Tag Archives: Android

A TheDustyBlog Guide to Sideloading

So, you have some ebooks that aren’t tied to one of the big ebook retailers out there. Maybe you got an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of a book from TheCheapEbook. Or maybe you bought a book from Smashwords. In any case, here is a – hopefully – helpful guide to get those files to your Android or iOS device of choice for eyeball consumption.

Just click the type of file you have under the type of device you have.

Android (Phone/Tablet)

.mobi & .pdf  – Using the Kindle app to sideload .mobi and .pdf files to your Android device is as simple as email!

.epub (cloud storage) – I use Dropbox to get sideloaded epub files to my Android device. Here’s my process.

.epub (offline) – Not everyone wants to mess with online services. Here’s how to sideload an epub using just your PC and Android device.

.pdf – We’re going to use Dropbox to sideload a PDF file to your Android device.

.pdf (offline) – So you want to move your PDF file without Dropbox? Why? Doesn’t matter. I’ll help.

iOS (iPhone/iPad)

.mobi & .pdf – Using the Kindle app to sideload .mobi and .pdf files to your iOS device is as simple as email!

.epub & pdf – Dropbox and iBooks combine to bring us sideloaded .epubs and .pdfs.

Android: Sideloading PDF files (offline)

I figured I’d go ahead and document a way to sideload .PDF files to the Kindle app for those who don’t want to mess with cloud storage.

Pre-requisites:

Kindle app installed and previously launched on your Android device – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle

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Step 1 – On PC: Connect your Android device via USB

Plug your Android device into your PC. Ideally your PC will identify it with a drive letter. If not, your Android device may need you to place it in something called “Mass Storage Mode.” Android is sort of inconsistent with how to do this, so I will be unable to get too detailed here. All I can offer is the fact that most Android devices I’ve encountered have responded to being plugged into a USB port with a prompt to enter Mass Storage Mode, if they didn’t enter it automatically.

In my case, I’m using a Motorola Droid 4. I had to switch it to Mass Storage Mode manually. But the notification screen was very helpful in making that change. If you’re interested, here is a link to a post that shows what I had to do [ coming soon ].

My Android device identified itself as drive N. Yours could be almost anything. When I browsed to N, I got a large list of folders. Your list will very likely differ. In fact, you may have two drives – or more! – come up. What you’re looking for is a folder titled kindle.

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Step 2 – On PC: Place the PDF file in the Kindle folder

If you open that Kindle folder you may or may not find some files in that folder. Your folders may differ from mine but Kindle is the important folder. Just drop your file into that folder. Below is my N:\Kindle\ directory and I added the Testing.pdf. The Kindle app itself created the Testing.index file, so don’t worry about not having that. In any case, just drop your PDF there.

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Step 3 – On PC: Safely Remove your Android device.

There are a number of ways you can do this too. Basically we just want to “Eject” the device. You can do via a Right-click on the drive letter. You can use the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon in your taskbar.

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However you do it, just safely remove the device like you always do.

Step 4 – On Android: Open the Kindle app

Chances are that your Kindle app is going to open to whatever you were doing last. You may need press your devices back button. If your Kindle app takes you right to the Home screen, you may already see your PDF file there. If so, good. Click it and go. If not, click the three little horizontal lines next to the kindle logo on the top left.

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A menu will slide out from the left. Click Docs. Your PDF should be listed there “On Device.”

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Now it’s just a matter of clicking on your title, reading and enjoying. I hope this helped!

Optional Final Step

If this helped you, please consider making a donation for my efforts in bringing you this tutorial. In total, I spent about a half an hour in writing, image generation and editing.

If not PayPal, I sure wouldn’t hate a Kindle Gift Card. If you’d rather gift a book so that I don’t use that gift card on coffee or electronics, here is a link to my Amazon Gift Registry. Ignore the big ticket items, this is also where I keep my Christmas/Birthday wishlist. =)

Android: Sideloading PDF files (online)

There are so many ways and apps you can use to open/read .PDF files on Android – only their features and interface differ – so I’m going to show you how I sideload .PDF to my Android phone and you can decide if you like the process.

