New Hack Lets You Install Android on the External SD card on Kobo Aura HD, Glo, and Kobo Touch

Have kobo glo-shine 2you been interested in the alternate Android and Linux tablet firmwares for Kobo’s ebook readers, but not enough to completely replace the existing firmware?  Then I have some good news for you.

There’s a new hack over on MobileRead Forums that lets users install Android on the external microSD card, saving them the effort (and risk) of cracking open the ereader and removing the internal microSD card.

I haven’t had a chance to try it myself, but I’ve been following the topic on MobileRead ever since the first proof of concept photos were posted in early November. That work was based on porting the firmware originally developed for the Tolino Shine and adapting it so it could run on kobo’s hardware, and for the past few months hackers have been working to make the alternate firmware run better and easier to install.

The Tolino Shine runs Android 2.3, so if you try this on your Kobo device you won’t exactly be getting a new version of Android. Android 2.3 Gingerbread is close to 3 years old and lacks many of the refinements of later versions of Android, but on the plus side this firmware was adapted to run on E-ink screens, so what it lacks in modern features it makes up for in screen optimization (or so it appears based on user reports on MobileRead).


This new trick has been shown to work on the Kobo Aura HD, Glo, and Touch, but not the Kobo Aura (no files have been posted for that model). That latter ereader doesn’t have an internal microSD card slot, so the earlier hack didn’t work on it either.

Directions on how to setup the dual-boot card can be found over on Angor’s blog, along with the download files. He’s posted files for the Aura HD, Glo, and Touch, as well as instructions on how to set up and install the Android firmware image.

Check out MobileRead for tech support and more details.

MobileRead via my competition

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. M singh11 February, 2014


    I wasn’t aware of this development.
    Android on Kobo Aura HD looks very promising

  2. The Rodent14 February, 2014

    Follow-up: Tried this on the Kobo Glo. It does work. But it is pretty slow. Has a German language error interface. On e-ink the shadowing effect is pretty bad; apparently not optimized to refresh enough. Front light cannot be turned off while running Android. Green power LED blinks constantly. More importantly, I couldn’t get it to install Mantano Reader from the Google store — neither the free or paid version. It comes with a Moon+Reader freebie, but the paid version won’t install. Nor will Aldiko. Bummer. (At least that’s my experience.)

  3. Android Ereader Hack – Adidass News4 June, 2016

    […] New Hack Lets You Install Android on the External SD card on Kobo Aura HD, Glo, and Kobo Touch – Have you been interested in the alternate Android and Linux tablet firmwares … Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of … […]

  4. Michele28 December, 2020

    Hi, I want run android in kobo clara HD, is it possible?

    1. Danny6 April, 2021

      Did you ever find out if this works on the Clara HD?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top