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Old 05-15-2011, 09:39 PM   #1
Edge User
PocketEdge Experience so far

I received my Woot! PocketEdge last Thurs at work. Out of the box it was a pretty neat device, but boring without the Ermine (Android 2.2.1) update. As soon as I got home I used Obsessed's guide and got it updated without any hitch. It went straight to Ermine, no Dingo update needed.

While it is pretty slow compared to my phone (Evo w/CM7) it was still a pretty cool device, and I was happy it had at least the more recent Android OS on it and was up to date.

Then came the fun of trying to get apps installed on it that evening so I could show it off at work the next day. I didn't even bother with the Entourage store, I went straight for APK searching via Google. I got most of what I wanted, but was disappointed in the fact I didn't have the latest versions of the apps installed. I would find the latest version number from the Marketplace, google search for the APK, then dump it on my own file server and download it over the WiFi (too lazy to keep putting the PE in USB Storage mode on my desktop every time I found another app to install).

For the most part this went well.

Then the next day, my buddy and I started trying to MAKE the Android Marketplace work.

Once we got the device rooted, we started trying various versions of the google apps from other hacked ROMS for our phones, such as the marketplace, gmail, and all it's various connectors and data movers. We were trying to find out once and for all, since there just isn't a lot of information about this to the degree we were looking for, if we could force this to work somehow or not.

My buddy fared better than I did, he was able to get the gmail app to load, and the google accounts to show up in the accounts settings. It would never connect though. I tried a different approach and failed miserably.

I didn't do so good. I was moving some files with root explorer and using the terminal to run some other commands and thought I had it. After a quick reboot, I was stuck in a looped error I could not get out of, no matter what I did. The google setup wizard was trying to launch and was stuck in a Force Close loop. No button pushing, resets, NOTHING would get it out of this state.

Great, I just bricked my brand new toy, and I hadn't even had it 24 hours yet.

After a couple of hours of research and sweating bullets, I found the "downgrade" article in the Entourage FAQ. I downloaded the dingo and put it on a thumbdrive (I LOVE the USB port on this thing!!!) I ran through the reset and manual update button pressing procedure and held my breath as it went through the whole update process.

When it was done, I was in a weird state between Dingo and Ermine. The OS was all Android 1.6, yet I still had ALL my apps, settings, configs.... and broken attempts of making google work... still there. I had some weird crashing issues, but was able to stumble my way to the Factory Reset option.

After holding my breath for a while longer while it did it's wipe and restore, it came back up.... factory fresh out of the box condition! I was SO relieved!

So, we decided not to bother with the attempts again. My buddy downgraded/re-upgraded his as well to get it fresh out of the box working again.

Currently I have it re-upgraded to Ermine, all my apps loaded on it again, widgets, books, etc. I was still not happy with the fact I couldn't update the apps I had on there.

I ended up finding this one shady app, which I won't mention do to it's controversy of being a "warez downloader for android", but I will say this... it DOES work. I was able to have it scan my installed apps and it updated them ALL to the latest versions of everything automatically. I was pretty happy with this. I will say that this app has some SCARY permission requests (access to my accounts? really?) so as soon as I did the update, I changed all my google passwords to be safe and uninstalled the app when I was done. Again, I do NOT condone piracy, as the dev's deserve to get paid for their hard work, and c'mon, when most of these apps are $1-2 each...just PAY them!
For some of the apps even this method didn't find, I was able to use ES File Explorer to "backup" my APK files from my phone, copy them over to the PE and install them that way.

So as of now... I have a fully running tablet with Android 2.2.1, all the latest apps installed that I have on my phone for the most part and I am pretty happy with it.

I HIGHLY recommend installing the Amazon Appstore, you are able to grab the Free Paid App of the Day on the PE. There's a few alternative legit app stores out there too with things you can grab if you really miss the Android Marketplace.

Today I started reading a book on it. It's pretty heavy and thick (I have my folded back, with the tablet screen turned off) and while I like reading on it, its a little on the heavy side to hold up while laying down. Accessing the bookmark menu is a bit annoying too, since it's over on the Tablet side, and not too easy to find. You have to hit the little Info circle in the top of the eReader with the stylus (which is not easy to get to with it folded back) and then a menu pops up on the tablet side with more options about the book you are currently reading, such as book marks, easily scroll-able chapters, etc. Even with the heaviness and irritation of what I have to do to book mark it, I still enjoy it. This is my first eReader experience, I think I am going to like it!

The Tablet is sloowww compared to my phone, but I knew this going into it before I bought it, so I am not complaining. The screen itself looks MUCH better after the Ermine upgrade...not sure what changed other than the colors and overall look is much prettier.