If you are immediately intimidated by the length of this tutorial, please scroll down to “In conclusion” and read that. MOST of this is a one time deal, never to require repeating. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Step One – On PC: Creating a Dropbox account

This process requires a Dropbox account, but if you have SugarSync or Box.net or any other application that will allow you to access remote files on your Android device then you should be good. If you already have this setup on your Android device, skip to Step Three.

Alright, glad you’re still here with me. First things first, we need to get you a Dropbox account. Dropbox is basically a software that grants you some web storage and has a client for your PC/Phone and Tablet which will allow you to put a file in once place and access it everywhere. Cloud storage can be awesome, yes?

So go sign up for a Dropbox account via this link: http://db.tt/orat4UXk
Note: This is a referral link but you and I will both benefit from it. We both get extra storage. It’s not a monetary thing.

It will walk you through the process of the sign up and installation of the desktop client. I highly recommend the desktop client piece, it will make future book sideloading a breeze.

Step Two – On Android: Install Dropbox

This is really just as easy as going to the Play Store and downloading the free app. [ Link here ]

Launch the app and login with your Dropbox credential. Things will be a little bare but we’ll remedy that soon enough.

Step Three – On PC: Place the .PDF file in Dropbox

If you installed the Dropbox desktop client, you now have a folder on your computer called Dropbox. If you can’t find it, you can right click on the Dropbox icon in the bottom right hand corner of your screen next to the clock.

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Next step is to move the .PDF file that you want to sideload to the Dropbox folder. I’m going to move a book called Arena Mode by Blake Northcott over. Since I helped fund the project via Kickstarter, I got DRM-free copies of her new book in multiple formats.

I created a folder in Dropbox called aBookTutorial, but you can call it whatever you want or skip folders all together. It’s up to you. I created a folder and store my ebooks there. I downloaded the PDF file (and other formats) from her website via the link I was sent. You could have gotten the .PDF file from download or maybe from an email. It doesn’t really matter how you got the file, drop it into your Dropbox folder. Wherever you want to.

Here is what my folder looks like on my desktop

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Dropbox will then shoot those files up into the cloud. It may take a few minutes (or longer, if your book is particularly large.)

Step 4 – On Android: Confirm File Sync in Dropbox

Now we’re going to confirm that our files are syncing up. If you see the folders and files you’ve created, then you are good. We’ll move onto Step 5. Below is what my Android device looks like after I performed Step 3 above.

After I’ve logged into my Dropbox app, I see this

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When I click into it I see this

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Step 5 – On Android: See if you already have a PDF reader installed

There are probably countless PDF Readers in the Play Store. Chances are you probably have one already installed. My phone came preloaded with a free version of “QuickOffice” that will open PDFs. I also have the Kindle app that reads them. So how do you know if you have an app already installed that reads PDFs? Just look in your Dropbox folder and click on that .PDF file you moved over. Android should either automatically open it, or give you a list of applications that support PDF loading. Here is what it looked like on my Android device when I attempted to open a PDF.

Before I show you the image, I want you to notice something specific. There are three apps that are identified as handling PDF files. When you select an app, two more buttons are going to un-grey and become clickable “Always” and “Just once.” If you don’t know which of the apps you prefer PLEASE press Just once.

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The PDF will open in the application of your choice. IF the app just opened, you may have already clicked “Always” once before. OR you may have only a single app available to open PDF files.

If, by chance, you don’t have an application installed that reads PDFs, I have personal experience with Aldiko, Kindle and my personal favorite for PDF handling ezPDF Reader [ here ]. Adobe, parent of the PDF, also has a free PDF reader so don’t feel compelled to spend money on an application if you don’t see anything wrong with a free option like Kindle or Aldiko.

