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Old 12-02-2014, 04:22 PM   #1
Althelney
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Best Alternate OS/Extensions for Kindle Paperwhite?

Hey guys, my new Kindle Paperwhite 2 arrives today! I am super excited about it, with only one exception... I haaaated my kindle 4's native UI. I never did anything with it, but this time around I'm determined to.

I know that I want to be able to read ePubs and have better PDF options, but other than that I don't have a lot of specific needs from an OS- I just want it to be somewhat intuitive and easy to use. I know there are several packages out there, such as Duokan and KOReader, and they have plenty of descriptions of version numbers and how to install them etc., but not a lot about how they actually function and what they look like.

Can anyone who has the most recent versions of these or other OS's/extensions that change a significant amount of the UI tell me how they feel about them?

I have heard that the native Kindle touch UI is sort of annoying to use, is there anything that you feel significantly improves the experience?

Other than that, what software or extensions do you feel are must-haves for a kindle?
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:56 PM   #2
eschwartz
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I have to confess, I like the UI of my Kindle Touch a lot.

I would say, though, that the browser is terrible, so use http://www.fabiszewski.net/kindle-browser/
Also, the screensavers hack is a must-have, if your device is non-SO.

Better jailbreak IMMEDIATELY, though, and DON'T TURN ON THE WIFI because if you get an OTA update to fw5.6.1 you are screwed....
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:11 PM   #3
HarryT
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althelney View Post
... I haaaated my kindle 4's native UI. I never did anything with it, but this time around I'm determined to.
Sorry, but I can't resist a question: Why did you buy it if you knew you are going to hate it?
I might understand if you wanted to buy Voyage, because there are no readers with comparable display resolution at the moment.

I was in a very similar situation two years ago ;-).
I have been using PocketBook e-book readers for a long time and I got used to wide format support and extensive customization options for reading app and UI in general.
Two years ago I was staying in the USA and I have purchased a Paperwhite (version 1), because at the time it was the only front-lit device. The delivery times for Paperwhites ordered through Amazon were very long and I discovered they had a few units in local Staples store. So I got one.
I loved the way the hardware looked and felt in hand. When I started to use it I knew I would never want non-lit e-ink reader.
I disliked rather wide bezel that made Paperwhite much less pocketable than my previous reader with 5 inch display. I missed hardware page-turning buttons.
I *strongly* disliked the UI. I was extremely frustrated that I couldn't set formatting options I was used to from my previous reader. I thought I would get used to the way the text is presented - lots of people are happy with their Kindles. I never got used to it. The moment another manufacturer came with a front-lit reader I sold my Paperwhite and purchased different reader.

In the meanwhile I have installed *everything* that was available at the time, trying to make the UI more bearable. I spent considerable time scouring the net looking for hacks and trying to force my reader to be something it was never meant to be.
One of the first things I installed was Duokan. That was at the time quite non-trivial operation because it installed to Chinese interface by default and I had to use picture walk-through to set it into English. I got lost in Chinese menu several times on my way. Somehow I was very underwhelmed by Duokan and even though I have kept it on the reader (you can select what you want to use when you cold-boot the reader) I was only very rarely using it.
I have also installed a few hacks (JBPatch) that let me modify the font sizes and tweak other things. I have installed more fonts using USE_ALT_FONTS (a method that ceased to work after firmware update) Those made life easier.
I have installed Coolreader that could be started by entering Coolreader "book" in the standard library UI and that let you browse for a book in a directory structure and that could open things line mobi files.
I have installed KUAL and all associated apps and some of those were quite interesting from usability point of view. Among them was a different veriosn of Coolreader, I think.

Gradually I grew tired of pissing against the wind and at the first opportunity I bought other brand that came with a front-lit model. At this moment there is wide choice of different models, even with Android that you can configure to your liking without resorting to hacks.


