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[HOW-TO] Work-arounds for issues with stock Nook Color ROM
Credit goes to Will Shanklin.
Since the same questions seem to be getting asked a lot, here are some methods for getting past stock NookColor ROM limitations in a single thread:
1. How do I keep wifi from turning off when the screen goes to sleep?
- download Spare Parts from the market and set wifi sleep policy to never.
. . . mixed results have been reported with this method, but this appears to be the best known fix at the moment.
2. I restored and re-rooted, now I can't log in to my B&N account!
- get NookColorTools app (if not installed during root, it's on xda). Under All Settings, open the 2nd (of 3) setting called Wireless near the bottom. This will begin their registration process again.
3. How do I install a different keyboard?
- if it's in the market, first purchase/install it-- if it's a stand-alone apk, skip that and move on to the next paragraph. If you just downloaded it from the market, find the apk somewhere in data/app/ and copy from there.
Now place the app's apk (Root Explorer works great) in system/app (mount system as r-w first). Reboot. Then open your trusty NookColorTools, select keyboard, and you should be able to switch to it. Not all keyboards are currently working, but this is a great way to find out if it does that doesn't require renaming or deleting your current keyboard.
4. How do I get Swype on here?
- right now, you can't. Swype requires a copy that matches your device's resolution, and the only version of Swype that matches ours (1024x600) is the copy that ships with the Galaxy Tab, but, to my knowledge, nobody has gotten it completely working on here without causing major system crashes (not to mention the apk couldn't be posted on xda even if it was eventually hacked to work).
SlideIT keyboard is another trace keyboard that DOES work on the NookColor, and I've been very happy with it (it's come a long way since I tried it last summer and quickly uninstalled it). The method in #3 above should work to install it.
5. Wait, I can't copy and paste on the NookColor??
- not through the OS, no. There is a solution though. It involves getting an app called Copy Paste It from the market (paid, but there's a trial version). You'll probably need to set it to rotate clockwise (in settings), or it'll get screwy.
When you want to copy, activate the function from the notification, and it'll let you frame the text to copy:
The second part, pasting, requires having a keyboard with a Paste setting in it. Again, SlideIT has this on the special characters keyboard (I'm not a troll for SlideIT, just a happy customer). I'm not sure which other keyboards have this feature, if any (if you know, post, and I'll update this). Assuming you have a keyboard with paste, it'll paste what the Copy Paste It app copied.
6. Why is everything on my screen so small?
- this is because the NookColor's stock LCD density is 169.333, which is pretty low (Galaxy Tab is 240). Unlike resolution, which is hardware-based, density is software-based and can be changed. If you search the market for LCD density, there are a couple apps that will do this--a free one that won't survive a hard reboot, and a paid one that (supposedly) will.
If you want to make it permanent for free, you can edit your build.prop file. Again, use Root Explorer to open system/build.prop (BACKUP FIRST!), find the following two lines:
If you wanted your density to be 250, you'd replace them with the following single line:
Save the edited file, and reboot.
Here are two of my Galaxy Tab-esque homescreens set to 250:
. . . Now, jacking up your LCD density much above 200 will make your status bar look wonky and cut-off. One solution for this is to set it to 250, like above (by changing build.prop - I think the apps I mentioned only allow multiples of 20), which will make it look clean (as long as wifi is on). The only problem there is that you'll lose your status bar clock and Notifications in portrait mode . . .
. . . the solution for THIS is to get two apps: hellostatusbar, and quick launch. Set quick launch to open hellostatusbar on a home- button double press, and it will display your Notifications.
Also note that raising the density can cut-off parts of the stock Barnes & Noble software (they're designed for the lower density), so this mod is probably better for people like me who use the Kindle app and ezPDF for reading.
7. If I don't want to use softkeys, can I remap the hardware buttons to do something different?
Yes. In Root Explorer, navigate to system/usr/keylayout, make a backup of TWL4030_Keypad.kl, then open the original with text editor and change the entry for key 115 ( volume up) and/or key 114 (volume down) with something like BACK, MENU, or SEARCH. Save the file. Reboot, and they'll be whatever you changed the entry to.
