22 votes

What is your experience with jailbreaking your e-reader?

I spent some time yesterday using the guide by KOReader to jailbreak my kindle PW. What features do you use if you've jailbroken it? Do you find it has changed how you read?

28 comments

  1. [5]
    cptcobalt
    Link
    I have always wanted to jailbreak my Kindle to add custom fonts, and this post made me search to see if it was possible to jailbreak my Kindle Oasis—turns out, amazon added official support for...

    I have always wanted to jailbreak my Kindle to add custom fonts, and this post made me search to see if it was possible to jailbreak my Kindle Oasis—turns out, amazon added official support for custom fonts in June of this year, so I have no reason to jailbreak now.

    So, in a rather backward way, thanks for this post.

    12 votes
    1. [3]
      Tenar
      Link Parent
      Haha, I'm very glad to hear it. Just out of curiosity, what fonts do you want to add? I quite like the standard amazon ones

      Haha, I'm very glad to hear it. Just out of curiosity, what fonts do you want to add? I quite like the standard amazon ones

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        cptcobalt
        Link Parent
        Apple's San Francisco font. I love it on iOS, but I can't decide if I like it here. I'm going to give it a few weeks, but at least I get the chance to try. Otherwise, my font of choice is Amazon...

        Apple's San Francisco font. I love it on iOS, but I can't decide if I like it here. I'm going to give it a few weeks, but at least I get the chance to try.

        Otherwise, my font of choice is Amazon Ember on the kindle. I know that common thought is that books typeset in a serif font is easier to read than sans serif, but I personally find that I do far prefer sans serif type.

        1. Tenar
          Link Parent
          Interesting. I block all remote fonts on external sites because I generally can't stand the decisions others have made. Likewise I use a serif font on my kindle because of increased readability....

          Interesting. I block all remote fonts on external sites because I generally can't stand the decisions others have made. Likewise I use a serif font on my kindle because of increased readability. Actually, I just tend to read faster (which might influence how much I take in? I wonder if reading slower would actually help…)

    2. frickindeal
      Link Parent
      I didn't know they had added that feature. I'm pretty happy with Bookerly, and after dozens of books read, I can't see changing it at this point, but I'm curious what font you wanted to load? I...

      I didn't know they had added that feature. I'm pretty happy with Bookerly, and after dozens of books read, I can't see changing it at this point, but I'm curious what font you wanted to load? I might be open to trying something different, at least to "see what I'm missing." The only font I liked when I first played with them was Bookerly, and I've just stuck with it ever since.

  2. [3]
    Raphael
    Link
    What is the point for a Kobo e-reader?

    What is the point for a Kobo e-reader?

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      FunkyGenome
      Link Parent
      I kindof agree. The only reason to buy kindle in the first place is the Amazon market and afaik you can't make that work with jailbreak.

      I kindof agree. The only reason to buy kindle in the first place is the Amazon market and afaik you can't make that work with jailbreak.

      3 votes
      1. Tenar
        Link Parent
        I just jailbroke (jailbreaked?) my kindle, going through the links in my OP, specifically this thread

        I just jailbroke (jailbreaked?) my kindle, going through the links in my OP, specifically this thread

  3. [2]
    pseudolobster
    Link
    I jailbroke my Paperwhite, but that was like 4-5 years ago and I think a lot has changed since then. I played around with all sorts of stuff. I used a launcher called KUAL, I installed a terminal...

    I jailbroke my Paperwhite, but that was like 4-5 years ago and I think a lot has changed since then.

    I played around with all sorts of stuff. I used a launcher called KUAL, I installed a terminal program to play with linux commandline stuff. I installed VNC viewer, then wrote a shell script front-end for it that asks for hostname, username and password. Then I packaged it as a KUAL extension so that I could connect to a VNC host by clicking buttons. Here's the code.

    I then went on to install Android-x86 on a virtual machine so that I could VNC into it, basically turning my Kindle PW into an android tablet. This turned out to be a problem since the VNC server I found for android-x86 was not a "position independent executable", a new requirement on Android 5.0. I ended up having to decompile the linker executable, find where it checked for PIE, and binary patch it out. Here's the link to that if anyone's interested.

    Anyway, I ended up doing that all for shits and giggles, and the only practical use I ever had for the jailbreak was to set the standby wallpaper to "Don't Panic."

    7 votes
    1. chillfx
      Link Parent
      Excellent. I was looking for a vnc client like that. Many thanks

      Excellent. I was looking for a vnc client like that. Many thanks

  4. [5]
    DonQuixote
    Link
    So I went through this with my wonderful little Nook Simple Touch. Great e-reader. Unfortunately, after jail-breaking, most of the functionality I loved in this device was gone, replaced by an...

