The Best Android Apps for Pandigital Nova

the good news is that making use of the Amazon app store did not prove to be an entire waste of time and money. my decision has been that the Pandigital Nova performs better WITHOUT the Amazon app store.

decided this in part because the Amazon app constantly runs in the background –and even if you kill the application– it starts again any time you use one of the apps installed through Amazon. i’m not saying it’s spyware, but Amazon appstore was using a little too much of MY resources to gather ITS data. electricity isn’t free, you know.

here is a list of apps that still work AFTER an uninstall of Amazon appstore:

Where’s my Water? (game)
Thunderstorm (live wallpaper)*
Circle Launcher (app launcher widget)*

ones that STOPPED working:

Double twist mediaplayer*
Angry Birds*
Angry Birds Seasons*
Angry Birds Rio*
Fruit Ninja*
Doodle Jump*
Tiki Golf
Multi-timer Pro*
Brightness settings

*purchased apps

after finding replacements for the no-longer-working apps, i am seeing better performance overall. which never know exactly WHAT was causing poor performance. no unusual memory usage was noted. however, it gets annoying having to constantly turn-off a Wifi signal due to the high battery usage.

here are replacement programs found:

Double twist mediaplayer*
———– switched out for Double twist .apk from freewarelovers.com

Angry Birds* ———– installed ad-supported version from GetJar
Angry Birds Seasons* ———– installed ad-supported version from GetJar
Angry Birds Rio* ———– installed ad-supported version from GetJar
Fruit Ninja* ———– installed ad-supported version from GetJar
Doodle Jump* ———– shared apk
Tiki Golf ———– other games from GetJar
Multi-timer Pro* ———– not replaced
Brightness settings ———– found exact same app at freewarelovers.com

the current set-up is working and needs very little tweaking. will put a list on bottom of blog, with current apps and notes on each one.

default sound-levels on the Nova seem too low and make it difficult to listen to your media. i found this solution:

http://www.apktops.com/volume-sound-boost-1-7-4.html

also installed Volume Control Plus (from the GetJar store). if you hit the “mute” button on Volume Control Plus, it mutes notification and ringer only. hard to say what part of which finally helped boost the sound, but results are kind of skittish. if you launch the regular sound-setting UI at all, will loose the boost and have to reinstall Volume+ and Volume Control Plus.

strike that! have found that any time you loose the sound boost, just go into settings>>>>applications>>>>>manage applications. select Volume+ from the list and then click on the button to clear data. then run Volume+ and reset the settings. for me, go into speaker settings, check both “Speaker Modifications” and “Virtual Room Effect” … then go to “Volume Level” and in the drop-down i select +13. that pops the volume right up to about twice what it was. you can leave a song on the whole time to see the difference. best when going to set the Volume+ setting, DO NOT HAVE NATIVE VOLUME MAXED …. set your volume to about half before you go to boost it.

Circle Launcher is one of those programs that is HIGHLY customizable. the more you dig in it, the more you find in tweaks to suit your needs. haven’t found any bugs in Circle Launcher, performance is flawless. something you don’t often find in an app launcher.

you might notice that cannot “size” your widgets on the Pandigital home screen. that MEANS that Pandigital is calling the shots. your tablet is calling the shots on how much space that widget will occupy. a clearly defined parameter that prevents exploitation and facilitates command performance OF those widgets. when i saw this first done with the Pandigital Novel — i thought “good. they plugged the hole in THAT dam.” how much functionality are you achieving by “sizing” widgets — in exchange for lowered performance and security? it never WAS worth the trade-off.

the email client is plain-text only. BAM — in one move solved the major security issue with most email clients. every bug and virus and nasty thing in email is contained within the html style code. for the first time in my computing history, i can USE an email client without winding up having to rewrite an OS as a result.

the 10.2 version of flashplayer is older and doesn’t work on all sites — but i am quite sure the selection of the older version is due to measured security within an Android system.

i can’t seem to get the built-in calendar to work — am not sure what it means by “exchange.” mostly use the native browser for internet, while keeping the Opera browser as a backup. my biggest concern is battery-drain and optimizing the Pandigital Nova for extended use when away from home.

now — the entire time i have sat here with the Pandigital Nova ON, WITH its Wifi going in the time it took to write this blog (start 11:05 and now 12:48) …. battery level has gone from 97% to 93% full.

apps used on Nova:

Analog Clock Collection
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/analog-clock-collection
currently not in use

Angry Birds
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/43600/angry-birds-for-google-nexus-one/
this is the ‘ad-version’ so play with wifi OFF

Angry Birds Rio
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/71468/angry-birds-rio-for-google-nexus-one/
this is the ‘ad-version’ so play with wifi OFF

