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Distinguished Bibliophile
roustabout
Posts: 3,629
Registered: ‎03-31-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

[ Edited ]

I think there are two issues here, and two explanations:  " Why does B&N want to wall in the entire Nook Tablet device?" 

 

Running custom ROMs requires an unsigned bootloader.  I suspect that the agreement with Netflix to deliver HD content is what caused the bootloader to be locked.  Netxflix seems to inspect its boot environment fairly carefully.  I don't think either BN or Netflix are in a position to weaken the security of the platform and still deliver the HD content, and BN seems to think that HD content is a bigger selling point to more people than an open bootloader.  Since Netflix is their best source of media, and their biggest competitor not only offers Netflix but its own streaming service, I don't think BN can move on this if the Netflix contract requires it for the tablet.  (And it's possible that they'd need to renegotiate and rewrite the contract to make the SD app available on the NT, plus they'd need to pull the HD app from the current system image and be sure that folks weren't sneaking it back in.  So even if they can move, it probably will take time to do so.)

 

The NC was never able to sideload apps by default;  that was only something you could do with at least some level of trying and making custom disks.  The barrier to entry was pretty high.  (I know, because I helped a couple of folks with rheumatoid arthritis root their NCs so they could use the device in the more comfortable landscape orientation, which is supported by most epub readers but took a year to reach Nook devies.  It was very simple for me, but each of those assisted roots involved my putting a disk in the mail, and then being on the phone assisting for > 2 hours.) 

 

The NT as initially delivered could be set to sideload apps with much less effort.  And the first app that many installed on their NT was the appstore from BN's biggest competitor. 

 

BN may decide it has to permit this, but I would understand the business decision whichever way it came down.  A big chunk of their early sales will be, as always, to early adopters who are more technically skillful, and so there may be a wave of returns from those folks, especially those who already have a lot of Android apps and want those apps available on the device. 

 

BN may decide that long-term, it is better for the company to close the hole even in the face of the early returns by customers who are frustrated that the loophole was closed. 

"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.
Distinguished Correspondent
Tom51
Posts: 103
Registered: ‎11-17-2011
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Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken


mohawkx wrote:

This brings an interesting question to mind.  B&N never took a financial hit when the Nook Color was rooted and allowed sideloading with an open bootloader.  Sales and reviews of the Nook Color were through the roof and it was a flagship device for B&N from the moment it was released.  The Nook Color made money for B&N throughout it's production irregardless of what the devs did to it.  Why does B&N want to wall in the entire Nook Tablet device?  Seems they are going against their own success story thay had with the Nook Color.


I just started reading its financial reports at Yahoo Finance.  Out of my surprise for the past 3 qtrs, its R&D expenses is "-" i.e. NONE!  How that could be?  I need to dig into its own reports.

 

But one thing interesting to watch is its 3rd qtr financial report some time in February.  Its 3rd qtr ends on January 31..  What a co-incidence!

 

Distinguished Correspondent
floridaphil
Posts: 86
Registered: ‎12-21-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

The issue here is that in ALL the reviews of the Nook Tablet v Kindle Fire, EVERY review made a big deal out of the fact apps could be sideloaded and this was a huge differentiator in the minds of many prospective buyers.  IIRC AndroidCentral showed a video from the release of the Nook in which it was stated that B&N had left the tablet open as per the nook Color.  The ability to boot from an SD card was a huge advantage over the KF.  

 

Due to these advantages, I decided to cancel my order for the Kindle Fire and go with the Nook Tablet despite the additional cost.  And everything was going well, despite the fact that the bootloader is locked, and I understand the potential Netflix licensing agreement that necessitated that decision.  However, I was concerned that only 1GB of the storage I had paid for was to be made available for my own use.  Whatever, I could overlook these small issues.

 

I could also overlook the crippled email client and the non-tabbed browser. After all, it's easy enough to sideload other more advanced apps since B&N DOESN'T HAVE THEM IN THEIR APP MARKET!   Yes, I am yelling.

 

However, I cannot get over this latest downgrade of the operating system.  The device was sold as a TABLET - such nomenclature intended, I assume, to indicate that it was not just a spec'd up Nook Color which, as it turns out with the 1.4.1 operating system, it has become.

 

So, what we now have is a partially disabled tablet that would otherwise be a truly tremendous and useful piece of gear.  There are few truly useful apps in the market; I don't have kids and I rarely play games both of which categories seem to comprise the vast bulk of B&N market offerings. 

 

If I am going to buy into a walled garden approach, I will likely take another look at the Kindle Fire since Amazon's app market is so much better then the B&N market and will load the Nook app so I can read the books I bought in the last month. Or I'll just get an open Android tablet and load whatever the hell I want on it.

 

I've read somewhere on the internet (so it must be true) that 1.4.1 was a 'mistake'. I am dubious of that statement but I'm going to wait this out until Jan 31 and if it's still unresolved will return my tablet and cover to B&N for a refund.

