Living With The Velocity Cruz Micro Reader Android Tablet


Since the Woot sale on these, I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of folks looking for a little help. As a veteran of The Cruz Wars, I figured the least I could do was share my personal experiences with those unfortunate enough to have purchased one.

1. You get what you pay for: If you think you just bought an iPad with a crappy screen for $85, drop this thing off at your local charity now. You made a mistake. Get over it and move on. That said, it can be a fun device for reading books, web surfing, and email.

2. Bookmark SlateDroid is THE forum you need. The good news is that all the hard work has been done for you. There have been iterations of several homegrown firmwares now. All of the big problems are solved. I use the v4.0 version of this one.

3. Expect Wi-Fi to randomly quit: This apparently is an ‘undocumented product feature’ of the Cruz Reader. It happens under both stock firmware and many custom firmwares. I usually don’t notice it more than once per ‘wake up’ cycle. If things don’t work, check the status bar for the wi-fi icon and reconnect via settings as needed.

4. Use a Stylus: You can thumb mash through most tasks, but a stylus is a must for any type of precision. Take some time to recalibrate the screen as well. When using a stylus, remember to tap a little lower than you normally would.

5. Android Market does not work: On a stock Cruz, the Android market is unavailable. Most custom firmware will give you access, however, there is one little catch that gets me every time. The first time you open the Market, you MUST download and install an app. Any app is fine, but you MUST INSTALL SOMETHING. If you did not install an app the first time the Market is started you will get "server error occurred" retry or cancel when restarting the Market. If you get this error, uninstall/delete the Android Market Update via Application Manager to get the old market version back. Run old Market, search something, install it, close old Market, when market updates again you should be fixed.

6. KISS: Don’t expect to start editing multimedia presentations or playing 3D games. I have even given up on getting the Cruz to play video files. Stick to web surfing, eBooks, and news apps.

Hopefully these tips will allow you to spend more time enjoying your new tablet and less time swearing at it.

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