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ALL ebook readers suddenly broken on Galaxy S4

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by DrVomact, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. DrVomact

    DrVomact Lurker
    Thread Starter

    No major e-book reader, including Kindle, Nook, or Google Books will work on my rooted Galaxy S4 phone. Each one fails in a different way. I regularly use Kindle and all the other ebook readers I mention on my android tablet, so I know that my accounts are functional. In fact, Kindle used to work on this phone until about 2 or 3 weeks ago. I cannot remember making any significant changes to the phone at this time.

    Nevertheless, I suspect myself of being responsible for this debacle. My memory is notoriously unreliable. In other words, I think I've done something to break a common element that all e-book readers rely on; it's rather suspicious that none of them will work. All my other usual apps (games, Google maps, web browsers, camera and phone functions) work fine. The phone itself has been stable for a few months--though I had a rough time early on when I got the Kit Kat update, made some dumb mistakes, and found out about the various interesting new kinks of reading/writing to the SD card under KitKat.

    Here's how the different ebook readers fail:

    1. Amazon Kindle: Seems to work fine, shows me all the books that I "own". However, when I try to download a book for reading, I get a red exclamation mark on the book icon. The second time I click on the book icon, I get a message that says I have no connection, and need one to read books. I obviously do have a connection. I emailed a complaint to Amazon (using the phone), and worked with their support group, which escalated the problem, but was not able to solve it. The error message is spurious in that it does not reflect the true reason for the failure (because I do have a network connection--I have removed and reinstalled the app several times, and would not be able to do that if I did not have a working connection.)
    2. Barnes & Noble Nook: I installed this yesterday, thinking that the problem was only with Kindle. Nook will not even open correctly. The "Start Reading" screen alternates with some kind of error message, and that's as far as the app gets. Because the error message strobes so quickly, I was not sure what it said, but I think it was complaining about access to the SD card. (I tried installing each of the ebook readers I mention to the SD card and to device memory; the behavior of none of them changed when I did this.
    3. Google Play Books: This behaves more like Kindle, in that it seems to function normally unless I actually try to download a book or a sample. When I try to do this, I get a dialog that says, "Couldn't display the book". The error message is indubitably correct, but utterely unhelpful. (Is anyone else irritated by being given only an OK button to press in response to a message that indicates things are not at all OK? I once wrote a program in which error messages had buttons that said Bummer!. For some reason, my boss was unhappy at me when this message showed up during a demo to some customers. What can I say. No good deed goes unpunished.)
    Here's the relevant info from "About Device":

    • Model Number: SGH-M919
    • Android Version: 4.4.2
    • Baseband Version: M919UVUFNB4
    • Kernel Version: 3.4.0-540242
    • There's also Build Number, SE for Android status, Secure boot status, Security software version. Let me know if you, helpful reader, need to know this stuff.
    I'm using a 64G SD card in this phone. It seems to work fine (once I understood how kinky writing to the SD card is in KitKat on a Samsung device).

    As I mentioned, I've rooted this phone, but I'm using the stock ROM. Mostly, I've used root to "freeze" the ton of annoying bloatware that Samsung and T Mobile tried to stick me with. (I use the excellent Titanium Backup for this purpose.) This may be where I shot myself in the foot. But I don't want to just re-activate all that stuff, either.

    One of the things I froze was the useless and astoundingly annoying Knox security stuff. Could that be it?

    Any helpful suggestions are welcome.
     



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  2. dynomot

    dynomot Android Expert

    I feel you may have frozen a process or app that all the ebook readers "need" to work. I'd trawl through some of the Samsung stuff that is "frozen" and "defrost" likely candidates one by one, testing your ebook readers one by one. Other than that I'm stumped too.
     
  3. DrVomact

    DrVomact Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I've been working through some of the apps I froze, but no luck so far. I even unfroze all the Knox security stuff, and rebooted. No change. Looking at the stuff I have frozen, really none of it should have an effect like this. It's all bloatware connecting me to some service I don't want, or providing features I have no interest in. I googled it before I froze it.

    I'm glad Samsung's profits are down. Maybe eventually they will remember who their customers are. I'm getting completely sick of how the Google/Apple/telco/device manufacters combine greases each other's palms and sell us expensive crap. When I buy a cell phone, I feel like I've just bought a fancy box labeled "fudge" that contains a bunch of well-used kitty litter. I have to sieve through it find the actual fudge...wait a minute, should I have to do that?

    Yet, I'm sieving away...
     

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forum

The Samsung Galaxy S4 release date was April 2013. Features and Specs include a 5.0" inch screen, 13MP camera, 2GB RAM, Exynos 5410 Octa processor, and 2600mAh battery.

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