In conclusion

If you aren’t familiar with Dropbox or cloud storage in general you may be looking at this tutorial and thinking ‘there is no way I am going to do that everytime’ but the work is already done. From now on all you have to do is copy your PDF file into the Dropbox folder of your choice, wait for it to show up in the Dropbox app on your Android device, tap the file and enjoy. In a nutshell, you do Step 3 and Step 5. That’s it. Easy-peasy. You got this.

Optional Final Step

If this helped you, please consider making a donation for my efforts in bringing you this tutorial. In total, I spent just shy of an hour in writing, image generation and editing.

If not PayPal, I sure wouldn’t hate a Kindle Gift Card. If you’d rather gift a book so that I don’t use that gift card on coffee or electronics, here is a link to my Amazon Gift Registry. Ignore the big ticket items, this is also where I keep my Christmas/Birthday wishlist. =)

Android: Sideloading .epub files (offline)

I figured I’d go ahead and document a way to sideload .epub files to the NOOK app for those who don’t want to mess with cloud storage.

Pre-requisites:

NOOK app installed and previously launched on your Android device – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bn.ereader

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Step 1 – On PC: Connect your Android device via USB

Plug your Android device into your PC. Ideally your PC will identify it with a drive letter. If not, your Android device may need you to place it in something called “Mass Storage Mode.” Android is sort of inconsistent with how to do this, so I will be unable to get too detailed here. All I can offer is the fact that most Android devices I’ve encountered have responded to being plugged into a USB port with a prompt to enter Mass Storage Mode, if they didn’t enter it automatically.

In my case, I’m using a Motorola Droid 4. I had to switch it to Mass Storage Mode manually. But the notification screen was very helpful in making that change. If you’re interested, here is a link to a post that shows what I had to do [ coming soon ].

My Android device identified itself as drive N. Yours could be almost anything. When I browsed to N, I got a large list of folders. Your list will very likely differ. In fact, you may have two drives – or more! – come up. What you’re looking for is a folder titled Nook.

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Step 2 – On PC: Place the .epub file in the NOOK MyDocuments folder

If you open that Nook folder you’ll find a few more folders. Your folders may differ from mine but the important folder is MyDocuments. Open MyDocuments and copy your .epub file there.

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Step 3 – On PC: Safely Remove your Android device.

There are a number of ways you can do this too. Basically we just want to “Eject” the device. You can do via a Right-click on the drive letter. You can use the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon in your taskbar.

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However you do it, just safely remove the device like you always do.

Step 4 – On Android: Open the NOOK app

Chance are your NOOK app is going to default to the Books view.

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You are going to want to click the Books dropdown and select My Files. There is a chance you get a message that says you have no sideloaded content. Press the refresh button beneath the shopping bag and magnifying glass. That should find make the file or files you sideloaded appear.

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Now it’s just a matter of clicking on your title, reading and enjoying. I hope this helped!

Optional Final Step

If this helped you, please consider making a donation for my efforts in bringing you this tutorial. In total, I spent about a half an hour in writing, image generation and editing.

If not PayPal, I sure wouldn’t hate a Kindle Gift Card. If you’d rather gift a book so that I don’t use that gift card on coffee or electronics, here is a link to my Amazon Gift Registry. Ignore the big ticket items, this is also where I keep my Christmas/Birthday wishlist. =)

Opinions are like a**holes

What is it about technology that makes people so passionate? How many times have you seen PlayStation and Xbox fanboys at each others throats? XBL is l33t. PS3 doesn’t charge for online game play. Back and forth it goes. That same fervor exists for Mac and PC users. Windows has a ton of viruses. Mac is overpriced. Back and forth that goes. Which leads me to the next great fanboy war, iPhone versus Android.

I’ve been on both sides of the fence – or walled garden, if you want to be like that. I think both platforms have their virtues. I love the widgets and customization that Android provides. I love the beauty and simplicity that iPhone provides. They have different things working for and against them. Yet, people are so convinced of their platform of choice’s superiority that they have absolutely no shame in their attempts to shame other people who don’t share their opinion.