If you want easy volume controls after remapping these buttons, a market app called Volumer++ can be set to live in your notifications for easy access. Otherwise, you can change them from settings.
8. How do I set my wallpaper so that the resolution looks good?
- I used a market app called Wallpaper Set & Save. It's easy, and resolution looks great. I think it cuts off the image a little bit, but not much. I think this method will suffice for many people, but if you want it to be sized perfectly, do the following (credit to swapdotavi for the instructions):
[Get an image that is at least 1200x1024, crop it (without scaling) to 1200x1024. If you're using Photoshop, copy the entire image, then create a new file sized 1200x1024. Then paste the image and use the arrow to drag it around to whatever looks best to you. Save the file as a .png, transfer to your nook, and use Wallpaper Set & Save to choose the new file.]
. . . Since we share the same resolution with the Galaxy Tab, the wallpapers that came with it look phenomenal (in my opinion) on the NookColor. Follow this link to pick them up:
Original Galaxy Tab Wallpapers - Galaxy Tab Wallpapers
9. Can I change the lockscreen slider to look like stock Android or Sense?
- yes - get an app called WidgetLocker. Set it to look how you want. Then, under Behavior, set Homehelper as your system home. Still under Behavior, go to Home to Launch, and pick your real launcher (Launcherpro, ADW, etc.). Also, under Advanced, be sure to check both the Root Bypass of 5 Second Rule, and Retain Keyguard.
10. My NookColor seems sluggish - is there a way to speed it up?
Most of you will already know this, but Setcpu is a market app that can speed things up and improve battery life. CPU Tuner is a free alternative that's similar, but I've had more experience with setcpu, and can vouch much more for it.
My recommended settings:
check 'set on boot'
... And one profile enabled:
... And another optional setting (for even a little more extra zip):
change "Up Threshold" to 35
These are just settings that work for me. Feel free to experiment. Also, some people were having their Nook randomly reboot, and changing the governor from conservative to ondemand helped.
11. Any other battery-saving tips?
In case you missed the rival xda threads arguing over who thought of it first, there was a potentially useful battery-saving trick in there:
Go back in Root Explorer, and in system/app, mount as r-w and rename Phone.apk and TelephonyProvider.apk to anything else (adding .bak onto the end would be fine).
Basically, you're removing android system files that may be wasting juice looking for a non-existent cell service. It's unsure if or how much this actually improves battery life, but it very well could, and it certainly won't hurt anything changing their names.
12. Why aren't my favorite live wallpapers working?
I'm not sure, but here's how to get the rest of them going:
Download this file: http://db.tt/ur0c98s
It will fail installing, but if you use Root Explorer, copy it from your download directory, go to system/app, set as r-w... Then long-press on any file in that directory, and look at its permissions. Now paste your LiveWallpapers.apk there and change its permissions to match the others. Your live wallpapers should work now!
The Nexus wallpaper won't work, but just install Nexus Revamped from the market - it's identical, it's free, and it has customization.
If you're using one of the more system-intensive Live Wallpapers (like "Water"), I'd recommend using all of the Setcpu changes from #10 above to keep things snappy (also know that LWP's can drain battery quicker).
13. How can I get my Google contacts in here?
If you aren't concerned with them showing up in the B&N Contacts app, and are more interested in having them come up as auto-suggestions when typing an email address or Google Voice text number, there's a way (credit to jadambpharm):
- Go to gmail on the web, click on contacts (left side), then More Actions, then Export. Choose .vcard format. Transfer that file to your SD card.
- get a Market app on your Nook called Import Contacts. Point it to the contacts.vcard file you just got, and they'll now come up for auto-fill suggestions!
I'll update as I think of more. Enjoy your modestly-priced, unintentional Android tablets!