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Tyecho
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Registered: ‎07-12-2012

New update for the Nook Tablet.

[ Edited ]

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 If the Nook tablet was to be upgraded with an newer operating system android ics or jellybean. This would be a great advancement over the current nook tablet and its competition. I have  vision of a new user interface for nook tablet. There should be more than three homepages, The notification bar that has the virtual softkeys needs a better appearance. There needs to be a way for users to lock the icons on the homescreen so that they can utilize the space on the screen. Also the transitions between the home screens are kind of laggy.The navigation menu could have the multitasking scroll of apps above it, instead of just a dark overlap. There could be nook widgets that tell you what new books are available, new apps, also a free Friday widget or notification. Also the shortcuts on the bottom of the home screen could be more creative and the icons look pixelated. The app menu looks outdated  and obsolete. There should be an option for page turn animations like in the nook app.

Something that also should be included is a better lockscreen. The lockscreen should probably have unlock shortcuts or widgets on it. For example, a lockscreens that has a shortcut to the book you were reading, the web browser, the nook shop,my music, my media, nook friends, and the home icon. It would be cool if there was a pulsating circle like the one in jelly bean 4.1, that when you touched it it would turn into a beautiful n logo that you drag to the shortcuts.)

 

There are some great things that are advantages in the nook tablets user interface. The simplicity of the resizable apps and books. The quick settings menu when you tap the clock. The carousel at the bottom of the screen. The shortcut to your current book.

 

I hope Barnes & Nobles are developing a nook tablet software update that upgrade the android os, and improves some of the features and problems with the nook, and that it rolls out nicely like the nook colored upgrade, or the htc flyer's upgrade from gingerbread to honeycomb.

Post ideas, I hope the nook developers and programers would brig this to life.

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roustabout
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

Unless Android starts supporting taking a device's /media partition and presenting it to a host computer as a mass storage device rather than presenting it via the MTP interface, ICS would probably be a downgrade from BN's perspective -- suddenly, the Nook family forks and a lot of user guides need rewriting.  Different nooks behave very differently on USB connect and file copy (sideloading) is now very, very unreliable on the premium device (unless Google's fixed MTP in ICS, which I have not looked at.  In HC, MTP is both slow and broken badly.)

 

And I think it would frustrate a lot of other folks who are used to the simplicity of sideloading as it is done now, via a USB cable. 

 

What user advantages are there to ICS or JB over Gingerbread?  Do you think that for most device users and BN support, they'd outweigh the drawbacks?  Much of what you outline - prettier unlock screen, widgets, etc. are already supported by Gingerbread. 

 

If you'd really like to run ICS or JB, I'd pay attention to XDA - the NT can be rooted and still run GB, or you can install an alternate ROM and run ICS.  Don't know where JB is in the development pipe, but I don't think it can be far out. 

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bobstro
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.


roustabout wrote:

Unless Android starts supporting taking a device's /media partition and presenting it to a host computer as a mass storage device rather than presenting it via the MTP interface, ICS would probably be a downgrade from BN's perspective


I've been following your thoughts on this, roust, particularly since picking up my Samsung tablet. You are correct that ICS devices don't show as USB Mass Storage (UMS) devices. This most notably breaks Calibre.

 

I was very disappointed to realize this was an issue with ICS, and was ready to jump on the bandwagon denouncing Google's efforts to "consumerfy" android until I read some of the reasons for the move. The most compelling, to me at least, is that VFAT is a very fragile filesystem, and UMS is limited to VFAT.

I thought I had a work around using sshfs on my desktop communicating to SSHdroid on my tablet. Everything works very well, but unfortunately, Calibre breaks when I try to "Connect to folder". If this worked, my tablet would be recognized by Calibre for library management. Unfortunately, Calibre fails on attempting to get device info. It works fine on a local folder, however. I'll have to try Calibre with a Samba share next, but not today. So close!

