One specific feature of the BOOX Max2 e-Reader falls short.

In a previous posting I wrote, that I am having a good experience so far, with my newly-acquired 13.3″ Onyx BOOX Max2 e-Reader. And a detail which I mentioned was, an eventual need to USB this device to a PC or Laptop. As an alternative, what many users expect, is some way to use Wi-Fi to transfer files. Yet, ‘SAMBA’ is Linux-software, while “SMB Protocol” is Windows-based, so that Onyx does not step outside its boundaries, to try to offer either. However, they try to make up for this.

If the user has the firmware update from December in 2018 installed, then under ‘Apps -> Transfer’, there is a modest app, which will act as a minimal Web-server and which, in addition to displaying a QR-code, also displays a URL with an IP-address and a port-number, which exist on the LAN, and which the user is meant to point a PC- or Laptop-based Web-browser at. There is no reason why the functionality of this URL would be limited to one O/S, under which the Web-browser is running.

A Web-page displays on the PC browser, that can use the inherent functionality of browsers to choose files on the PC, and to Upload those to the server, which resides on the e-Reader as long as the user doesn’t close this app.

  • This feature is mainly meant to allow e-Books to be transferred, and the choice of folders they appear in suggests, it wasn’t fully meant for other types of files, such as APK-Files.
  • Onyx could have tried a little harder and made it possible to transfer files in the opposite direction, let’s say from a specific folder on the e-Reader, to the Web-browser of the PC… Some people might think that this is redundant for an e-Reader because Books can be given to the e-Reader and later deleted on it. However, because the Max2 can also be used to store sketches with its Stylus, such a feature might not have truly been redundant.

So, because of the two bulleted reasons above, the need will ultimately remain, to USB this device to a PC.

However…

Continue reading One specific feature of the BOOX Max2 e-Reader falls short.

I’ve just received my 13.3″ Onyx BOOX Max2 e-Reader.

And so far I’m happy with it.

There exists an underlying issue with Android-based e-Readers, where these e-Readers are 4 years in the making, and where the issue is something I’m just learning about in recent weeks. As a security precaution, Google has toughened the requirements on the Google Play Store app, and on the Google Services app, which made numerous e-Readers, that were once proud to offer a working Google Play app, unable to connect to Google Play in the short term. This measure became effective as of March in 2018. However, certain manufacturers of such devices have been struggling to make their devices compliant with the new Google Store, and as far as I know, the BOOX Max2 which I just received, may be able to connect to the Google Play store fully.

(This posting has been revised, as of 4/14/2019, 10h15 : )

Out-of-the-box, the Max2 had a firmware version from April in 2018. But the latest Firmware update is from December in 2018.

  • I am glad to say that I found out how to set a PIN Code for this device because if there had truly been no way, then the cloud resources that I’m logged in to would be just as vulnerable, as an unlocked tablet. With the latest firmware, I found this setting under ‘Settings -> (Arrow to the Right) -> Screen Lock PIN Code’.
  • Apparently, the way to activate Google Play on this device, is now to go into “Settings -> Application” and to check “Activate Google Play”.

Instead of activating the Google Play Store, I have been focusing on using the Onyx app store for the time being. In days gone by, their in-house app store had a reputation of only offering apps in Chinese. But what the users of the Max2 can now do, is download e-Ink optimized apps in English. Those apps include the Amazon Kindle Android app.

This is a huge find for me because it also implies less of a security compromise, than what I’d have, if I was just to log the Max2 into Google Play.

I can side-load Free APK-Files to install software, and can install some additional proprietary, non-free apps from Onyx. APKs include the ‘OverDrive’ app, which allows me to check out books from my public library, in e-Book format. And what installs from the Onyx app store includes the ‘Kindle’ Android app, optimized for e-Ink.

I’ve tested both apps, and they seem to work fine.

But then again, speaking of side-loading… This can imply that files need to be transferred via USB-cable from a PC, to the device, and the device uses MTP as its protocol. There are some reports of issues in getting this to work from the Linux GUI, and I just ran in to such an issue…

(Updated 6/21/2019, 7h35 … )

Continue reading I’ve just received my 13.3″ Onyx BOOX Max2 e-Reader.