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Christmas Eve Open Question: Got a Question about your new Tablet or eReader? Ask Away!

It’s Christmas time, and that means new gadgets under the tree / on the desk. And since new stuff often has a learning curve, I am here to help.

I know a lot about budget Android tablets (but less on the name brand models) and I know a thing or two about ereaders.

Stumped by trying to locate a feature on a tablet? Ask, and let’s see if I can help. At the very least I should be able to point you in the right direction.


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Mike Chinook December 24, 2013 um 4:21 pm

I’ve had a Nook Simple Touch for the last month and have gotten fairly comfortable with it. I’ve studiously avoided using the wifi connection (other than the original registration ). Thus far all of my e-book acquisitions have been side loaded onto the Nook.
Given all of that, my question is : What would I gain by "rooting" this puppy?
Mike Chinook

Nate Hoffelder December 24, 2013 um 4:32 pm

You could install other reading apps, a real web browser (there are even a couple minimalist web browsers that work well on E-ink), a different home screen (including one built for E-ink screens). You could even play games.

In other words you could turn it into an E-ink Android tablet – albeit one that is running Android 2.1. TBH I think that version OS is so old that I am not sure it is worth the work required to root the Nook Touch.

Name (required) December 24, 2013 um 6:14 pm

You could install fbreader, coolreader, moonreader and a few other interesting reading apps.
You could also install a real file manager, so you can organize your books in folders.
After installing a few necessary things that come with a rooting system and a few reading apps you have exhausted available memory space, so you do not need to worry about other apps. There are quite a few apps that can still run on that ancient Android, but you have to choose wisely whih ones you need. This old Android will only let you install apps into main memory, not on an SD card.

Sturmund Drang December 25, 2013 um 4:47 pm

You can get rid of those books you don’t want to see on your shelf anymore! And, if you’re a privacy-control nut like me you can better ensure the appliance is YOUR appliance and not B&N’s, e.g. stop B&N from "updating" your os and screwing with your books.

It was to get rid of the B&N books that I rooted mine. They only allow six books on a page and more often than not two of them were B&N handguides I didn’t want. It wasn’t a big deal but it irritaed the heck out of me that I couldn’t just wish them into the cornfield (How many of you are old enough or geeky enough to remember that TWZ/Billy Mumy episode?).

Al the Great and Powerful December 24, 2013 um 4:43 pm

As a suggestion, I hacked* the screensavers for my Kindle DX to dump the ugly ones and add a bunch of nice images — that is something I’d do the Nook if I had one.

(*I installed a hack somebody else made, I’m not any kind of leet coder myself)

Tara Twomey December 24, 2013 um 6:11 pm

Hi Nate, I’m getting my wife a Nook HD+. Does it make sense to root it? And, if so, is there a DIY guide available? Thanks (and happy holidays!)

Nate Hoffelder December 24, 2013 um 6:34 pm

I’m not sure I’m the one to ask; I rarely think rooting is worth the effort.

And I don’t think it’s worth the work in this case.

Would you believe I’m working on a review of the HD+ as a budget tablet? I reset my unit and worked from scratch. After I installed a new home screen and my usual Android apps the only thing I was missing was the ability to sideload apps.

Aside from that one small detail (and being tied to B&N’s servers) this is a fairly ordinary Android tablet.

Destination Infinity December 25, 2013 um 2:45 am

I have the Kindle Wi-Fi (w/o touchscreen but with page turn buttons). Since it doesn’t have touch screen, I find it very difficult to navigate to some portion of the book. I can remember the approximate % where I want to go (this displays in every page, instead of page number), but I am not able to go there without flipping so many pages forward or backword. With some books, it gets really difficult. There is a 'Go To' option which works for beginning and end, but I am not able to go to a specific % location of the book. Navigating through the index is not an option in many books.

Robert Nagle December 25, 2013 um 6:17 pm

How do I prevent a child from making in-app purchases on free games?

Nate Hoffelder December 25, 2013 um 6:41 pm

You can require a password for in-app purchases. Google and Apple offer this feature, but I don’t see how to enable it on my Kindle Fire HD.

Mike Chinook December 26, 2013 um 1:22 pm

To Nate, Sturmund, Al, and "Un" Name
Thank y’all for your fast and interesting replies. You have given me something to think about. As of right now I think I’ll leave my Nook in it’s native format. Can’t see any real big advantage to rooting.
Thanks again, I appreciate the eforts

Paul December 26, 2013 um 4:09 pm

I keep toying with the idea of getting a Nook Glowlight or a Kindle Paperwhite but I have a ton of books on both platforms and in Kobo (and the Apple store too come to think of it). Which device has the least hassle way of having all my books on one device or should I simply give up and get a tablet? (which I already have a Nook HD but the battery life isn’t that great with it. I want something that’s easy to read in bed and not disturb the wife).

Martha December 28, 2013 um 12:56 am

I received both a Nook HD Tablet Smoke 8GB and a Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi and have to decide which to keep. I’m partial to the Kindle because my son gave it to me. The thing I would really like to do with an e-reader is flip between the same book in Spanish and English and have a Spanish dictionary available. Can I do that with either of these?

Nate Hoffelder December 28, 2013 um 6:25 am

First, both Kindle and Nook offer a Spanish language dictionary, so that won’t be an issue.

I know that this isn’t a solution you asked for, but: I say go for a Windows tablet. You would be able to install Nook Study and have both ebooks open on the screen at once.

But since you can’t do that I would use the Android tablet; it’s going to be faster at switching between the ebooks. And I would also install a couple different reading apps and use them instead; I don’t like the Nook app on the Nook HD+ because it is unstable.

DeeDee January 6, 2014 um 4:49 am

Hi, probably this is not the right place for this question, but I’ll ask it. I have Adobe Digital Editions on my PC and I’m wondering if I reinstall Windows would I have to register my PC again and would it count as a new device?

Nate Hoffelder January 6, 2014 um 6:39 am

Yes it would count as a new device.

DeeDee January 6, 2014 um 6:59 am

Thanks 🙂

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