Mobileread
"Live-blog" of the set-up process for my new Likebook Mimas
#1  SJC-Caron 05-07-2019, 12:22 PM
I recently decided to upgrade my e-reader, and ordered the Likebook Mimas from the Good-E-Reader website. The larger screen size, note taking feature, microSD slot, and the colour temperature glow-light, as well as the lower price when compared to the BOOX equivalents were the main selling points.

Since I got confirmation the other day that my order was in the mail, I have been doing some more detailed research into setting-up and configuring Mimas once I receive it (eg: downloading some good e-ink friendly fonts, reading-up on Android Marshmallow, etc.). Since Likebook device information is relativity scarce on-line in English (let alone info on the Mimas specifically), I will be sort-of "live-blogging" my initial set-up and configuration of my Mimas in order to to provide some useful information in a centralized place for future Mimas (and Likebook devices) users. I will also be posting on Reddit in r/eReader.

At this per-reciving-the-device point in the process I have a few questions that I hope the members of MobileRead will be able to provide input into.

1) Given the known grammar issues with Likebook's default epub reader (eg: inconsistent spacing between sentences) I most likely will need to use a third-party app for epubs, at least in the short term. I spent several hours trying to look this up on-line, but I have yet to find a decent comparison between the various third-party e-reader apps. Am I better off using KO Reader, Cool Reader, Moon+ Reader, etc.?

2) I have come across conflicting information regarding the maximum size supported by the microSD card slot. Some sources say 128GB, others say 64GB. But the SD card standard used by both those sizes (SDXC) can support up-to 2TB... so what is the factor preventing the Mimas from supporting microSD cards larger than 64/128GB? And two related questions: will the Mimas automatically format a blank microSD card inserted into it? and does the Mimas use exFAT or FAT 32 formatting?

3) Will the Mimas treat CBR/CBZ files like PDFs or will I need to use a third-party app for this? If the latter is the case what are people's thoughts on the Tachiyomi app I see in some reviews of Likebook devices?

for your input into these questions. I look forward to posting more once my Likebook Mimas has been delivered.
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#2  DaleDe 05-08-2019, 12:07 PM
Most LikeBook users are in the Android group. I have moved your post there to get you more coverage.
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#3  pazos 05-08-2019, 03:17 PM
I don't have the device, but we did some research to add support in KOReader:

1) Moon Reader seems the best android reader for Android based on users feedback. KOReader has full support for the mimas but you'll need to place your books in the internal sdcard to be able to manipulate them from inside the application. See this bug -> https://github.com/koreader/koreader/issues/4872

2) If the mimas support SDXC cards then you're right: 2tb is the limit and the partition will be formated as exfat. If not SDHC supports up to 32gb and will be formated as fat32. Related to https://www.androidauthority.com/high-capacity-microsd-cards-android-gary-explains-690710/

3) Default reader is based on MuPDF (maybe stolen, I don't know). That means that CBZ should be supported. CBR it is not on official sources but maybe they implemented it. 3rd party apps should work ok for reading but as bad as you can imagine for taking notes.
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#4  StuartJ 05-09-2019, 03:56 PM
Quote SJC-Caron
At this per-reciving-the-device point in the process I have a few questions that I hope the members of MobileRead will be able to provide input into.

1) Given the known grammar issues with Likebook's default epub reader (eg: inconsistent spacing between sentences) I most likely will need to use a third-party app for epubs, at least in the short term. I spent several hours trying to look this up on-line, but I have yet to find a decent comparison between the various third-party e-reader apps. Am I better off using KO Reader, Cool Reader, Moon+ Reader, etc.?

2) I have come across conflicting information regarding the maximum size supported by the microSD card slot. Some sources say 128GB, others say 64GB. But the SD card standard used by both those sizes (SDXC) can support up-to 2TB... so what is the factor preventing the Mimas from supporting microSD cards larger than 64/128GB? And two related questions: will the Mimas automatically format a blank microSD card inserted into it? and does the Mimas use exFAT or FAT 32 formatting?
I have a Likebook Mimas and am pretty happy with it, though it has to be said I'm hardly using any of the stock apps! I look forward to reading your blog when you start it, but I can help with these two questions in the meantime:

1) I didn't do a comprehensive comparison, but I did try a few reader apps and settled on Moon+ Reader as best for my purposes. The Mimas has a large enough screen that I wanted a reader that could render two pages of an .epub in landscape view, and the only ones that I found that could do this seemed to be Alreader and Moon+ Reader. I already use Moon+ Reader on my phone, so I went with the more familiar UI, and it's working pretty well so far. I use Librera for reading PDFs.