    So I went through this with my wonderful little Nook Simple Touch. Great e-reader. Unfortunately, after jail-breaking, most of the functionality I loved in this device was gone, replaced by an inadequately supported internet-capable, but obsolete android system.

    Needless to say, I reset it back to my favorite device.

    6 votes
    1. [4]
      time
      Link Parent
      I had a similar experience with my simple touch. I ended up modifying what screen presses did to make it easier to read one-handed without stretching my finger across the screen to turn pages, and...

      I had a similar experience with my simple touch. I ended up modifying what screen presses did to make it easier to read one-handed without stretching my finger across the screen to turn pages, and then used it essentially unmodified for the remainder of its life.

      I find that with e-readers if I can open the book relatively easily, and it will remember my place, I don't really need to worry about the interface much. It's just not part of my use-case for the device. Unlike a phone, which has many uses, I only use my e-readers for reading, so rooting it doesn't really unlock much that helps that functionality.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        DonQuixote
        Link Parent
        The whole reason I wanted to root it was misguided. "All I wanted" was direct access to Calibre. Might have been possible, but the whole system was too limited to handle this.

        The whole reason I wanted to root it was misguided. "All I wanted" was direct access to Calibre. Might have been possible, but the whole system was too limited to handle this.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          ThyMrMan
          Link Parent
          I jumped down the rabbit hole of modifying my Nook for the same reason, but I just found something that worked decent enough. Wish a simple modification existed that put a Calibre sync option in...

          I jumped down the rabbit hole of modifying my Nook for the same reason, but I just found something that worked decent enough. Wish a simple modification existed that put a Calibre sync option in the settings menu, that would be amazing.

          2 votes
          1. DonQuixote
            Link Parent
            Yes, Kovals has done an incredible job with Calibre. But he's only one person. I'd still love to have the app on my iphone, it's great on my tablet.

            Yes, Kovals has done an incredible job with Calibre. But he's only one person. I'd still love to have the app on my iphone, it's great on my tablet.

            3 votes
  5. [4]
    what
    Link
    Thanks for posting this, going to try this on my Kobo Touch! I like the device, but there are some features missing that I would like. The better PDF reflowing support provided by KOReader looks...

    Thanks for posting this, going to try this on my Kobo Touch! I like the device, but there are some features missing that I would like. The better PDF reflowing support provided by KOReader looks interesting.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      mjb
      Link Parent
      I'll be interested to read of your experience and whether the PDF reflowing is worth the effort.

      I'll be interested to read of your experience and whether the PDF reflowing is worth the effort.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Tenar
        Link Parent
        For what it's worth I've heard that that's one of the main/only reasons it's really worth it. (read this across five threads spanning as many years)

        For what it's worth I've heard that that's one of the main/only reasons it's really worth it. (read this across five threads spanning as many years)

        1 vote
        1. mjb
          Link Parent
          Well, it's certainly the one feature that piqued my interest, although I'm still not assured that the rendering quality of the reflowed text merits the effort and any potential risk of bricking my...

          Well, it's certainly the one feature that piqued my interest, although I'm still not assured that the rendering quality of the reflowed text merits the effort and any potential risk of bricking my device.

  6. DeFaced
    Link
    Typing this on a rooted kindle fire 1st gen and it works pretty good. I wanted to take a tablet that was given to me and make it actually usable.

    Typing this on a rooted kindle fire 1st gen and it works pretty good. I wanted to take a tablet that was given to me and make it actually usable.

    4 votes
  7. lars
    (edited )
    Link
    I had one of the older Kindles that had the keyboards on it and back then they weren't locked down like they are now. Well I haven't had one in a while so maybe they're not as locked down now. But...

    I had one of the older Kindles that had the keyboards on it and back then they weren't locked down like they are now. Well I haven't had one in a while so maybe they're not as locked down now. But I remember when the fire came out it was so locked down you couldn't do anything. Which is why I bought a Lenovo tab 4 8 inch. Which I really like. I don't like the idea of having to jailbreak something I would rather just buy something that works for what I want it to do. But this is just the case for phones and tablets.

    Edit: fixed autocorrect.

    3 votes
  8. anowlcalledjosh
    Link
    I jailbroke my Kindle Paperwhite (PW2) ages ago - mostly to add a custom screensaver with my contact details on, although I'm enjoying being able to automatically create collections for each...

    I jailbroke my Kindle Paperwhite (PW2) ages ago - mostly to add a custom screensaver with my contact details on, although I'm enjoying being able to automatically create collections for each series of books I have on it.

