Once it was in, around Jan 28, 2016, it was time to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I knew before I bought the Boyue, that out of the box was not going to be good. I had to do some work to at least install Google Apps framework so it could function as a full fledged android e-ink tablet / e-reader.
So these are the steps I took
- First things first, root the Boyue as per the instructions in this mobileread forum thread – [Guide][Root & MOD]Icarus Illumina (E653) AND Boyue T61+T62 . This was essential for two reasons – to install the google play store for android apps, and for the satisfaction of having a rooted device.
- Once Google Play store was installed, sign in.
- Installed the Nova Launcher and made it my default launcher (because the stock launcher really really sucks)
- Installed the external sd card.
- Install the Scribd app and see if it works. Yes! Do the happy dance.
- Install the Kindle app and see if it works. Yes! Do the happy dance.
- Install ES File Explorer and Google Drive
Next try to read personal book. I tried the default reader but hated it. So I tried FBreader and didn’t like it. I searched online and found other Boyue /Android e-ink reader owners raving about the Moon + Reader (One mobileread link here). So I bought and installed Moon + reader, the pro version and connected it to my google drive so I could have cloud sync capabilities.
At this point, I took a break and played around. I read a Scribd book, and was trying to upload, download to my device and start reading a .mobi book.
- And I realized the home screen and launcher combo was driving me crazy. ‘Throw the device against the wall” crazy. So back to research. I found and installed ReLaunch launcher. Link and instructions in this forum thread – http://forum.xda-developers.com/nook-touch/general/relaunch-best-nst-launcher-version-1-4-t3060782 . The version I installed was 1.4
- Then, I saw TTS capability somewhere and installed the free Ivona TTS and the Ivona Amy UK voice. When I tried to test the TTS, I could hear nothing! I was sad that my reader was somehow broken. Then I tried headphones, and the sound was nice and clear. I guess my Boyue doesn’t have speakers, or they aren’t functional. But it’s not a problem for me and I decided to not pursue that.
- Then I set up Moon+ Reader, copied books onto my Google Drive, and enabled the ‘sync page position via Google Drive’ feature.
And then I read a couple of books over the next week or so. So what are my impressions so far?
What I like about Boyue
- I can read Scribd, kindle and my other books!
- Thanks to moon + reader, I get the kindle functionality – sync across devices via Google Drive, I can download highlights and notes on all my books (update: or so I thought at that time)
- It is Android based and clunky and takes work. I really enjoyed the setting up, tweaking process.
- I really like the Relaunch loader (update: or so I thought at that time)
- I really, really, really love that I can use the volume buttons on either side to turn pages.
What I don’t like about the Boyue
- Glitchiness of the stock ROM. My screen gets stuck at least twice a day and I have to reboot it. It is quite annoying.
- The lack of good brightness control – only two modes – off or bright (and can be made brighter and brighter). There is no dim setting. Even with 1 bar of brightness, it is still too bright to read in a dark room, even with the Moon+ Reader in night mode. Turn it to 0 bars, and you can’t read anything in a dark room. I loved the brightness control in Kindle Paperwhite.
- The crappy quality of the case. I loved the Kindle black case with magnetic closure. This seems such a silly thing, but every time I pick it up, I’m reminded of how crappy it is for $20.00. What sucks about it? The texture is horrible. The front flap is just a flap with no velcro or something to keep it shut. It just flaps around when you shake it. And of course, I loved how the Kindle would wake up when you opened the magnetic case.
So overall, what do I think about the Boyue? I miss my Kindle. The Boyue, going in, I knew will need some work and tweaking before I was comfortable with it. After this tweaking and playing around, I am still not in love with it. But I really enjoy reading Scribd books in it. So far I am on the fence regarding – if I like the Boyue or not.