason I want to root is so I can install a good app for reading pdfs. Is the root above stable now? Advice please. Thanks.

    Reply
  11. Jact3 July, 2014

    OMG! My prs-t2 is updated. it’s my mistake..
    Please rooting prs-t2 firmware v1.1.00.15240.

    Reply
  12. […] last three ereaders in the PRS line ran Android 2.2 (and could be hacked to access the OS), and Sony must have reused some of the code developed for those 6" ereaders when they developed […]

    Reply
  13. Chewie7 November, 2016

    Hello, is this hack still workin and did it ever left the unstable space. And with android 2.2 does it even still have apps that work on this android version. Just got mine as loaner recently.

    Greeting,

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder7 November, 2016

      I thought it was finished, yes, but now I can’t find any evidence.

      I don’t know if it is still available, though.

      Reply

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