I’m a member of a Facebook group that discussed books, the nook ereader, etc. We go off-topic so it’s not uncommon for technology to come up from time to time. God help the person who mentions owning an Apple product. People come out of the woodwork to bash the product and the owner of the product by proxy. Let me provide an example.

Someone posted a comment yesterday about how she has an iPhone 4S and loves it but she has to vent. She mentions that for the past couple of days it has really been acting up and she’s frustrated. We’ve established that she has a product that she loves that she’s having issues with. Someone pops into the thread to comment:

may be thats why there stock is dropping. junk

Seriously? Would this person feel right commenting on a complete stranger’s relationship status when it changed to “it’s complicated”? This is openly announced as a vent. She is having issues with something she loves. She wants two things. First, she wants to get it off her chest so she doesn’t feel alone. Second, she wants to find out if anyone knows how to resolve the issues she’s having.

Another voice enters the conversation, once the issue has been resolved, with a light hearted:

Sounds like instead of an Apple you got a lemon.

This comment doesn’t irk me as much because this individual is very friendly, jokes with everyone and the issue is already resolved. I may have found it out of place if the problem still existed, since it would still be source of frustration, but the issue is resolved and it’s easier to laugh at the situation now that it’s no longer an issue.

I don’t know. It just bothered me that someone would dare to call someone else’s decision “junk”. I caught all kinds of hell, particularly from that last commenter, when I switched from my OG Droid to the iPhone. I started to get articles posted on my Facebook wall about how horrible Apple was as a company. How they used child labor. Or how they forced 24-hour shifts. Or just any negative press that could be dug up. It bordered on bullying.

Now that isn’t saying I think that person is a bully. I know better. That person is a kind soul who only did it as a good natured jab. He knows I can take the ribbing. I know if it legitimately bothered me that I could ask him to stop and he would. Truth is it doesn’t bother me. I’ve got my big boy pants on and the only opinion that will sway my decision making is my own. I don’t mind swimming against popular opinion from time to time. I don’t mind “joining the dark side”. They have cookies. Internet joke – sorry.

In any event, I just had to vent myself before I popped into that thread and let my own opinion be known. I feel better now. Thanks for being there for me. I’m going to go make a call on my iPhone and browse Flipboard on my iPad.

And if you don’t like that?

iDon’t Care.

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(Image courtesy of Norebbo)

The Internet is bothering me today

The Internet is so annoying this morning. Folks are waiting for the iPad 3/HD announcement and every article is a troll war. I’m so tired of the whole “Apple just repackages the same technology” argument. It’s idiotic. What does the automotive industry do? What does the PC industry do? What does the appliances industry do? Where is the outrage when GM, Ford or Chrysler release the next years model and it just has a different body style?

Now I understand that mobile technology is moving at a very brisk clip right now but it’s like the PC industry in late 90’s, speed was doubling/quadrupling by the year. 100mhz processor, then 200mhz, then 400mhz. And now it’s the race to see how many cores we can fit onto a piece of silicon. My point is this trend is going to slow. And do these people really think that manufacturers are going to stop making products while waiting for the next big thing? No. They are going to repackage the same thing. It worked for Nintendo. How many different colors of Gameboy and DS are there?

But the real crux of this argument is that Apple ISN’T repackage the same technology. The iPad 3/HD is expected to have an upgraded dual core processor or a quad core processor. It’s expected to have 1GB of Memory, up from iPad 2’s 512mb. It is also expected to have Apple’s beautiful Retina (or Retina-like) display. How is this the same old iPad?

Let me ask you this. How do you interface with a tablet? Its touchscreen. How do you consume the information? Your eyeballs on its screen? If the internal specs are significantly better, and the screen resolution and clarity is MUCH improved, how is this a minor upgrade? What would it take to be a major upgrade? Would the quad core do it? Obviously doubling the memory and resolution doesn’t count.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a preferred mobile OS. There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking Android over iOS or liking iOS over Android. But when you make statements like the iPad 3/HD is just the same old hardware with a new label on the box you end up looking like an idiotic fanboy. This isn’t the video game industry releasing the Gameboy Color.

Ridiculous.