Monday, December 26, 2011

Android on HP Touchpad

I put the latest cyanogenmod on my Touchpad between traveling around Christmas.   I was pretty happy with it.  So much so that I decided to leave my beloved Kindle DX at home and give the Android Kindle app a shot while I was away.

I had the kindle app installed, but hadn't actually tried it out yet.  While waiting at the airport terminal for my flight, I thought I would fire up the kindle app so that I could download a couple of books off the airport wifi so they'd be there for me to read during the flight.  No such luck, apparently.  The app would sync my library and even show me the books available for download, but every time I tried to download a book I would see, "0% Download Interrupted," or something like that anyway.  I stubbornly tried to download several different titles and got the exact same results every time.  I tried force-stopping the app, clearing the cache, and rebooting the tablet.  Nothing seemed to work, and as the clock at the bottom of the tablet marched steadily to my departure time, I thanked fate that the android installer set the tablet up with a dual boot of WebOS and Android.  I had to boot into WebOS and use its Kindle App to download my books and to read during the flight.

I had resigned to the idea of just booting to WebOS to read my kindle books, but then I started noticing other problems that seemed related.  You might see this or a similar issue manifested in a few different ways, but they all present as if there's an issue with reading or writing to your SD (e.g., it can't access it, it's missing, or it's out of space).  You'll see symptoms that allude to this assessment, anyway.  You may not see any actual error messages.  Many apps seem to just behave much like the Kindle app:  refusing to download or install data, modules, or other apps.  In fact, the reason I got a hard head about trying to fix the issue with the Kindle app is because none of my Amazon apps were working correctly.  Amazon app store would loop for about 5 iterations trying to download apps before giving up silently and offering the "Install" button again.  Amazon mp3 wouldn't stream music, but it would try forever -- a spinning loading icon forever looping in vanity where the play/pause button should have been.

And then the real clincher:  Shortyz crosswords would install, and then appear to download puzzles., but none would be there.  Upon restart, it did actually give me an error message about the SD card.  That's when I decided all of the issued s were likely related and would really hinder enjoyment of android on my TP.
I know the "SD card" is really just the Touchpad's internal memory.  I dug around some forums and saw that it was mounted on "/mnt/sdcard."  I don't know why, but apparently it gets unmounted or remounted read-only sometimes.  Here's how I remount it read-write:

  1. Open "Terminal Emulator" from the app laucnher.
  2. Type:  su <enter>
  3. Type: mount -o remount rw /mnt/sdcard <enter>
  4. That's it.
There were many other solutions and vague problem descriptions that could have been this same issue all over the Android forums, including rebooting the device (which never worked for me), and booting into ClockWorkRecovery and mounting /mnt/sdcard from a menu item (which may just do the exact same thing as what I listed above).  Anyway, this seems to be the simplest and quickest fix.

After that, I had to "Uninstall" some of the apps that were causing issues.  The first one I uninstalled and re-installed was Shortyz Crosswords, and, after re-installing, it downloaded all of the crossword puzzles without a hitch.  Emboldened, that's when I thought that this could have fixed the other issues, too.  Sure enough, my Kindle books downloaded (you can't re-install the Kindle app, though -- apparently I didn't need to).  The Kindle App store also began to work, and so did the Amazon MP3 app.

Unfortunately, I don't know of a permanent solution.  It seems as though I have to pull up terminal and run this every so often.  Some of the posts on the forums indicated that a full re-install of the Android ROM on their Touchpad fixed the issues, and others swore that a "Factory Reset" of Android fixed it for them.  I haven't tried either yet, and if you're not ready to nuke all of your settings after typing in all of your passwords and account info into all of the apps, then this is a good temporary fix.


Anonymous said...

Thanks - worked for me!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot. I had given up but once ina while will looked for solution and hence found this blog. Works great

Razor said...

Glad I ran across this early this morning. Could not for the life of me figure it out but it worked. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

Glad I ran across this early this morning. I couldn't for the life of me figure out the issue. This worked...many thanks!

Anonymous said...

After much frustration on my part, this worked perfectly. Thanks!