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Sony Reader Wifi Hacked – Now Runs Kindle, ezPDF, and more (video)

October 23rd, 2011 by · 95 Comments · hardware news, video

It looks like I jumped the gun yesterday when I announced a new hack for the Sony Reader. Last night the developer released a new version of the hack which added a bunch of new functionality. Most importantly, the update finally let me install new apps.

It’s been just over a week since the first proof of concept video,  and I’d say that we now have a hack that’s finally ready for the end user. I’ve installed various versions of the hack 3 or 4 times this weekend and all the installs went off without a hitch.

The hack doesn’t come with much (but now that I can install apps that ‘s no longer a problem). All it has at the moment is ADW Launcher, CoolReader, Dropbox, as well as a few things that we can’t use (phone, camera, etc).

If there’s an app you’d like me to try, please ask.

I now have the Kindle Android app running on my PRS-T1, and I got it from the Amazon Appstore. The app turns the page a little slower than my K4, but it does run. I’ve sent several ebooks to the T1 and I even downloaded a library book. The T1′s page turn buttons don’t work with the Kindle app, but the rest of the app works just like it should (bookmarks, highlights, etc).

I also tried Angry Birds (just because it’s there). I could download it from Amazon but I couldn’t install it. This might be due to the space  limitations; I’m told there’s a limit on how much space the T1 will provide for apps.

The install process is pretty simple. I feel comfortable in suggesting that you try it and it looks relatively foolproof.

  1. Download and unzip the hack from here. Look for one that says “package installer”; that’s what you’ll need in order to install apps.
  2. Plug your T1 into your PC and put it in USB mode.
  3. Find the folder for the hack and double click on flash_reader.bat. Read the prompts on the screen and respond.
  4. Let the T1 sit until the software finishes installing. If successful, your T1 will reboot.

If it doesn’t work, you can ask for help here. BTW, if you have already hacked the T1 then you might need to install the restore firmware first. That will remove any remaining parts of the hack.  If you don’t install the restore then the broken parts might hang around.

Okay, now that the initial joy of hacking the T1 has worn off, I’m beginning to see it in a different light. Yes, this is a $150 Android tablet with a funky screen, but so is the Nook Touch. And the Nook Touch is actually a better option because you can get it for $80 – or just over half the price of the Sony Reader PRS-T1. True, that’s the refurb price, but it comes with the same warranty and it’s only $80.

On the other hand, I am liking the buttons on the T1 as well as the general appearance. It’s a sleek looking tablet.

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