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[How to] Put sideloaded books on homescreen

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mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
EDIT 12.21.10 per Robo Ray suggestion:

Install Astro File Manager
Install Desktop Visualizer

Open Astro and go to preferences. Choose "Edit File Extensions" under Data. Choose "New Extension".

Extension Name: epub (no . in there, just epub)
Mime Type: application
SubType: epub (again, no . in there, just epub)
Save
Exit Astro

Long press on Home screen
Add widget (In Zeam it's "Add Item" then "Widget")
Select whatever size Desktop Visualizer Widget
Select Icon (Choose whatever you want, which is awesome)
Select Action, choose "Other", Choose "ASTRO"
Find and select your file
Rename it if you choose
Hit OK for File Name
Hit OK on bottom of Desktop Visualizer
Choose Widget span, click OK

Direct link from icon on homescreen to default BN reader.

Again, thank you to Robo Ray for this simple suggestion within Astro. This is even better than the original method using Linda File Manager as this method allows you to use whatever images you want with your links.

------------------- Old posts below ---------------------
EDIT: This is no longer working for me. I upgraded to 1.0.1 and used auto nooter to re-root. I have no idea why this no longer works, but I click to create a shortcut and it says that it creates a shortcut, but it never appears. Also, I can't find the shortcut anywhere. Something broke or changed between the old and new root methods or with the update itself. If anybody knows how to fix this, I and hopefully others would be greatly appreciative. I'm using my limited skills to try to figure this out as shortcuts of my sideloaded epub books that open in the BN stock reader being able to be placed on my homescreen is a very big deal for me.

I figured out how to put sideloaded content like books, comics, pdf files, etc. onto your homescreen. This was, for me, the last essential task I desired. This device is now what I consider perfect. Everything from here on out is just bonus.

This is assuming you are rooted and now using ADW or Zeam as your launcher. This won't put shortcuts on your B&N Home screen, but words for the two listed above. I haven't tried any other launchers.

Download Linda File Manager (App description linked; Found in market for free, not sure where to find outside of market)

http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-lindaandny-lindamanager-jpBj.aspx

Once installed, open the app and go to your desired file. Long press and choose "Create Shortcut". It puts one right on your home screen. If you only have the default BN book reader, book shortcuts will automatically open in that. If you have multiple, it will ask you to choose a default app. PDF files and others show a list of apps and you just set the default.

I couldn't get this function to work using Astro.

One last note. I can't seem to find the books and magazines that came from BN. I am only finding the stuff that I put on my SD card. In Linda Manager, I've been searching around "My Phone" which seems to be the onboard storage and found the two original pdf guides that were on the original homescreen, but I can't find the books and magazines that it came loaded with and I downloaded.

Hope this is helpful.
 
Last edited:

mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
Hit the ^ key and it should take you to the b&n content.


---
Sent from my Nook Color using Tapatalk

Are you referring to the soft button at the bottom middle of the nook? If so, I know that. That is apparent right from opening the device for the first time, unrooted. It does't change at all.

I'm talking about within the Linda File Manager Application. I can easily see the SD card and all its contents and the "My Phone" tab takes you to the onboard storage, but within that area, I'm having trouble finding BN content. I'm trying to find out if it is possible to create shortcuts of those items as well on top of the sideloaded content. If so, perfect. If not, no biggie as I know I can find it easily enough in the normal BN library. The key to this is quick shortcuts to content from the home screen, something BN locked out of the stock software. They made it so only their purchases content can be placed on homescreen. This Linda File Manager has allowed me to put other content on the other launchers home screen.

Edit: I found the B&N content within Linda File Manager. You have to go to the settings and check the "Show Hidden Files" option. Now, under /media/B&N Downloads/ you find the files within the folders there. They have strange names and numbers. The books work fine, but B&N purchased Magazines do not. They default to the B&N book reader and not the fancy magazine reader that you'd get if you open the magazine through the normal library. So, that's out for now. I'm just glad I found it. You can rename the shortcuts of those on your home screen so you don't just see the random number name.
 
Last edited:

isolated_epidemic

Senior Member
Sep 15, 2007
227
32
Spokane, WA
Downloaded content is located in /media/B&N Downloads/

Files aren't named just long strings of numbers. I wasn't able to get my issue of PopSci to open correctly but that may be because I checked the box to set the nook reader as my default.

As far as the shortcuts go does anyone know how I can use Desktop Visualizer and have it open the book in the nook reader? Linda doesn't show up in the other activities category.
 

mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
Downloaded content is located in /media/B&N Downloads/

Files aren't named just long strings of numbers. I wasn't able to get my issue of PopSci to open correctly but that may be because I checked the box to set the nook reader as my default.

As far as the shortcuts go does anyone know how I can use Desktop Visualizer and have it open the book in the nook reader? Linda doesn't show up in the other activities category.

Thanks. I was typing my edit when you posted. You are right, the magazines don't open properly. They open up in the regular book reader format and not the magazine format.