Battery Widget
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/battery-widget
simple one from Freewarelovers.com is best have found

brightness setting
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/69855/–brightness-setting-for-google-nexus-one/
toggle brightness a HAIR lower than native lowest

CircleLauncher
http://www.amazon.com/db-ware-CircleLauncher/dp/B004YL6RUI/
customizable way to organize and access programming

Doodle jump
http://www.amazon.com/Real-Networks-Inc-Doodle-Jump/dp/B004R1U6KM/
version 1.66

doubleTwist
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/doubletwist-player
vers. 1.21 …..mostly as a backup mediaplayer

Free Advanced Task Manager
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/advanced-task-manager-free
if using the widget, be SURE to set system apps on “exclude.” that includes your Barnes and Noble, Email, etc.

Fruit Ninja Free
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/172048/fruit-ninja-free-by-halfbrick-studios-for-google-nexus-one/
this is the ‘ad-version’ so play with wifi OFF

Mini Piano Lite
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/166816/minipianolite-for-google-nexus-one/
got this for my 2 year old cousin, but found it an interesting way to create your own music

Notepad
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/166079/notepad-free-for-google-nexus-one/
sort of like having sticky-notes – currently not using

Opera Mobile
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/opera-mobile
vers. 11.1 … found this is the best version of Opera for use on Nova. if install updated version just end up uninstalling and reinstalling this one.

Paint Joy
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/71882/–paint-joy-free-for-google-nexus-one/
haven’t tried yet

Prison Ball
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/283949/prison-ball-for-google-nexus-one/
a little corny — but sometimes games that don’t make you think are good to have

Retro Clock
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/retro-clock
digital clock widget — also has a calendar widget

Thunderstorm
http://www.amazon.com/Kittehface-Software-Thunderstorm-Live-Wallpaper/dp/B004LT7OSM/
Live wallpaper — ability to tweak settings not available after uninstall of Amazon store

Video Player
http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/app/video-player
this 1.0 one and only version is a simple and solid UI for native video player —- lists videos from SD card.

Volume Control+
http://www.getjar.com/mobile/248987/volume-control-plus-for-google-nexus-one/
a widget to quickly set volume from home screen

Volume+
http://www.apktops.com/volume-sound-boost-1-7-4.html
taps into graphic-equalizer for sound-boosting

Where’s My Water
http://www.amazon.com/Disney-Wheres-My-Water/dp/B006D1ONE4/
fun Disney game — though stays running even after exiting. task-kill with Advanced.

wp clock
http://www.amazon.com/tom-bernard-anyz-clock-full/dp/B004SJ34LQ/
live wallpaper from Amazon

YouTube
borrowed apk from Motorolla Droid

if the shortcuts to GetJar don’t work, try entering the name of the App in their search box. it’s just i had to get those links using the desktop computer instead of the tablet.
****************************************

1/16/2012
am going to amend this entry. loaded more apps, and got to a state of poor function where a reset of the system was necessary (Settings >>>> Privacy >>>> Factory Data Reset).

this time i skipped through the set-up, and instead entered the Barnes and Noble account information and set up wifi connection AFTER the first launch of the system. no gmail account has been added.

much better performance now, less battery drain — and 3-4 changes. have NOT initiated the Email program nor the InTouch social program. have NOT installed the Advanced App Manager. have NOT installed ANY secondary media-program (video or music player).

and HAVE installed the Amazon Appstore ——- so am going to have to retract and consider the lowered performance as attributable to other factors. it will take several days in timing and noting battery-use, to determine what is possibly the relevant variable. will post the data when and if i find which change is the causal influence. i also reformatted my SD card using Windows without the the quick format.

where the native music player could NOT find any music on the SD BEFORE, it now has found and listed the entries from the SD card.

using the bookmark manager for the estrong filesystem, can place shortcuts to media files on your homepage. just long-click on the folder and select “create shortcut.”

1/22/2012

well so far it looks like the problem is in the task manager — doesn’t seem to matter what ‘brand’ — same type of power drain with using either Advanced Task Manager or Gemini Task Manager. might have to do with it keeping the wifi awake while in stand-by mode.

found a bug, but can’t reproduce-it. it was like Flashplayer was trying to load the applications manager. the regular android applications manager — had the circle going around like for youtube player, and then of course crashed. rebooting system fixed that — and i can’t seem to reproduce it. the norm is to have none (as in nada) wait to the app manager list. so something must have crashed the manager and left Flashplayer trying to load it.

will post an amended applications list once i get her tip-top.

