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DeanGibson
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The invasive Kindle

As many of you know, I've owned Nooks for the purpose of displaying PDF files.  Since I have a lot of them (typically 40,000 or so on an SD card at any one time), I've organized them by creating HTML web pages to link to them (URLs).

 

This works fine on the Nook Color and Nook Tablet (and I presume on the HD series as well) using the Nook's web browser and the default PDF viewer.  If I add the Adobe Reader (via rooting), it works even better, the stock Nook browser asks me which PDF viewer I would like to use.

 

Some time ago, I bought a Acer A500 10" Android tablet for the same purpose, and the stock browser and Adobe Reader work exactly the same way (as does my three-year-old Motorola Droid phone).

 

Recently, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0") as a potential replacement for the Nooks.  However, I was surprised to find out that the stock browser, when confronted with a URL that links to a PDF file:

 

  1. Does not give me a choice of programs to view the PDF, but instead fires up the Kindle app to view the PDF.
  2. Whereupon the Kindle app crashes.

The solution is to install the Firefox browser (Opera refuses to recognize a local URL, and Dolphin refuses to link to a URL that references a PDF file), which works fine with a URL that links to a PDF file.

 

However, I find it interesting that Samsung (for whatever reason) decided to modify the standard browser behavior in Android 4.1.1.  Note that the Kindle app is pre-installed and will not uninstall.

 

I would be less annoyed if the Kindle app would display PDF files.

Nooks: 2 HD+/16GB & 2 HD/8GB: B&N 2.2.0 rooted;
    2 Touch (one Ltd. Ed.): B&N 1.2.1 rooted; 1stEd/3G: B&N 1.7.0 rooted
Dell Venue 8 Pro: Windows 8.1; Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0": Android 4.2.2 rooted
LG G3 & G Pad 8.3 Android 4.4.2 rooted; Acer Iconia A500: Android 4.0.3 rooted
Customer loyalty is earned, not commanded or deserved, and easily lost.
Never suspect intent where incompetence will do.
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keriflur
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Re: The invasive Kindle

Will it let you install the default chrome browser from the App Store?

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roustabout
Posts: 3,641
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
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Re: The invasive Kindle

[ Edited ]

If you clear the app preferences/defaults for both the browser and the kindle app, can you get the built-in browser to offer you a choice? 

 

And is the device so locked down that, once rooted, you can't simply delete the Kindle app from the system or at least disable it?  Or is the observation made in light of how few people even clear the defaults, let alone know about disabling system apps or rooting and getting rid of apps they simply don't want to have at all? 

"no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
DeanGibson
Posts: 2,204
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Re: The invasive Kindle

I could install the Chrome browser, but it didn't seem to want to open my .html file.

 

I'm sure I could remove/disable the Kindle app.  It was just easier to install Firefox.

Nooks: 2 HD+/16GB & 2 HD/8GB: B&N 2.2.0 rooted;
    2 Touch (one Ltd. Ed.): B&N 1.2.1 rooted; 1stEd/3G: B&N 1.7.0 rooted
Dell Venue 8 Pro: Windows 8.1; Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0": Android 4.2.2 rooted
LG G3 & G Pad 8.3 Android 4.4.2 rooted; Acer Iconia A500: Android 4.0.3 rooted
Customer loyalty is earned, not commanded or deserved, and easily lost.
Never suspect intent where incompetence will do.
Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,767
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: The invasive Kindle

You should be able to disable the kindle app - this is stock in ICS, no root required.

DeanGibson
Posts: 2,204
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Registered: ‎04-12-2011
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Re: The invasive Kindle


keriflur wrote:

You should be able to disable the kindle app - this is stock in ICS, no root required.


Yeah?  Where?

 

The Tab2 is running v4.1.1 (so-called "Jelly Bean", I believe), but on my v4.0 tablets (so-called "ICS", I believe), I don't see a stock way to disable apps either.  I can do it with Titanium Backup, but that requires root.

 

However, if the stock browser is invoking the Kindle app directly without going through the normal mechanism (which is what appears to be happening), disabling the Kindle app doesn't seem to me like it would solve my problem.  The problem is, the browser is not using the standard mechanism for invoking a file based on type (which allows app selection).

 

At any rate, it's not a big deal to use Firefox.  I just found it interesting that Samsung decided to modify the browser to bypass the normal selection mechanism.

 

When I click on the PDF URL in Firefox, I get the usual choice of apps to render the PDF, which includes both the Adobe Reader and Amazon Kindle apps.  What I just discovered (and is really interesting) is that if I click on the Kindle app, it successfully renders the PDF!  It's only when I click on the PDF URL in the stock browser, that the Kindle app crashes.