 

This makes me thing there are two possible solutions, at least for Calibre users:

 

1. Re-work the Calibre library that attempts to get device info so it doesn't puke on remote filesystems, or at least sshfs. This gives Calibre a "universal" means of working with non-UMS-capable devices in one fell swoop. (Or at least, rooted devices!)

 

2. Develop UMS over wifi, in the same way that ADB works over wifi.


-- suddenly, the Nook family forks and a lot of user guides need rewriting.  Different nooks behave very differently on USB connect and file copy (sideloading) is now very, very unreliable on the premium device


There's already some of this apparent with the NST->NC->NT variations. Things are just a wee bit different between them.


(unless Google's fixed MTP in ICS, which I have not looked at.  In HC, MTP is both slow and broken badly.)


Not enough that Calibre will talk to my Samsung!

 

 

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roustabout
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

bob updates on ICS "This most notably breaks Calibre"

 

Yep, but even Calibre-level use is above the level that the Nook guides are trying to support.  

 

The issue I was thinking about was how does the call center help someone clean up the files on a nook that's gotten too full?  IIRC, in HC when the host computer deletes things from the MTP target, the MTP interface doesn't report back to the host "oh yeah, those files are gone now" -- you actually have to reboot the PC before you get the update on objects deleted.

 

Now that I've updated the Transformer to ICS I should look at the behavior again.  I have to admit I was surprised by how much better ICS performs on the hardware than HC ever did - I think it's the first major version # OS update I've done that improved performance.  The transformer feels almost as sprightly as the tablet does now.  

 

Oh, and for anyone who might be interested:  there's a very nice set of commandline tools out there for some devices called botbrew.  Very similar to ipkg on the nslug, which almost-but-not-quite worked on the NC when I chased it a year ago.  Lets you set up tcpdump, python, openssl - lots of cool stuff.  

 

Be careful installing it on an NT, though, even though the A market says you can.  I think maybe you actually can't.  My NT ran completely out of juice and shut down after I'd tried installing it, hadn't gotten it working, and set it aside.  

 

Once recharged, the NT failed to boot 8 times before I could say boo or find a CWR disk, and wiped itself.  Annoying primarily because it meant that I'd lost a ot of settings, otherwise no big deal - but a few weeks ago I happened to need 8 gig of storage all in one place, and 'temporarily' grabbed the SD card, so I didn't have a current backup of a few things.  

 

Whoops!  

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bobstro
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.


roustabout wrote:

bob updates on ICS "This most notably breaks Calibre"

 

Yep, but even Calibre-level use is above the level that the Nook guides are trying to support.  


I just plugged my Samsung running ICS into my Windows 7 desktop, and it shows up, though without a drive letter.

 

I tried connecting to my books folder on uSD via Calibre's Connect/share->Connect to folder feature, and it fails complaining about the path name. I suspect a tweak on Calibre would fix this.


The issue I was thinking about was how does the call center help someone clean up the files on a nook that's gotten too full?  IIRC, in HC when the host computer deletes things from the MTP target, the MTP interface doesn't report back to the host "oh yeah, those files are gone now" -- you actually have to reboot the PC before you get the update on objects deleted.


 I can browse Computer/GT-P3113-Card (uSD) and Tablet (internal) volumes through Explorer normally, including browing and creating/deleting files. It does appear that the Windows desktop is notified immediately on changes. What else should I be looking for?

flyingtoastr
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

[ Edited ]

roustabout wrote:

Unless Android starts supporting taking a device's /media partition and presenting it to a host computer as a mass storage device rather than presenting it via the MTP interface, ICS would probably be a downgrade from BN's perspective -- suddenly, the Nook family forks and a lot of user guides need rewriting.  Different nooks behave very differently on USB connect and file copy (sideloading) is now very, very unreliable on the premium device (unless Google's fixed MTP in ICS, which I have not looked at.  In HC, MTP is both slow and broken badly.)



Maybe it's just me (I know the specific menu that pops up when I plug it into my computer is part of Sense 4, not stock ICS), but whenever I plug my One X into my computer it shows up nicely as a external storage device.