 

Prior to this incident I was already a little worried by B&N's  market cap of $850m give or take compared to Amazon's $86b - who do you think is going to be around longer? - but this software fiasco is pushing me towards reversing my decision.  If only B&N would reverse theirs.

Contributor
n879
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎06-09-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Just to offer my two cents: I'm on board with most of the posters her that B&N is making poor decisions based on their attempt to force users of their hardward to commit to the B&N ecosystem as well. Unfortunately, if you want anything other than a book, B&N's store isn't the place to get it.  The app selection is abysmal in comparison to Amazon and Android, but what does B&N do? They use force tactics rather than responding to consumer desire. I get locking the bootloader for Netflix, but I wonder what percent of my subscription B&N gets?  Beyond that however, what are they afraid of?  The small population that buys the hardware for the the hardware certainly will not affect any subsidies that are assumed to be covered through book and app purchases, and if anything, they will promote hardware sales to people that will still treat it as an e-reader...like me.  I don't pretend that my NT is anything more than an e-reader on steroids, however if B&N is going to call it a tablet...let it be a tablet.  Otherwise, it's merely an upgraded NC.  I don't really care about putting CM9 on my NT, but I'm sure glad I was able to root and block the ota, as I am very fond of being able to use MY NT for what I want to do with it.  Oh, and I buy content on a regular basis. B&N sold me with the flexibility of the NC, but restricting that on the NT seems like a betrayal to a lot of customers. 

Wordsmith
TnTexas
Posts: 889
Registered: ‎10-22-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

n879: B&N sold me with the flexibility of the NC, but restricting that on the NT seems like a betrayal to a lot of customers. 

 

Especially when that restriction is implemented after the device has already been bought. 

New User
RLW930
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-23-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Companies that choose to limit their customer's exprierence generally limit their customer base in the process!   Imagine if GM decided to require you to buy new tires only from their dealships by installing lug nuts on their new cars that only a dealer could remove.  Then imagine that the dealer charged twice as much for the exact same Goodyear tires as the tire store,  plus they only carried a small subset of Goodyear tires.  What GM car owner would not feel angry and betrayed by this policy.  This would backfire on GM.  The aftermarket would quickly invent a device to remove the lug nuts.  If an aftermarket solution couldn't be made cheap enough, people would just quit buying GM cars.  This is exactly what B&N has done to us!

Distinguished Correspondent
mohawkx
Posts: 95
Registered: ‎12-21-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Then imagine how worse it would be if they introduced those lug nuts on a recall, after you'd already purchased the vehicle.

Reader
aquinoboi
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-23-2011
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Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

A funny thing happened on the way to B&N closing the ability to side load apps, the KF was also able to do the same thing.  Users loaded the Nook app onto the KF, and wouldn't you know it, days after an update to the KF was released which closed their side load ability, B&N released an update doing the same exact thing.  Either way, until the devs figure out workarounds, both NT and KF won't be doing any side loading for a bit.

Distinguished Bibliophile
roustabout
Posts: 3,629
Registered: ‎03-31-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Actually, you can sideload apps still - the OP in this thread actually documented how to do so, and how to keep from being auto-updated.  You just need to roll back to stock 1.4.0 and then apply a method to keep from being updated. 

 

Which is why it's a little difficult to swallow much of what he's saying in the post in this thread. 

 

Ah, and I see he just responded to a post of mine on XDA explaining a way to block the udpate with this gem

 

"Do everyone a favor and help out here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1407890

The idea is social engineering. We get their noobs on our side and get all the "top laureled" posts to be about unlocking the device. Restoring to 1.4.0 is currently one of the top laureled posts in the Nook Tablet forum. Lets take all the top laureled posts. They can't ignore that."

 

Sorry, Adam, but the more of your posts I've read, the less candid what you're saying here seems.

"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.
Reader 2
Unaffiliated
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-23-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Albertwertz,

    Your videos seem to imply that the Nook Tablet must be rooted to stop the update. Is that correct? Do you have a step-by-step video for those of us who only want to stop the 1.4.1 update without rooting?

Distinguished Bibliophile
roustabout
Posts: 3,629
Registered: ‎03-31-2011
0 Kudos

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

As far as I know, you have to root to block the update. 

"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.
Inspired Correspondent
Nom-de-Nook
Posts: 956
Registered: ‎08-06-2010

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken


aquinoboi wrote:

A funny thing happened on the way to B&N closing the ability to side load apps, the KF was also able to do the same thing.  Users loaded the Nook app onto the KF, and wouldn't you know it, days after an update to the KF was released which closed their side load ability, B&N released an update doing the same exact thing.  Either way, until the devs figure out workarounds, both NT and KF won't be doing any side loading for a bit.