 

Nooks: 2 HD+/16GB & 2 HD/8GB: B&N 2.2.0 rooted;
    2 Touch (one Ltd. Ed.): B&N 1.2.1 rooted; 1stEd/3G: B&N 1.7.0 rooted
Dell Venue 8 Pro: Windows 8.1; Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0": Android 4.2.2 rooted
LG G3 & G Pad 8.3 Android 4.4.2 rooted; Acer Iconia A500: Android 4.0.3 rooted
Customer loyalty is earned, not commanded or deserved, and easily lost.
Never suspect intent where incompetence will do.
Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,767
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Disabling Stock Apps in ICS and JB

[ Edited ]

Settings -->  Apps

Select the app you want to disable.  A screen will open for the app.

Select "Disable"

Done :smileyhappy:

 

Some caveats:

* "Disable" is only available for apps that you can't uninstall.  If you can uninstall, the disable button will be replaced with the uninstall button.  (It's the button next to "Force Close")

* If you have updated the app that you want to disable, you will need to uninstall all updates before the Disable option will appear.

DeanGibson
Posts: 2,204
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Re: Disabling Stock Apps in ICS and JB

[ Edited ]

keriflur wrote:
...

 

Some caveats:

* "Disable" is only available for apps that you can't uninstall.  If you can uninstall, the disable button will be replaced with the uninstall button.  (It's the button next to "Force Close")

* If you have updated the app that you want to disable, you will need to uninstall all updates before the Disable option will appear.


OK, virtually all of my system apps have been updated;  that's why I didn't see it.  The Kindle app is a system app.

 

Once I uninstalled all Kindle app updates and disabled it, then when I tap on a local PDF URL, I get a choice (w/ no way to make the choice permanent):

  • "Internet"
  • "Android System"

If I tap on "Internet", I get a nice message saying "Only http or https URLs can be downloaded".

 

If I tap on "Android System", I get a choice of the Adobe Reader app and a couple others, and I do get to choose "Just Once" or "Always".  If I choose "Always" for the Adobe Reader, the next time I tap on a local PDF URL, the choice has been modified (w/ no way to make this choice permanent):

  • "Internet"
  • "Adobe Reader"

However, choosing "Always" the prior time at least got rid of the "two-step" process.  Of course, reenabling the Kindle app causes the problem (auto-selection of the Kindle app, which then crashes) to return.  I wouldn't mind having the Kindle app on my Tab2;  it's just that I want to decide when it runs, not some Amazon thug.

 

Of course, Firefox never presents the extra "Internet" choice/step (nor does the stock browser on my other Android tablets).

 

Samsung is apparently in the process of releasing v4.1.2;  those with Tab2 devices that have cellular data capability (and the associated data plan), are starting to get the update.  So, I unrooted a couple days ago, and am waiting for the update.  Hopefully, this browser/Kindle nonsense will be fixed.

 

Interesting note:  if you root the "conventional" way (using ClockworkMod Recovery), when you go to check for system/firmware updates, you get a nice message "Your device has been modified. Software updates are not available."   Fortunately, there is a nice tool that can directly load new firmware onto the device via USB at the boot level (making the device virtually unbrickable), so I've reloaded the stock firmware (v4.1.1).

 

So, why do I root?  For one thing, to get rid of the "shrieks of delight" that are emitted when you power the device up or down (I rename the relevant audio files).  No other way to disable them that I could find, without disabling other sounds (like key click).

 

Nooks: 2 HD+/16GB & 2 HD/8GB: B&N 2.2.0 rooted;
    2 Touch (one Ltd. Ed.): B&N 1.2.1 rooted; 1stEd/3G: B&N 1.7.0 rooted
Dell Venue 8 Pro: Windows 8.1; Samsung Galaxy Tab2 7.0": Android 4.2.2 rooted
LG G3 & G Pad 8.3 Android 4.4.2 rooted; Acer Iconia A500: Android 4.0.3 rooted
Customer loyalty is earned, not commanded or deserved, and easily lost.
Never suspect intent where incompetence will do.
Distinguished Bibliophile
keriflur
Posts: 6,767
Registered: ‎01-05-2010
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Re: Disabling Stock Apps in ICS and JB

[ Edited ]

DeanGibson wrote:
So, why do I root?  For one thing, to get rid of the "shrieks of delight" that are emitted when you power the device up or down (I rename the relevant audio files).  No other way to disable them that I could find, without disabling other sounds (like key click).

 


LOL, I just never turn my stuff off.

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bobstro
Posts: 3,939
Registered: ‎01-01-2012
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Re: Disabling Stock Apps in ICS and JB

[ Edited ]

I just bought a Galaxy Note 10.1. No Kindle app installed, and it shipped with B&N's NOOK app. However, on the upgrade to 4.1.1, it got rid of the NOOK app. The Samsung "Reader's Hub" app, which directed to (IIRC) Kobo for books and Zinio for magazines, is also gone now. Samsung seems to be flopping around a bit regarding ebook readers, or getting out of the business.

 

That said, once installed. Mantano and NOOK reader apps run just fine. Nice to see the recent improvements in the NOOK app.