Non-standard Android Tablets - Can I still use the digital books?
There were a lot of inexpensive Android tablets on the market this year. Despite having a newer version of the Android operating system, the processing power and memory is low. Many manufacturers specifically made these devices for Black Friday sales. This does not mean that your tablet cannot use our ebooks services, just that it may take you some extra setup! Here are our recommendations followed by how to use digital books on your device.
1. Install an App Store App if Possible, or Learn to Download Apps Direct
These devices commonly do not come with an app store, but they do usually have shortcuts to install one. Find the option to install an app store on your tablet, and it may recommend several to you. We would stick to one of these. Once installed, you will have an "app store app" to download other apps in the future.
- SlideMe - if no shortcut available your tablet, this one lets you the install the app store app from their website:
- Link is at the bottom of their About Us section-tap this.
- Download this APK file when prompted.
- When download it is finished, tap the "download finished" notification & choose to install it.
- GetJar - another common app store.
Can't install the actual app store app? It is possible to install individual apps directly from the SlideMe.org website, this is what you should do.
- Go to http://slideme.org on your tablet's web browser.
- Use the application search bar and type in the name of the app you need.
- When you've found it, open its page. Find the download button to start the file download.
- Your tablet should notify you when the download is complete. Tap the notification, it should give you the option to install the app.
2. Install a New Web Browser
Sometimes the default browser on these tablets (usually just called "Web" or "Web Browser") cannot pull up all websites properly. If this is the case for you, we recommend the Opera Mini browser. This one has been around since the early days of Android, so it was originally configured for lower-powered devices anyway.
- Have an app store app now? Open it, search for "opera mini" and install.
- No app store? Here's the Opera Mini page on SlideMe. Install as noted above.
3. Learn to Use Your Device
There wasn't a manual in the box - where can I look?
- Look for a Manufacturer's Support Site and/or User Manual. A good way to do this is to Google the name & model number of your device. You can also just search for the name of the manufacturer. On their website, find the "products" section and then the page for your device. They may have a model number search to make this easier. Look for a user manual, getting started instructions, or FAQs about the device.
- Computerworld Android 4.0 Cheatsheet: this is written for a standard Android tablet with Google Play. You may not have all buttons and features, but it is a good place to start to learn the buttons. Most of the budget tablets this year have Android version 4.0 - 4.2 installed.
- Digital Reader Blog Article: 5 Apps Your Should Install on Your New Budget Tablet. We read Digital Reader often, and the author of this article has experience with these sorts of devices. You might want to search this site for the name of your tablet too. A review may point out what you can do on the tablet.
- Regular People! We have also found useful information in YouTube videos made by a person that bought the same device. Go to http://youtube.com and search for the tablet name.
What should you learn? The same things as any Android device!
- How to charge the device properly.
- Where all of the "hard" buttons on the device are- power, volume, etc.
- How to do a full power off versus just putting the device to "sleep." We recommend a full power off type restart about once a week for tablets. They run a lot better.
- What all of the on-screen control buttons do.
- How to find the list of all installed apps, and how to manage them.
- How to put apps you want to use regularly - like the Opera Web Browser or ebook reading app - on the main screen of your device. This will allow you easy access!
- How to update your device & apps.
So - how do I use the digital books?
eBooks - Freading
This system will be compatible with your device. Here's the app you need:
Setup of Aldiko Reader App
- Open your app store app and search for "aldiko," or directly download from the Aldiko page at Slideme.org (as noted above).
- When installation of the app is complete, open it on your tablet. It will have a few "hello" notes to show you before the Aldiko home screen appears.
- There should be a white, vertical menu open. Select "About" at the bottom of this list.
- Don't see the menu? Tap "Books" in the upper left corner in the green border to open it.
- Adobe DRM should be the top option - tap this to open the Adobe screen. An Adobe ID is required to open library ebooks (this is a one-time thing)
- Have an Adobe ID already? Enter it and tap "Log in."
- Don't have one? Tap "Sign up." Aldiko will open an account creation form - fill this out, and follow any prompts the app gives you.
- Your app is now set up! From here, you use Freading the same way as any other Android tablet. See the Freading for Android page to learn how to check out, use, and delete books from your device when finished.
Other ebook-related options?
- Enki, another library ebook system, is coming in early 2014. eBooks from it will work with the Aldiko reader app too, so you will not need additional setup!
- 3M Cloud Library ebooks can be transferred from a computer onto the Aldiko reading app (set up and install it first). Basically, we pretend the tablet is a regular ereader. If you're interested in giving this a try, see this 3M help note.
- There are a lot of places to find free ebooks online, whether these are free for a promotional period or classic books that are out of print. Most of these should be able to download into the Aldiko app. Check out our Free Books Online page for sites we have used.
Audiobooks - OneClickdigital
Only tablets able to use a formal app store, such as Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store, are able to download the OneClickdigital app for Android devices.
Audiobooks may be transferred from the computer to the tablet using the manual download process. Full instructions are posted here.