In the meanwhile, do not connect your new Kindle to the net (besides registering), because it might update itself and you might be unable to install hacks on it. Amazon is very good at patching holes used to install hacks and while I had my Paperwhite there was long time when we did not have hacks for the newest firmware.
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Old 12-02-2014, 07:48 PM   #5
Althelney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
I have to confess, I like the UI of my Kindle Touch a lot.

I would say, though, that the browser is terrible, so use http://www.fabiszewski.net/kindle-browser/
Also, the screensavers hack is a must-have, if your device is non-SO.

Better jailbreak IMMEDIATELY, though, and DON'T TURN ON THE WIFI because if you get an OTA update to fw5.6.1 you are screwed....
Ah, yeah, I think the screen savers hack was the only thing I did with my kindle 4. I love having the book cover as my screen saver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
Sorry, but I can't resist a question: Why did you buy it if you knew you are going to hate it?
Well, I like my kindle 4 in a lot of other ways- enough that I'm willing to deal with the UI, obviously. I like the price, the size, and the light weight, and I LOVE being able to email books to it (because I'm lazy and don't have many USB ports on my laptop. :P) Also the eInk is important enough to me that I wouldn't consider anything with easier customization and a backlit screen (like an android.) I already have an iPad for that, and I strongly prefer the feeling of eInk for things that aren't comics.

Out of curiosity, what front-lit reader did you end up getting?
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Out of curiosity, what front-lit reader did you end up getting?
PocketBook Touch Lux 623. They are not manufactured anymore, they were replaced by PB 625 Touch Lux 2, which I do not like as much as my older device.
Even with PocketBook you have several means of downloading content to your device - email, dropbox, browser, there is even an ftp server for the device that runs on Wifi. You start ftp server on reader and upload files from PC. Do NOT buy the new PocketBook 650 Ultra yet, the firmware is't on par with the older devices (still better than Kindle IMHO)

If I was shopping for a new device today, I would have a very detailed look at
Quote:
Onyx BOOX AfterGlow 2 – 6″ E Ink HD touchscreen e-book reader with Dual-Core processor, built-in light, IVONA Text-To-Speech system and Google Play store. Powered by Android 4.2
or
Quote:
Onyx BOOX T68 Lynx – 6.8″ E Ink ULTRA HD touchscreen e-book reader with Google Play & light built-in
There is interesting device coming from PocketBook - PocketBook 630 Fashion - the smallest 6" device. It has very narrow bezel, [almost unusable(*)] buttons at the back, built in magnets at the back and front, so you can easily make a very minimalistic cover for it.
I have a sinking feeling that it will have the same firmware as PocketBook 650 Ultra, so I would wait until reviews confirm that the worst issues in the new generation of firmware have been adressed.

(*) I know the buttons are almost unusable, because PB Ultra that I have tested has exactly the same buttons on the back.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
- - - - -
Even with PocketBook you have several means of downloading content to your device - email, dropbox, browser, there is even an ftp server for the device that runs on Wifi. You start ftp server on reader and upload files from PC.
- - - - -
I realize we are most probably responding to someone's idle trolling, but . . . .

When, if ever, you get a Kindle device -
(Or update your info. box to list at least one that you do own.)

Install our USBnetworking package (includes via Wifi support).
There you will find that sftp server support is included.
(@NiLuJe: Correct me if I am wrong about that please.)

In fact, most network storage daemons and protocols are supported on the Kindle here (or have been, at one time or the other).

Last edited by knc1; 12-03-2014 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 12-03-2014, 05:01 AM   #8
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@knc1: SFTP, yup. FTP/HTTP, I *think* I included the applets in my busybox builds, but they're not 'plug and play', you'd have to start them manually .

EDIT: Yup.

Code:
grep -E '(FTP|HTTP)D=' Kindle/Misc/busybox-1.22.0-config
CONFIG_FTPD=y
CONFIG_HTTPD=y

Last edited by NiLuJe; 12-03-2014 at 05:06 AM.
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