Sunday, November 8, 2015

A New Nook: Glowlight Plus

You may have heard that there is a new e-ink reader out by Barnes and Noble: the Glowlight Plus.  While I spoke of this earlier, when the new nook tablet was released I thought that was it.  Even with the information we had at hand, I didn't think another e-ink reader was going to be released.  I am glad to be wrong in this case.

It is the first reader by B&N to be fully waterproof.  You can take the device into the shower or beach without worry.  While the software is a little lacking compared to previous devices, and it does not have a micro SD card slot (a deal breaker for me as 3.2gb internal is too small) it is a decent device.  One very redeeming quality: it is fairly easy to install your own android apps.  Not as easy as you would want, but if you know your way around the Android adb command line interface (also called Android Desktop/Studio or Android Debug Bridge) you can install any apps you like. The Glowlight Plus has Android 4.4 so most anything should run.  Although I wouldn't suggest graphic intensive games.  But alternate readers, file mangers, launchers, etc should be fine.

The USB Debugging menu (needed for this procedure) is there, if a bit hidden.  First you open the settings menu and on the second page you open the "Software" menu.  Tap the "Software Version" option three times.  Scroll down the screen until you see the option for "Development Options"  tap that and when you get a menu for "USB debugging" check that to turn it on.  Then you connect the Nook via USB, fire up ADB on your desktop, and you are off and running.  The command line interface (CLI) is a bit harder than point and click, but all the instructions come with the program.  Essentially all you need to do is have the app files (apk) in the same folder as ADB and you install it by typing in the command window adb install nameofpackage.apk.  It is not as hard as it looks.  But if you need help head on over to XDA Forums for more details.  I haven't done this specifically with the Glowlight Plus, but I have with other Android devices.  As I said, it sounds a lot harder than it is.

While I see this as a good sign, and I hope the Nook continues.  I have strong doubts that the platform will last much longer if it does not sell well this Christmas season

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