The Fire only blocks root.  Sideloading is still there from what I understand.  Only BN blocked sideloading.

Correspondent
AnnieVan
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎11-27-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Roustabout, do you think rooting would be very difficult for someone who is on the low tech end like me? I was able to find the thread to install the apk that allowed third party apps to be installed and then get GoLauncher running, but rooting seems a bit more difficult. If I did go back to 1.4.0 and then root, what would happen if future updates were released by Nook and the version we have on our rooted tablets gets way behind? Would my Netflix and other apps still work on it?
Distinguished Bibliophile
roustabout
Posts: 3,629
Registered: ‎03-31-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

[ Edited ]

AnnieV, if you alread have sideloading set up and an alternate launcher running, and you want to, my guess is that you can root. If it doesn't work, at worst the device will reset and restore to stock.  The onboard recovery requires real effort to blow out, and even if you succeed, you can trigger a restore from an SD card as Adam has shown. 

 

Netflix HD (what BN includes) will almost certainly stop working once you're a few updates behind.  I don't know if anyone's tried uninstalling the BN Netflix (you'd use Titanium) and installing Netflix from the android market.  That might or might not work. 

 

Take a look at Indirect's rooting guide and the videos linked from

 

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1354487

 

But from what you're describing, I'll be honest:  the Nook Tablet may be the wrong device.  Unfortunately, there is no one working on the NT with the mindset of Gabriel D who worked on the NC and NST rooting process.  The primary interest of the most active folks on the XDA community isn't in rooting but on getting SD card booting and ICS running.

 

One of the most prominent XDA folks looking at the NT, the OP in this thread, seems to want to discourage discussion of simple, easy-to-use update blocking.  My guess as to the motive is that update blocking is counterproductive to the goal of getting the device completely unlocked.  If the device can be rooted and OTA blocked without booting from an SD card, there may never be a community ICS build for it. 

 

I have never before had someone on XDA tell me not to help others.  I'm still very surprised.  I may be misreading his intent.  But it worries me, as it seems that the community of folks interested in the NT really is fundamentally different in outlook from the communities I've seen at work on other devices. 

 

Whether or not I'm reading the tone correctly, I think that NT rooting will always lag behind NC rooting, simply because the methods for testing root on the NC are insanely simple.  If ongoing Netflix support and non-BN apps are both key to you, you would do well to look at the Acer Iconia, the HTC Flyer and the Samsung 7 plus. The Flyer and the Iconia are cheap, the Samsung is not. 

 

I think the Samsung is the best 7 incher on the market today.  Unfortunately, it's still a lousy ereader if you have sideloaded books.  I think the HTC flyer is still running Gingerbread, but it too will probably be a much more difficult device for managing libraries once it is downgraded with Honeycomb or ICS. 

"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.
Distinguished Correspondent
AdamOutler
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎12-20-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

[ Edited ]

flyingtoastr wrote:

It's right in the EULA that you agreed to that BN can push automatic updates to your device.


Sure, and where does this stop?  This is lawsuit type material.  You can't just "update" features which the majority are using. 

 

Read the posts.  Yes, the MAJORITY are using side-loading.  Not the minority as Barnes and Noble would have you believe.    My guess is 70% are going to experience the problematic blocking at one point or another.

Now that it's open, I think I like this Nook Tablet.
Distinguished Correspondent
AdamOutler
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎12-20-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken


roustabout wrote:.

Sorry, Adam, but the more of your posts I've read, the less candid what you're saying here seems.


I'm being totally frank.  I'm asking for the keys I need to continue development.   The best way to obtain a password is to ask for it. 

Now that it's open, I think I like this Nook Tablet.
Bibliophile
laurieb52
Posts: 1,138
Registered: ‎12-13-2009

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

Liliputing is now reporting that as of today, you can once again sideload apps on 1.4.1 as long as you had enabled sideloading prior to its installation. Have not checked the process out yet because am working on the sideloading for my hubby's 1.4.

Life's a chair of bowlies...and it's all about Plan B!
Inspired Correspondent
Nom-de-Nook
Posts: 956
Registered: ‎08-06-2010

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

http://liliputing.com/2011/12/sideload-apps-on-a-nook-tablet-with-os-1-4-1-no-root-required.html

 

This is several degrees more complicated than before and requires being connected to a PC to do any sideloading but...

Wordsmith
moose_tracker
Posts: 386
Registered: ‎12-10-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

This may help for a while, but if B&N are still in la-la land about the anger of the customers, it only means, it's a new hole to be patched in the next upgrade..

 

It will also not help future purchases that will come loaded with the 1.4.1 if they can not change the "allow 3rd party app button."

Distinguished Correspondent
poiuy
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎10-09-2011

Re: Sticky: Side-Loading is broken

So has someone not rooted who has been downgraded to 1.4.1 tried this?