Introduction: Android on Kobo Touch E-book Reader

Picture of Android on Kobo Touch E-book Reader

So, you bought a Kobo reader, but you think that Kobo Nickel OS, just sucks.
Me too. I've lurked on the Internet for about a week, and I'm writing this step-to-step instructable, making it as easy as possible also for people who don't understand very well how to flash things and how to burn a .img file onto a Micro SD.

Step 1: What Do You Need?

Picture of What Do You Need?

You'll need few items to make this little mod:
-Your Kobo Touch e-book reader
-A Micro SD (>8 gigs suggested)
-A prying tool (or even a strong guitar pick)
-A computer
-A Micro SD to SD adapter with related USB SD card reader (or just a USB Micro SD reader ;)
-Win32 Disk Imager (downloadable from: http://goo.gl/SyFjeV)
-Custom Android ROM for Kobo (downloadable from: https://goo.gl/vwAAMT)
-About 15 minutes

Step 2: Tearing Apart the Back Cover

Picture of Tearing Apart the Back Cover

Take your prying tool and push it in the opening near the power slider. Then rock it back and forth until the back cover starts opening. Slide it around the slit and continue leveraging the tool.
Once you opened it, take a look at the inside. (Refer to 4th image)
You need to locate the internal Micro SD Card, which hosts the entire OS.
Depending on the capacity of your e-book, maybe you'll find a bigger memory.

>>>>WARNING: PUT IT AWAY AND DON'T LOSE IT BECAUSE IT HAS THE KOBO NICKEL OS INSIDE AND ONCE YOU LOST THE CARD, YOU'LL NEVER BE ABLE TO RETURN TO THE STOCK OS!<<<<

Step 3: Moving to the PC

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Once you're on your PC, download Win32 Disk Imager and the .img file.
Estract the image to the Desktop and then open Win32 Disk Imager.

Press the blue folder icon and select the .img file you just downloaded, select your device (TAKING EXTRA CARE TO NOT SELECT A WRONG DRIVE) and then press Write ("Scrivi" in the image).

Step 4: Coffee Break!

The rom burning proces can take a while, so in the meantime, you can listen some music and also have a coffee ;)

Oh, and don't close the program, because you'll need it in the next step!

Step 5: Make a Backup of Kobo Nickel OS

Picture of Make a Backup of Kobo Nickel OS

Remove your new Micro SD Card from the reader and insert the Kobo's original one.
In Win32 Disk Imager, click the blue folder icon and go to your desktop and open a file named, for example, Kobo_Touch.img. Even if you don't have that file, it will appear in the program address bar. Then press Read ("Leggi" in the second image). The reading process takes less time to the writing one. Make extra care to keep with you this image file!

Step 6: 32 GB of FREEDOM!

Picture of 32 GB of FREEDOM!

Insert the prepared Micto SD Card into his socket and turn it on by using the Power slider.

If it doesn't turn on, try pressing the reset button and tuning on again!

Oh, and don't close it yet, 'cause you still don't know if it will start or not!

Step 7: Booting Up

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Now all you have to do is waiting till the device boots.
It could take some time to the first boot.

Now your Kobo e-book now has Android OS on board.
Oh, and don't forget to close your back cover by snapping it back!

And don't forget to follow me to stay tuned on future projects for your Kobo Touch and a lot of other stuff!

Comments

AntoniI1 (author)2015-08-21

i have quession plz pm me

ParkerI1 (author)2017-06-10

is there a new link for the rom download? The old one doesnt work for me and i would love to try this!!

richieacc (author)2016-12-27

Hi, Foxhead. Thanks for this instructable! I just bought one of these a few hours ago, OS reload was the first thing I looked into. I'd like to see if there is a newer version of Android available, or maybe build my own. Do you have a link to the sources you used for this?

TNT_69 (author)2016-06-29

Thank you to share, Great Post! Is it working for Kobo Touch 2.0?

Simulation314 (author)2016-02-04

I cant download any from play store, "can't establish a reliable data connection to the server", have you the same problem?

TristanB3 (author)2015-12-31

looks great! was about to do it to a old Kobo that needs a complete reboot but then found out I lost my microSD to SD card... so I guess I wont be doing it any time soon. great tutorial though!

gobyte (author)2015-10-12

Hi,

Mine does not have a internal micro sd card . So I guess it won't work for me.

Foxhead (author)gobyte2015-10-12

Hi!
Can you send me a photo of your Kobo's PCB so i can give it a look?

Thanks :3

techboy411 (author)2015-07-20

LOL That boot screen... Looks like a PC!

Foxhead (author)2015-06-17

SO, i'm answeing all your questions:
-Deedman: yes, it's a very good mod because it increases a LOT the speed of PDF loading and rendering
-kainxavier: Like i said before, Android allows you to install whatever you want.
I did this because i think Kobo Nickel's PDF reader is a bit crappy, and i wanted something more flexible!
-jon_chalk: Well, Kobo Touch is comparable to a 2010 smarphone. I had the same feeling of using my old LG GW-620, maybe a little slowy because of the e-ink screen, but a good experience overall.
The boot time is approx. 2:30 minutes, but trust me: You won't shut down it a lot ;)
-bvazquez: I can run all the apps compatibles for Nexus S. Playstore thinks this e-book is actually a Nexus S by reading a file called build.prop that has all the information about the device. This is why i like Android: you have full power and controll on your device!
Oh, and i mentioned that this ROM comes with Superuser already installed and Root permissions allowed? :P

Deedman (author)2015-06-16

Wow! Seems like a very good instructable! Personally, I do not have a Kobo but this would be really helpful for all of the people that do!

kainxavier (author)2015-06-16

I'll echo the previous questions. You CAN do this, but what is the worth of the device in the end?

jon_chalk (author)2015-06-16

How fast does it boot on subsequent boots? How fast does the android os work on the Kobo?

bvazquez (author)2015-06-16

what apps have you been able to run?