 

Then of course I really have no idea what you're talking about. For all I know it really is just MTP.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

[ Edited ]

flyingtoastr wrote:
Maybe it's just me (I know the specific menu that pops up when I plug it into my computer is part of Sense 4, not stock ICS), but whenever I plug my One X into my computer it shows up nicely as a external storage device.

 

Then of course I really have no idea what you're talking about. For all I know it really is just MTP.


The key question is what kind of external storage device. In Windows Explorer an MTP device shows up under a section called "Portable Devices" and gets a little iPod-like icon and no drive letter. It also gets a totally different context menu, which doesn't include Eject or Safely Remove, for example. A pre-HC Android device gets one or two drive letters.

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flyingtoastr
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

Eh, give me a few hours and I'll boot over to windows and check (right now I'm a little busy actually doing work on OSX side).

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roustabout
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

[ Edited ]

I just went and dug out the thread where a bunch of folks looked into this and about how little discussed it is (http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/NOOK-Tablet-General-Discussion/Semi-technical-issues-in-the-p... )

 

I was misrembering how to trigger one key issue - it's when you use Android to make file system changes that windows doesn't get updated.  

 

Dean summarized one of the issues this way:  "The bad news is, it's buggy;  while it displays on Windows,the file folder structure on the device, changes on the device are not reflected on Windows (at least until you reboot Windows)." 

 

The Android OS is still driving the train even when the device is connected to your computer, much fun ensues.

 

I found that meant:  "Windows does not pick up changes on the device, but if you create folders on the device in Android and in Windows with the same name during the same USB connection session you get no warning about the duplicate name on either side.  Delete a folder on the Android side, and Windows doesn't know the folder is gone - and doesn't alert you with an error message if you try to copy files out of the now-deleted folder."

 

Dean also caught something pretty interesting about file "copy" -- "when you transfer a file to the device, the file gets the current date/time, not the date/time of the original file!"  

 

(Something similar happens with folders if you use windows to copy a lot of folders across a network connection:  the folder objects wind up with today's date, while the files inside them get the correct date.  This took me some time to find workarounds when I frst ported many years of work onto a NAS.)

 

So, although I can understand the argument that in theory ext4 is better than vfat, that doesn't mean that every interface to ext4 winds up being more robust than every interface to FAT.  

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bobstro
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Sync via wifi, ignore MTP

[ Edited ]

Regarding MTP: The lack of a drive letter assignment seems to be the stumbling block on Windows. Either a driver for Calibre or (better) a mount interface for Windows (perhaps along the lines of a network share mount) seems to be required.

 

On Linux, I am running into some issues getting libmtp working. I can view the folders, but getting the device mounted into the filesystem.

 

The good news, for me at least, is that this did get me futzing with Calibre again, and I've found a work-around for my ICS Samsung: Connect to a Dropbox folder in Calibre and use that as the device, then sync that folder to my device using Dropsync. It's a hack, but at least now I can manage my on-device books in Calibre. Using the Calibre options, I'm able to tell it that my device can only handle PDF, epub and whatever else my device can work with. This plugs a big hole for me. I've missed using Calibre after only recently having figured it all out!

 

An added bonus is that the device can stay on a charger throughout the process. No worries about the desktop's measly USB power being insufficient to keep it charged. 

 

Being able to mount the device directly would be better. sshfs didn't work, but I'll try a Samba (smbfs) app on my Samsung next. If, as Dean noted in the other thread, it only mounts VFAT partitions, that'll be a disappointment, but suficient for my needs. Going directly to the device without Dropbox as an intermedia step is definitely preferable.

 

That said, I can "manage" my Dropbox folder/Calibre "device" without the device having to be on, then sync at my leisure. There are plusses to that. This also simplifies the multi-device shuffle. Keep one folder for my "big" tablet with all my reading content on it, another for "Beach NOOK" with only my current Calibre reading list.

