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Hacked Sony Reader can run partial refresh mode for smoother E Ink transitions

Hacked Sony Reader can run partial refresh mode for smoother E Ink transitions


Users have discovered a way to enable partial refresh mode and text-to-speech on the Sony PRS-T1 E-reader, provided the device has been rooted.

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The recently-released Sony PRS-T1 ereader runs Android at its core, so of course hackers quickly rooted it and installed a full version of Android. However, the black-to-white screen refresh inherent in current E Ink screens makes it a poor choice for dealing with Android's scrolling lists and overall interface, but there's a way to improve the experience. With a rooted PRS-T1, there's a pretty easy way to enable partial refresh mode, which greatly reduces the black-to-white flicker that accompanies most E Ink screen transitions: just open up the browser, do a pinch-to-zoom motion a few times, and then tap the top of the screen before the E Ink display has caught up with the input. Once you're in partial refresh mode, the screen resolution drops significantly, so it isn't ideal for standard book reading.

Transitions while scrolling or swiping between home screens are greatly improved, and if you want to reset the screen to standard mode, you can just open one of the standard Sony apps. While we still wouldn't want to use an E Ink display for navigating Android for any length of time, this trick should make moving through your hacked PRS-T1 a little easier on the eyes. The user who posted the video below also figured out how to enable text-to-speech (provided you have headphones or speakers attached), but partial refresh mode appears more useful — the robotic reading voice in this hack would probably get pretty annoying just a few minutes into a novel.