5-12-2012 Update:

overall am finding Amazon .apk to be worthwhile. the newer version of amazon appstore seems to use less resources.

only media player am having success with is Meridian. i don’t like the gesture-controls, but there is a setting where can turn that off.

i use Opera Mobile for a browser, because it has a setting to go from mobile to desktop view. since some websites now deny services to mobile, having a browser that can fake it is a desktop can be useful. Mozilla Firefox also has desktop settings available as a plugin.

if you go into the estrong file browser …. at root under the folder system/app/ you will find the programs shipped with android.

i share between devices. like took the Youtube app from my phone, and put it on the Pandigital tablet. took the dictionary app from the tablet, and put it on my phone.

current list of apps:

  • angry birds rio (A)
  • angry birds space (A)
  • amazon appstore (A)
  • beautiful widgets
  • brightness setting
  • doodle jump
  • fruit ninja pib (A)
  • meridian (A)
  • mini piano lite
  • night clock (A)
  • opera mobile (A)
  • stopwatch (A)
  • volume control+
  • volume+
  • where’s my water? (A)
  • youtube

************************** as can see, have many from the amazon store. they have been good with customer service when any problems.

right now am working with Calibre and downloading newspapers which are then uploaded to your device.

http://calibre-ebook.com/

i do 7 papers a day (but there are HUNDREDS!) …. it’s free and works fine w/Pandigital Nova. did have to adjust the destination settings for the newspaper epubs, so they would go on the PD_Universe drive under the eBooks folder there. (barnes and noble app does not pick up any titles under eBooks on the sdcard).

but this way i can get my local paper, as well as new york times and ones from egypt and china ….. and read them on the Pandigital Nova.  Calibre is awesome stuff ——- viva le open source!

*********************************
12/28/2012
Final list of functioning tablet:

Doodle Jump (anonymous source)
Angry Birds (anonymous source)
Beautiful Widgets (GetJar)
brightness setting (www.freewarelovers.com/android/)
Dolphin Browser HD (www.freewarelovers.com/android/)
Dolphin License (www.freewarelovers.com/android/)
ES Bookmark Manager (developer website)
ES File Explorer (update .apk borrowed from Coby android 4.0 tablet)
ES Task Manager (borrowed from Coby)
Overdrive Media Console (Local Library)
Quickoffice (borrowed from Motorolla Droid phone)
Video Player (1.0 plain player, on http://www.freewarelovers.com/android/)
Volume+ (developer website http://www.apktops.com/volume-sound-boost-1-7-4.html)
YouTube (borrowed from Mororolla Droid phone)

*************************************************

if volume booster stops working, can clear the cache for it under Manage Applications — then restart/reset. it pretty much stops working any time you restart the tablet. can also change the settings to manual Speaker Modifications.

you need sound-boost for the Nova, because standard setting on the volume is WAY too low. why they decide is more important to “save” the cheapy non-stereo speaker is beyond me. boost volume works well at level 13 — but then don’t keep it cranked all the way.

to “borrow” other apps from other android devices, use Estrong to go to root folder — (just keep hitting “UP” folder until can’t go anymore).
then open folder system/app ……….. copy all, and paste onto the SD card.

****************************************************************

the Nova works better WITHOUT a live wallpaper, using the still image instead.
if you keep the display dimmed downed to lowest on the “brightness setting” app ….. battery will last closer to 5-6 hours, instead of 2-3 hours.

put the Widget from ES Taskmanager on homescreen to end tasks in one tap.

and what is noteworthy …. is that the Nova is worth the money for the Dictionary app, and the Clock app alone. those you can take with you, to every android device. and a stand-alone dictionary MINUS all the ads and web-connections is the BEST thing for a writer to find. the clock app even installs on the Androi 4.0 and improves the native clock app to the Pandigital version — which has their slideshow, and a better display.

i don’t use “inTouch”
i don’t CONTINUE to use GetJar
i don’t use the native browser, because it doesn’t matter how many times you set it — manages to make its homepage “www.ereadingsource.com” no matter what you do. and that’s just a search-engine site working on the bottom (scrounger) which means not above doing what it can to you OR your machine! avoid avoid avoid

i don’t use the native weather — and use “Beautiful Widgets” for weather widgets. the basic “Video.apk” is a listing that uses your native video player to play videos. so it just fixes that problem with the native Video Player app in Nova — that doesn’t give a listing and only goes to your SDcard files.

i don’t use the cameras — really low res, and something went fracky w/ the camera software after owning the Nova for a year. wasn’t worth it to me to troubleshoot.

but really is/has been a good little tablet. thing about the Nova, is it’s solid state. so you don’t let that puppy go. American made. i’m loaning it to family — but puting all kinds of screen protectors and covering the case in craft foam. it will last you. this is one that won’t end up in the dumpster in five years.

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