 

So far as future NOOK devices are concerned, this is all making me think a more open cloud sync, or mount-device-via-wifi would greatly simplify the complexities of different hardware. All NOOKs are wifi-enabled.

 

I'm thinking the work-around for MTP limitations is to ignore it. Don't even try to use it. There are equally flexible network solutions that can work across android versions and device types. Being a network guy, these appeals to me.

 



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Tyecho
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Re: New update for the Nook Tablet.

Yes you do make a fine point about the differences etween gingerbread and ics/jb. However there are problems with android itself in 2.3 that wasnt fixed by barnes and noble. In jellybean the android lag is no longer a probem.

Also I am a part of the xda developer comunity as well and the jelly bean rom is called cm10. Its still an alpha and its created by the same developer whos making cm9. Tyriekgo on xda.

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Sun_Cat
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Re: Sync via wifi, ignore MTP


bobstro wrote:

... 

The good news, for me at least, is that this did get me futzing with Calibre again, and I've found a work-around for my ICS Samsung: Connect to a Dropbox folder in Calibre and use that as the device, then sync that folder to my device using Dropsync. It's a hack, but at least now I can manage my on-device books in Calibre. Using the Calibre options, I'm able to tell it that my device can only handle PDF, epub and whatever else my device can work with. This plugs a big hole for me. I've missed using Calibre after only recently having figured it all out!

...
Being able to mount the device directly would be better. sshfs didn't work, but I'll try a Samba (smbfs) app on my Samsung next. If, as Dean noted in the other thread, it only mounts VFAT partitions, that'll be a disappointment, but suficient for my needs. Going directly to the device without Dropbox as an intermedia step is definitely preferable.

... 

 


I happened upon some updated info on these issues. There's a new Calibre Companion app that lets Calibre connect wirelessly to MTP devices. In a thread about Calibre Companion on MobileRead, it's mentioned that Kovid is working on adding MTP device support to core Calibre, but that it won't be as full-featured as this app.

 

I haven't tried the app on my Samsung GT7+, but I probably will before too long. 

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bobstro
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Re: Sync via wifi, ignore MTP

Good stuff. Thanks, Sun_Cat

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roustabout
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So, I'm any device's punch

[ Edited ]

As I think many of the folks here have figured out.  

 

And I have a new girlfriend who's relevant to bring up here: an HTC Evo 3D sold as an Evo V, for use on the Virgin Mobile network, delivered running ICS.

As delivered, the phone had an 8 gig sdcard fitted - and that card is accessible by a real USB mass storage interface when the phone is connected to my computer, not an MTP interface. 

So, as Dean pointed out some time back but I wasn't sure I believed - usb mass storage remains possible as late as ICS - it really is up to the vendor or ROM developer. I suspect that the CM10 developers could look at the HTC code and make usb mass storage available on a much broader range of devices, were there only a way to get them to pay attention to the issue. 

usb host mode is supported by more and more of the ICS ports and gives you access to your USB harddrive or flash key (as well as a keyboard, if you want one). If your favorite port doesn't support it, it may well do  so down the road. And indeed, usb host mode working will alleviate a lot of the sd card silliness for the swank new but no-sd-card devices. 

Still, there are still a lot of techniques for making OS changes that assume you have an sd card. Most often, that's not a  hard requirement and can be worked around if you're good with ADB commands. 

The big sell for me with the new girlfriend is that I get a phone and a no-contract device that can be a portable hotspot. 

 

It's a good device in some metro areas - depending on how good Sprint is in your area, and how far along LTE is in your area. For 300 bucks up front and $45/mo I get 1200 minutes of airtime and unlimited data - though the no-limit data rate gets throttled back after 2.5 gitgabytes 

70 a month buys no limit on minutes, and an additional gig of wimax access.

Where I live, Sprint's wimax network is rolled out and fairly operational, and none of the LTE networks are really  up and running yet, so this is a good deal for a network which is here now, as opposed to one that'll be along at some time in the future. 

Not a bad toy at all, though battery runtime is not great - I do want to get a look at some of the additional battery tweaks.  

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