I turned off a lot of the animations and stuff to make it run as fast as it could. I loaded all the widgets on it I have on my phone, everything works as it does on my phone. Pandora is fun to play while waking around the house on the WiFi. I copied some TV shows to it an watched them while in bed the other night, it ran smooth and looked GREAT in widescreen/landscape mode. The sound on this thing is actually pretty impressive. The stock tinny speakers in it are LOOUUDD. Full volume makes it distort, but clicking it back one notch makes it clear again. Hooking it up to headphones or external speakers (tried a 2.1 system on it too) sound EXCELLENT. I have to use a music player with an EQ on my phone, but on the PE it seems to sound pretty good on it's own. I'm impressed with it's sound. The camera works fine, and is fun to play with on the larger screen, it's mostly a novelty on this device, it functions the same as my phone, but just larger and more awkward holding the big tablet up to take a picture.

It's only downside, and I don't know if this is because it's CPU is slower, or if it's trying to render too much, perhaps its because it's trying to scale images too hard... is that a LOT of the newer/larger games just can't run on it. It either chokes or just doesn't load at all due to not enough ..something. I knew already that Angry Birds doesn't run on it from all the other forum posts, but some other games I wanted to try on a large screen didn't work either, games with higher graphics than the pokey casual games. Words with Friends looks AMAZING on this LOL. It's more fun to play on the PE than my phone, as silly as that sounds.

All in all, I am REALLY enjoying the experience of a tablet and an eReader. I more or less bought this because it was cheap on Woot, was able to put Android 2.2x on it, and was the best of both worlds (tablet and eReader). I wanted to get this to see how I liked each device, call it a Training Tablet/eReader if you will LOL.

It's a Win for me!

Last edited by corvettejoe; 05-15-2011 at 10:16 PM.
Old 05-15-2011, 10:44 PM   #2
Edge User
It seems you're a natural for the Edge.

I don't find my EE slow at all. I don't know what phone you have, but compared to my husband's Flytouch2 10" tablet, Edge is really faster.

My suggestion to check if the slowness you detect is normal or buggy, why don't you video record a short live session where we could see how long it takes to do things,
and upload it somewhere, then post the URL here. Those who have PEs may watch the video and check with their devices if yours is as fast/slow as them or if it behaves differently.

I haven't read complaints of slow behaviour here... so insist and recheck, just in case it's a bug in your unit or in your system.

[But of course, if I compare my EE to my Quad Phenom PC, yes, it is slow ].
Good luck and enjoy your experiments.
Old 05-16-2011, 12:00 AM   #3
Edge User
I'm used to the cutting edge and ultra fast response of things like my phone (Evo 4G) and the Moto Xoom tablet and other such tablets, multi touch and all that.

Comparing that to this tablet is a night and day difference in performance vs other things out there, but I am not complaining really, as I knew it would be like this before buying it.

Responsiveness in the screen is sluggish because of the touchscreen type being used, the resistive touch screens aren't as responsive, requiring longer touches, etc to make things happen. Capacitive touchscreens on the other hand are near instant to respond when touched.

The CPU is not the fastest, its a slower Marvell pxa 168 800 mhz (or Marvell Mohawk rev 0 v51) running at 797Mhz.
It does NOT support 3D graphics, and is basically an eReader processor, that's strong enough to run Android at an acceptable speed... which for my purposes is fine with me.

So, I think that's it's only performance issue really ... It doesn't support 3D and has the resistive touchscreen.

Again, no complaints, it is what it is, I was only making comparisons to other devices I'm used to and have used.

I really like it. I've been playing with it all weekend.
Old 05-17-2011, 01:33 AM   #4
Edge User
corvettejoe -

Rather hilariously, I had almost the exact same experience. I similarly got stuck with the Google Setup Wizard and completely flipped out.

The tablet side is actually a little more slick than I anticipated. Granted, it's no iPad 2, but the resistive touchscreen works better for my purposes. My main complaint is the buggy e-ink software. I'd love to be able to read and annotate PDFs on the e-ink side, but it's basically impossible; if you switch to landscape mode, the reader disables the annotation features. In addition, you can only highlight whole blocks of text. Finally, even if you could read in portrait mode, the reader seems to clear your annotations anytime you attempt to scroll down the page. Maybe some experienced users have some better advice.

However, you can quite easily read/annotate on the tablet side, and the resistive touchscreen provides a little more accuracy than your standard tablet. I'm actually thinking this thing might be a suitable replacement for my T91MT. I won't switch to a capacitive touchscreen until they have a suitable stylus (I had high hopes for the HTC Flyer, but the early reviews don't have much good to report about the stylus support).

I've also been playing with it the whole weekend. Should be working on my dissertation . . .


You should totally get rid of that nasty Entourage launcher. I personally like Launcher Pro:


You can totally get g-mail to work.

