Tweaks, despair and hope – The e-ink reader saga Part 2

May 12, 2016

tweak your android

In Part 1, I talked about buying my Boyue T62+

Once it was in, around Jan 28, 2016, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I knew before I bought the Boyue, that out of the box was not going to be good. I had to do some work to at least install Google Apps framework so it could function as a full fledged android e-ink tablet / e-reader.

So these are the steps I took

  1. First things first, root the Boyue as per the instructions in this mobileread forum thread – [Guide][Root & MOD]Icarus Illumina (E653) AND Boyue T61+T62 . This was essential for two reasons – to install the google play store for android apps, and for the satisfaction of having a rooted device.
  2. Once Google Play store was installed, sign in.
  3. Installed the Nova Launcher and made it my default launcher (because the stock launcher really really sucks)
  4. Installed the external sd card.
  5. Install the Scribd app and see if it works. Yes! Do the happy dance.
  6. Install the Kindle app and see if it works. Yes! Do the happy dance.
  7. Install ES File Explorer and Google Drive

Next try to read personal book. I tried the default reader but hated it. So I tried FBreader and didn’t like it. I searched online and found other Boyue /Android e-ink reader owners raving about the Moon + Reader (One mobileread link here). So I bought and installed Moon + reader, the pro version and connected it to my google drive so I could have cloud sync capabilities.

At this point, I took a break and played around. I read a Scribd book, and was trying to upload, download to my device and start reading a .mobi book.

  1. And I realized the home screen and launcher combo was driving me crazy. ‘Throw the device against the wall” crazy. So back to research. I found and installed ReLaunch launcher. Link and instructions in this forum thread – . The version I installed was 1.4
  2. Then, I saw TTS capability somewhere and installed the free Ivona TTS and the Ivona Amy UK voice. When I tried to test the TTS, I could hear nothing! I was sad that my reader was somehow broken. Then I tried headphones, and the sound was nice and clear. I guess my Boyue doesn’t have speakers, or they aren’t functional. But it’s not a problem for me and I decided to not pursue that.
  3. Then I set up Moon+ Reader, copied books onto my Google Drive, and enabled the ‘sync page position via Google Drive’ feature.

And then I read a couple of books over the next week or so. So what are my impressions so far?

What I like about Boyue

  • I can read Scribd, kindle and my other books!
  • Thanks to moon + reader, I get the kindle functionality – sync across devices via Google Drive, I can download highlights and notes on all my books (update: or so I thought at that time)
  • It is Android based and clunky and takes work. I really enjoyed the setting up, tweaking process.
  • I really like the Relaunch loader (update: or so I thought at that time)
  • I really, really, really love that I can use the volume buttons on either side to turn pages.

What I don’t like about the Boyue

  • Glitchiness of the stock ROM. My screen gets stuck at least twice a day and I have to reboot it. It is quite annoying.
  • The lack of good brightness control – only two modes – off or bright (and can be made brighter and brighter). There is no dim setting. Even with 1 bar of brightness, it is still too bright to read in a dark room, even with the Moon+ Reader in night mode. Turn it to 0 bars, and you can’t read anything in a dark room. I loved the brightness control in Kindle Paperwhite.
  • The crappy quality of the case. I loved the Kindle black case with magnetic closure. This seems such a silly thing, but every time I pick it up, I’m reminded of how crappy it is for $20.00. What sucks about it? The texture is horrible. The front flap is just a flap with no velcro or something to keep it shut. It just flaps around when you shake it. And of course, I loved how the Kindle would wake up when you opened the magnetic case.

So overall, what do I think about the Boyue? I miss my Kindle. The Boyue, going in, I knew will need some work and tweaking before I was comfortable with it. After this tweaking and playing around, I am still not in love with it. But I really enjoy reading Scribd books in it. So far I am on the fence regarding – if I like the Boyue or not.

Tags: Books, Thoughts

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