I couldn't get Desktop Visualizer to recognize the nook reader. It recognizes other readers in the other activities category, but I'm pretty happy with the nook reader. I like the way my library is organized. I'll still be using the "My Shelves" area quite a bit as it's pretty nice. I just wanted to put the one or two books that I am currently reading right on home screen for easy access. That Linda File app allowed me to do that. I don't get any fancy icons, but that's ok. It functions.
 

zdrifter

Senior Member
Aug 31, 2010
137
8
Jupiter, Fl
Downloaded content is located in /media/B&N Downloads/

Files aren't named just long strings of numbers. I wasn't able to get my issue of PopSci to open correctly but that may be because I checked the box to set the nook reader as my default.

As far as the shortcuts go does anyone know how I can use Desktop Visualizer and have it open the book in the nook reader? Linda doesn't show up in the other activities category.
Linda File Manager may not show up in other activities until you reboot ....
 

Withfeeling

Member
Nov 30, 2010
15
0
I would suggest reading ePubs with FBReaderJ, which is FBReader for Android. It reads many formats (but not proprietary ones or pdf) and is open source, I have used it for years on various platforms. You can download it from the FBReader site. I don't have a Nook Color (yet), but I currently use it on my Archos 101.
 

mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
Every ebook I have is ePub. The stock ereader on the nook has been the nicest I've used with them all. I like the bookmark, the dictionary function, the fonts and sizes. It's well organized and pages advance smoothly.

I can use the stock BN buttons to get to all books quickly. I've created shelves for quick access to favorite books or future read lists, etc. Using the Linda File Manager, I can now link to specific books I'm reading on the home screen. I also have the library icon on my homescreen to get their with one touch. It all works perfectly. Again, with this setup, I see now need to use an ereader app. I'd use kindle if I had any kindle specific files, but most likely I'd use Calibre to convert to something to read directly from BN's reader. That's just me though.
 

mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
It should place the shortcut right onto whatever home screen you were currently at. If there is no room on that page it will place it on the furthest left page.

Just to recap the steps I've been doing:

Running Zeam
Open Linda File Manager
Browse to folder with book or file I want placed on homescreen
Long press over file
Select "Creat Shortcut"
At the top, it then gives me the message "1 Shortcut Created"
I hit my home button and go back to the home screen I was on and it is right there ready to go.

Another note. Shortcuts created in Zeam are defaulted to whatever the name of the file is and you can only see the first word or two. Enough to know what it is for me at least. In ADW, you long press over the icon and let go and a dialog box to rename the file appears. I can't seem to figure out if this is possible in Zeam.

Also, it seems to place a shortcut in both Zeam and ADW regardless of which launcher I'm running. So, if you place a bunch while in Zeam, maybe delete some, if you switch to ADW you will see all of them.
 

mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
I apologize first for the volume button showing. I'm still trying to figure this screen capture. This is my first attempt.

10-12-14-1.png


10-12-14-4.png


10-12-14-3.png


The first image is what the shortcuts look like on my Zeam homescreen.
The second image is the UI for Linda File Manager. Just navigate until you find your file. Long press over the file and the third image shows what appears. Choose "Create Shortcut" and it places the icon shortcut seen in the first image.

My homescreen is clean (the way I like it). Apps in the bottom bar and the main screen will be used for content links.
 

webvan

Senior Member
May 20, 2008
1,160
63
I was concerned it wouldn't work because Zeam won't let me add shortcuts from its main screen, but this Linda tip works fine. Not sure how to handle my .mobi/kindle books though as I don't get the option to use Kindle to open them when I click on the shortcut.

Thanks for the tip to use the stock reader for ePub, seems to be the best indeed. I even found by accident by going into "my shelves" that it scans for .pdf files and does a capable job with them.

A couple of OT questions :
- what's that great clock/weather widget you have?
- how are you making screenshots?
 

mad5427

Senior Member
Nov 29, 2010
58
9
In preferences in Zeam, under Dock, I have the spacing set to medium and the background transparent. The size of them seems to be standard. I don't know how to change that. Under Workspace, I changed the rows and columns to both be 6. That will be enough for me as I won't have much on the homescreen.

The BN notification bar never went away and stayed the same.

My previous homescreen had the waterize live wallpaper, which was showing the clouds. The widget is a beautiful widget.

I just changed my background to a black and white wallpaper. I found an app in the market that had a whole bunch of them and they all look pretty cool. I changed my widget to a fancy widget. Just looked cleaner and a bit nicer.

I'm pretty happy with the homescreen now. I'm liking Zeam better than ADW. I don't like Launcher Pro at all because of the phone button on the bottom.

Here's my new homescreen:

10-12-15-1.png


This thing is hacked to exactly where I want it. Unless something miraculous like bluetooth is found and able to be opened up, I've got everything I need. Books and Comics from my homescreen for quick access, quick button to get to BN library where I can get to my shelves and magazines. Major apps that I will use easily accessible.
 