    2 votes
  9. [2]
    ink
    Link
    I've rooted every ereader I've owned. I rarely ended up finding it to have been useful to do so, but I still do so, and insist on doing so, and feel much better somehow knowing I am in control of...

    I've rooted every ereader I've owned. I rarely ended up finding it to have been useful to do so, but I still do so, and insist on doing so, and feel much better somehow knowing I am in control of my device. Back when I used to have Sony ereaders, hacks were sometimes vaguely useful... but they were often also annoyingly hacky. Like trying to get coolreader or fbreader working to give more options than the build in reader. However there were always UI glitches and inability. Lately I've just been using Kobos -- and honestly the custom hacked menu on my current Kobo only ever just times out, or I quickly select, to boot the default original kobo environment (nickle). Maybe this is because I have more hand held devices than in the old days, I don't feel the need to mess so much with my ereader and force it to do things it was never intended for, and isn't really suitable for. At long last, I just use my hacked ereader... for reading.

    2 votes
    1. hook
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Thanks for this insight. I am on the fence about flashing my Kobo and would have done so for, it seems, basically the same reasons as you. @ink, can you go into more detail how useful KOReader (or...

      Thanks for this insight. I am on the fence about flashing my Kobo and would have done so for, it seems, basically the same reasons as you.

      @ink, can you go into more detail how useful KOReader (or other FOSS firmware) for the Kobo is compared to Nickel?

      1 vote
  10. StellarV
    Link
    So I acquired a Kindle Fire that seems as though it had been stolen (a coworker gave it to me to fix if I had time but they let me keep it). It was locked down because I didn't have the account...

    So I acquired a Kindle Fire that seems as though it had been stolen (a coworker gave it to me to fix if I had time but they let me keep it). It was locked down because I didn't have the account credentials that were used to register it and it was never unlinked from the previous owner's account. I contacted Amazon and they told me there wasn't anything they could do and they wouldn't even let me send it in to hopefully go back to the previous owner. So I want to put stock Android on it and hopefully get some use out of it but I haven't done it yet. I think it needs a special USB cable to do it.

    1 vote
  11. Krael
    Link
    I spent some time looking into it for my OG kindle keyboard, but ultimately decided there wasn't anything that made it worth the trouble. I use it for reading ebooks, and it already does a perfect...

    I spent some time looking into it for my OG kindle keyboard, but ultimately decided there wasn't anything that made it worth the trouble. I use it for reading ebooks, and it already does a perfect job of that.

    1 vote
  12. ThyMrMan
    Link
    I've spent quite a few hours messing around with software with my Nook Glowlight+. And after many tries, I've finally settled on a combination of software. First was getting rid of the Nook stuff,...

    I've spent quite a few hours messing around with software with my Nook Glowlight+. And after many tries, I've finally settled on a combination of software. First was getting rid of the Nook stuff, and going pure Android. First install is Button Savior which gives me the home and back button that is necessary for everything. Then installed the xposed and the N+ Toolkit to give me more control and options.

    Finally after trying numerous reading apps, I settled on an old favorite of mine FBReader. FBReader just happens to have a dedicated, if a bit old, version with an updated ui just for EInk displays. Which with a quick install of an extra plugin, gives me all the features I could hope for. I can sync book progress with other FBReader installations using Google Drive. Sync books from Calibre over wifi easily. And fully customize the way it works if I feel like it.

    Only complaint I have it with the book progress sync, it isn't the best and seems to be a bit temperamental. The documentation on it isn't amazing, but if I understand correct as long as the books have the same name, it should sync correctly. Unfortunately that isn't my luck, even if I put the same book on my phone and my Nook via Calibre and read 100 pages on my Nook, it doesn't sync with my phone. Instead it seems like it treats my books as separate entities, so instead I push a single copy from Calibre to my phone. Wait for it to sync to Google Drive and the FBReader network, then pull it off the FBReader network on my Nook.

    1 vote
  13. chillfx
    Link
    Jailbroken Kindle PW2, installed KOreader. It's basically the only functionality I really use. It re-flows PDF files, making them view-able with a dencent sized font. The only problem was that...

    Jailbroken Kindle PW2, installed KOreader. It's basically the only functionality I really use. It re-flows PDF files, making them view-able with a dencent sized font.
    The only problem was that Amazon is a really terrible company and not only do they track every book you read, and all your annotation, they also update the kindle as soon as it is connected to the internet without your consent. And since it updated I had to wait a whole year for another jailbreak to be developed. Needless to say that it has been in offline mode since then,.