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Old 12-07-2023, 12:51 AM   #1
kvanderlaag
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Device: Boox Note Air; MobiScribe Original
Boox Note Air - Replacement Notes App?

Hello, mobile readers.

Short version of the questions: I am looking for a stylus-enabled app for the Boox Note Air to replace the stock Onyx notes app. There are many apps which support a stylus, but I haven't managed to find anything decent for e-ink tablets. Is there an obvious choice that I'm missing here?

I have a MobiScribe (original, not even the Origin), and I really like its stock note-taking app, but of course that thing runs Android 4, and so the app won't work on the Boox.

Long version, some context and a lot of spite:

I have in my possession a Boox Note Air which I acquired second-hand from a friend, to whom it was delivered in error. I know this is the typical "fell off the back of a truck" scenario, and sure enough, Onyx bricked the thing ("This device has been disabled for security reasons") OTA, probably when it was reported missing by the person who ordered it. The original "owner" did try to get in touch with Onyx to return it to them, but they gave him their usual "we can't do anything for you without an order number" reply. Literally, we could not send it back. We tried.

In any case, what I have here is a device that doesn't want to activate on the stock firmware, for obvious reasons, even through various resets and a full flash of the stock 3.3.2 decrypted UPX. (I imagine it's incremental, and the "is the device locked" check runs on either a file in another partition, or an efuse.)

However, I've managed to hack apart the update enough to get ADB access to it, root it with Magisk, and disable all the stock Onyx loadout, so it boots and runs another launcher just fine. Everything that matters has a decent open-source replacement except the Notes app, which is dependent on the stock launcher, hence looking for a replacement.

If anyone happens to have a full dump of the entire partition map from a Boox Note Air (not the Note Air 2) on v3.3.2, I'd be interested in comparing what I've got for some of the oddball partitions to see if anything is being pulled from there; things like the device serial, MAC address, "device config," and "device status" are definitely stored in various small partitions, but without having a "clean" copy to compare against, it's hard to tell what is significant.

I think kicking the device to the remote security lock screen is also controlled by the "LOCK_DEVICE_ACTIVITY" in StartupActivity inside of kcb-release.apk, which appears to be the factory launcher:

Code:
    .line 2
    new-instance v0, Landroid/content/Intent;

    const-string v1, "com.onyx.android.action.LOCK_DEVICE_ACTIVITY"

    invoke-direct {v0, v1}, Landroid/content/Intent;-><init>(Ljava/lang/String;)V

    invoke-static {p0, v0}, Lcom/onyx/android/sdk/utils/ActivityUtil;->startActivitySafely(Landroid/content/Context;Landroid/content/Intent;)Z

    .line 3
    invoke-virtual {p0}, Landroid/app/Activity;->finish()V
This eventually lands in a class, DeviceStatus, which appears to be responsible for the values that get interpreted as "locked" or "unlocked":

Code:
.class public Lcom/onyx/android/sdk/data/config/system/data/DeviceStatus;
.super Ljava/lang/Object;
.source "SourceFile"


# static fields
.field public static LOCKED:I = 0x1

.field public static UNLOCKED:I


# direct methods
.method static constructor <clinit>()V
    .locals 0

    return-void
.end method

.method public constructor <init>()V
    .locals 0

    .line 1
    invoke-direct {p0}, Ljava/lang/Object;-><init>()V

    return-void
.end method
so it may be theoretically possible to either patch those values such that the locked value the system returns is interpreted as unlocked, or to just remove the if-eqz comparison and jump over the code which launches the lock activity, but I will admit that I'm not particularly familiar with android development, and may not have a fantastic time trying to recompile and sign a decompiled APK.

Certainly open to any insight someone might have in this regard, if anyone feels like helping me towards producing a relatively factory image for the Note Air which disables as much of the Onyx crap as possible by default. (I'd also like to block communications to/from their servers wherever it is possible to do so.)

I do have a copy of the (stock) recovery, if anyone has any interest in that for whatever reason, either.
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Old 12-07-2023, 06:25 AM   #2
Renate
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I don't know. I do:
Code:
pm disable com.onyx
That disables KCB.
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Old 12-07-2023, 09:23 PM   #3
jljtgr
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Device: BOOX Nova Air C
I can't help with the long version.

For the short version, I use Microsoft OneNote. It's free and hasn't done anything shady lately like Evernote. The 3.3.2 firmware should have special code for it for an instant drawing layer. Not quite as slick as the Onyx notes app, but it's very usable.
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Old 12-29-2023, 05:18 PM   #4
SuiVu1fa
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I am using Saber (https://f-droid.org/packages/com.adilhanney.saber/) on my Onyx Boox Air 3C, which seems to work well. I do not know whether it also works well on your device.
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