How-to

Repurpose an Android with Dead Touchscreen as an eBook Reader

If your Android tablet’s touchscreen is dead, you can still use the device as an e-book reader. All it takes is a USB-On-The-Go adapter and some diligence. Here’s how to do it.

I’ve talked about the advantages of USB-On-The-Go on an Android device before, whether it was about using a mouse and keyboard with your device or reading memory cards and USB flash drives.

Dead Android touchscreen? It’s still viable as eBook reader

If the touchscreen doesn’t work anymore (some Nexus 7 users have had such issues), it’s better to do this than just throw the device in the closet. First of all, attach a mouse to your device and fire up your favorite e-book reader software. The only thing you have to take into account is that said software must be one which allows you to turn pages using the volume buttons on your device.

Two examples of readers supporting this are Google’s Play Books app, as well as Aldiko. Now, connect a mouse to your USB-On-The-Go adapter – if you don’t know how to do it, I’ve covered it extensively here.

Mouse-and-keyboard-Android-device
Now, let’s make sure that the e-book reader app allows you to turn pages using the volume buttons.

If you’re using Aldiko, tclick the lower part of the screen (with a book open), select Settings, then More. Then, just make sure Use volume keys is selected.

Aldiko settings

If you want to use Google Play Books, click the Settings button in the menu that comes up by clicking the button on the top right side of the app. In the menu which comes up, find Use volume key to turn pages and make sure it’s selected.

Google Play Books volume turn pages

Now, just open your favorite book and make sure that you have no screen lock on your device before disconnecting the mouse. You can use the power button to turn the screen on and off and the volume keys to turn pages on your books. When you’ve finished the book, you can just connect the mouse and switch to the next one on your reading list.

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