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  • 4
    EDIT 12.21.10 per Robo Ray suggestion:

    Install Astro File Manager
    Install Desktop Visualizer

    Open Astro and go to preferences. Choose "Edit File Extensions" under Data. Choose "New Extension".

    Extension Name: epub (no . in there, just epub)
    Mime Type: application
    SubType: epub (again, no . in there, just epub)
    Save
    Exit Astro

    Long press on Home screen
    Add widget (In Zeam it's "Add Item" then "Widget")
    Select whatever size Desktop Visualizer Widget
    Select Icon (Choose whatever you want, which is awesome)
    Select Action, choose "Other", Choose "ASTRO"
    Find and select your file
    Rename it if you choose
    Hit OK for File Name
    Hit OK on bottom of Desktop Visualizer
    Choose Widget span, click OK

    Direct link from icon on homescreen to default BN reader.

    Again, thank you to Robo Ray for this simple suggestion within Astro. This is even better than the original method using Linda File Manager as this method allows you to use whatever images you want with your links.

    ------------------- Old posts below ---------------------
    EDIT: This is no longer working for me. I upgraded to 1.0.1 and used auto nooter to re-root. I have no idea why this no longer works, but I click to create a shortcut and it says that it creates a shortcut, but it never appears. Also, I can't find the shortcut anywhere. Something broke or changed between the old and new root methods or with the update itself. If anybody knows how to fix this, I and hopefully others would be greatly appreciative. I'm using my limited skills to try to figure this out as shortcuts of my sideloaded epub books that open in the BN stock reader being able to be placed on my homescreen is a very big deal for me.

    I figured out how to put sideloaded content like books, comics, pdf files, etc. onto your homescreen. This was, for me, the last essential task I desired. This device is now what I consider perfect. Everything from here on out is just bonus.

    This is assuming you are rooted and now using ADW or Zeam as your launcher. This won't put shortcuts on your B&N Home screen, but words for the two listed above. I haven't tried any other launchers.

    Download Linda File Manager (App description linked; Found in market for free, not sure where to find outside of market)

    http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-lindaandny-lindamanager-jpBj.aspx

    Once installed, open the app and go to your desired file. Long press and choose "Create Shortcut". It puts one right on your home screen. If you only have the default BN book reader, book shortcuts will automatically open in that. If you have multiple, it will ask you to choose a default app. PDF files and others show a list of apps and you just set the default.

    I couldn't get this function to work using Astro.

    One last note. I can't seem to find the books and magazines that came from BN. I am only finding the stuff that I put on my SD card. In Linda Manager, I've been searching around "My Phone" which seems to be the onboard storage and found the two original pdf guides that were on the original homescreen, but I can't find the books and magazines that it came loaded with and I downloaded.

    Hope this is helpful.
    2
    That's the problem. Astro won't recognize epub and the reader program and it's the only one that works with desktop visualizer.

    I was digging around in Astro settings on my phone today doing something else and came across the "Edit File Extensions" menu under Preferences. I presume you've already tried creating a new Mime Type association for epub, right?

    (Yeah, I know, it couldn't be that simple, right? :eek: )
    1
    I was digging around in Astro settings on my phone today doing something else and came across the "Edit File Extensions" menu under Preferences. I presume you've already tried creating a new Mime Type association for epub, right?

    (Yeah, I know, it couldn't be that simple, right? :eek: )

    You ARE A GENIUS!!!!!!

    That worked so perfecty it's disturbing and so simple.

    Under Astro preferences, here's what needs to be done:

    Long Press your Home Screen

    In Settings there is a section called Data. Under that is "Edit File Extenstions"

    Click that, click "New Extension"

    Extension Name: epub (no . in there, just epub)

    Mime Type: application (not Application as I originally wrote, must be lowercase)

    SubType: epub

    Hit save

    Have Desktop Visualizer installed.

    Hard press Home Screen. Add a widget. Choose whatever size Desktop Visualizer icon you want.

    Select whatever icon.
    Select Other for action
    Select Astro
    Find your file
    Type in whatever name you want
    Hit Ok

    IT IS NOW A LINK ON YOUR HOME SCREEN!!!!

    I'll edit the OP so others can see this. My machine is back to perfect. Thank you thank you thank you, Robo Ray.
    1
    The book icon in the notification bar only gets updated if you open the default home app. If you use another launcher and never open the B&N home, it won't work.
    1
    One way to do this is to use a free program on your computer called Calibre. You can load the book there and use it to download the cover. If your epub already has the cover embedded, use Calibre to re-convert the epub to an epub. Sounds crazy, but it will put a separate image file into your book library on your computer. You can then take those and load them on your nook and find it in the gallery. Can be a lengthy process, but it works and is much quicker than trying to find all the covers individually online.

    Hopefully this helps.

    Calibre rocks! Just enter the ISBN or book name and it finds it automatically.