Last edited by kennyminot; 05-17-2011 at 01:39 AM.
Old 05-17-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
Edge User
What is the widget bar on the right side e.g. 5 icons vertical?
Old 05-17-2011, 11:07 AM   #6
Edge User
Originally Posted by kennyminot View Post
corvettejoe -
My main complaint is the buggy e-ink software. I'd love to be able to read and annotate PDFs on the e-ink side, but it's basically impossible; if you switch to landscape mode, the reader disables the annotation features. In addition, you can only highlight whole blocks of text. Finally, even if you could read in portrait mode, the reader seems to clear your annotations anytime you attempt to scroll down the page. Maybe some experienced users have some better advice.
Yes, it's true that you can't annotate in landscape mode. But the other problems youi've mentioned have me scratching my head. What do you mean you can only highlight whole blocks of text? Using the highlight tool, you can highlight a single word if you'd like. Using the pencil tool you can underline, circle, star, write margin notes. You can select the thickness of the pencil line, and you can even select various colors, which will only display when opened on a color screen. Annotations disappear when you turn the annotation feature off (in the upper nav bar), but otherwise do not disappear. You also can't change zoom levels once you've begun annotating. I have never lost annotations when scrolling between pages, so I can't speak to that--but that certainly is not a *normal* occurrence.
Old 05-18-2011, 12:42 AM   #7
Edge User
@ kennyminot - I hadn't gotten to thinking about an alternative launcher yet, that would be a nice change. I use ADW on my phone and like it a lot.
Mind PMing/emailing me how you got gmail working? Though I almost don't mind it not working as there is no way for the "alternative market" to access my accounts now LOL. Froyo Mail works just fine for my purposes (plus, I still have my phone on me at all times, an usually always around a PC).

I don't really do notes or anything, so... so far the ereader is sufficient for my uses (books only). I did try a few PDF files (Top Gear magazine, and some scuba magazines) and was pretty disappointed, but I wouldn't expect ANY ereader to fully display what a PDF has to display (though this is my FIRST experience with an e-reader). The android side did fairly better, but the scrolling killed it. I just plan to read books on the ereader side and do android things on the tablet side... not really caring about notes of magazines for my own purposes.

@Gunnerp245 - It's called Elixir. It's totally free. I have it on my phone, and in a 2x4 space, I have about 21 icons, mostly all status and the switches (wifi, lighting, antennas, etc)...and a bunch of apps I use most often on it as well. I just have it setup with a few basic things on the PE since it has a lot more icon space on it's screen.


I do have to say, after a few comments of people using the stylus with better results on the tablet's resistive screen.. I started using the tippy tip of my finger or a finger nail and have MUCH better results. I was so used to just thumbing everything, and I guess the screen doesn't know what to do with all the surface of my entire finger tip... so I have found it much more responsive now that I know how to use it better... it's still no where NEAR my phone's capacitive screen.. but a much better improvement with my change in technique.
Old 05-18-2011, 02:06 AM   #8
Edge User
Was gonna ask where you got Elixir, but I found the answer in an earlier thread: Is there another place to download from that you know of? I can't make an account at Appbrain.
Old 05-18-2011, 06:05 AM   #9
Edge User
Filark, to answer your question
Old 05-18-2011, 07:22 AM   #10
Edge User

Someone on xda managed to get the Market to work! I currently have it running on my eDGe.

I posted the procedure here:
Old 05-18-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
Edge User
Great post, corvettejoe.

You don't like the ADW launcher, huh?

Where did you find the "downgrade" article? I searched and searched morning w/no luck. It's pretty much a given that I will one day be "sweating bullets" and in need of it. What's a "warez downloader"? Just a general description.

Funny, I find reading a book on the eInk side easier holding it open, sort of like a real book. But then most of my reading is laying down w/ the PE propped on a pillow.
Old 05-18-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
Edge User
Originally Posted by ivan View Post
Filark, to answer your question
Thank you, Ivan!! I've been looking for that off and on ever since Franky posted about it.
Old 05-18-2011, 08:06 PM   #13
Edge User
@ Filark - I pretty much just google for any APK I'm looking for, or copy it from my phone. Googling it is usually quicker, then simply copy it to your edge and install it.

@ kennyminot - awesome, going to check that out! Thanks for the link.

@ cBird - I like ADW a lot actually, I have it on my phone (CM7 w/ADW)

Also, here's the article to downgrade in case you mess something up...

After a week of use, I've decided I really like this thing. Been using it more and more. My buddy that bought one is ready for a Xoom or something already, so I'll most likely buy his for the wife to use. I guess my only complaint as of now is it' lack of 3D support But nothing that can be done about that.
Old 05-19-2011, 02:09 AM   #14
Edge User
How do you grab the apk file from a phone? I have a stock Nexus One and most apps just install without giving any option of saving the apk file. I search through the phone for the apk of an app I just installed on the phone and it's gone. Is there some sort of DL manager that will save a copy of the apk?


Old 05-19-2011, 09:00 PM   #15
Edge User
Mark -

You can use several different strategies to get the *.apk files. You probably will need to root your phone, but then you can use either Root Explorer or Titanium Backup to get the files. Given that you have a Nexus One, my guess is that rooting will be relatively easy and painless.

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