2) I'm using a 256Gb microSD card without (too many) problems. That said, I initially formatted in on my Mac (FAT 32), and though it then appeared to work fine in the Mimas, when I took it out again to use for transferring files, the Mimas then claimed it was corrupted! (Still worked fine on the Mac). I reformatted on the Mimas (pretty sure it is FAT 32) and retransferred my files, and since then it's worked without problems. I'm certainly more cautious though now about taking the microSD card out for data transfers, and to keep a backup of any important data!

hope this helps

Stuart
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#5  SJC-Caron 05-17-2019, 04:00 PM
I have just received my Likebook Mimas this morning and have just completed unboxing the device. Everything is as expected. It was nice of Good-E-Reader to ship the device as a gift to avoid tariffs / taxes. The tracking website used by Japan Post was not as real-time as the tracking websites used by other shipping companies, because when I checked on my package location earlier this morning my Mimas was still in customs at Pearson International Airport in Toronto (and I live in Ottawa).

The Likebook Mimas itself is bigger than I expected, mostly due to the bezels. I got the black version even though the Good-E-Reader store only had the white version as a purchasing option (which is OK by me because if I had a choice then I would have gotten the black version). The screen is not flush with the bezels, but the indentation is not as deep as the indentation that was typical of e-readers from several years ago. The buttons on the device do not stick-out as much as photos and videos of the device makes it look like. Also, there is no branding on the front of the device (another plus for me.) The stylus that comes with the device feels light, cheep, and plasticly, but at the same time feels durable. The same can be said for the spare nibs as well. The case is as expected, and I have not experienced the too-tight issue that some reviewers had with it.

I now plan to connect the Mimas to my PC to charge; then turn it on, connect it to my home wi-fi, and let it update itself as needed. Then I will be following along with this video to configure the device, and then I will be raiding MobileRead's “Summary of Modified Fonts” thread to find fonts to add to the Mimas using the advice provided in the Mimas Quick Start Guide and on the Boyue Likebook Twitter account (creating a Fonts folder in the root directory).


I have several comments and questions at this point (pre-turning-on the device) in the set-up process:

1) Based on advice received here on Reddit and on MobileReads, particularly the comment from pazos who worked on adding Likebook support to KO Reader, I will be getting Moon + Reader. Despite other e-reader apps having Likebook support, Moon + Reader is still said to be the best experience for Android devices.

2) The Mimas’ Quick Start Guide indicates that ZIP / RAR files are supported and since CBZ / CBR are just a slight modification to the ZIP / RAR containers, I am expecting out-of-the-box support for CBZ / CBR files.

3) I will be installing a 128GB microSD card into the Mimas and will let the device itself handle any required formatting. I hope to integrate the microSD card into the main device storage.

4) What are the pros and cons for using the included screen protector? I’m inclined not to, but I want to hear more opinions first.

5) How will the default e-book library / organization software handle metadata from e-books transferred to the device from Caliber (eg: series title, subject tags, book descriptions, etc.)? The same question for Moon + Reader? Any recommendations for Caliber plug-ins that were designed specifically for Likebook devices?

6) I don’t want to have my Mimas locked-down behind a password or pin number, but is there a way to lock-down particular apps (eg: G-Mail) behind a password or pin number?

7) Any app recommendations? Particularly for games (board games like Chess, Go, etc.; text-based games like SeedShip; puzzle games like sudoku, crosswords, etc.), web browsers, and text-to-speech apps that plays nicely with Moon + Reader and the Likebook’s default e-book viewers? As a dyslexic finding a good text-to-speech app is particularly important to me.
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#6  SJC-Caron 05-17-2019, 10:06 PM
My Likebook Mimas booted up moments after I plugged it in. No initial request to create a Boyue / Likebook or Google / Android account. Once I was on the Mimas’ home-screen, I was surprized to find the device’s battery already at 90%. The device also automatically displayed the correct time for my time zone. I tried to enable updates (in both the Boyue and Android settings apps) but I am being told by those apps that I am already up to date (BYRead-V1.0.2-2019032218). I am curious as to when my Mimas was manufactured / the Likebook software installed.

It’s a little disappointing that on the home-screen the sample books in the Recently Read section are all in Chinese. I was able to find the sample English language books, but it is clear that not a lot of effort went into the formatting of those books. The titles for the example notes documents are in Chinese, the actual note templates (accessed from within the default notes app) are in English.

Using the Android settings app, formatting my 128GB microSD card and merging it with the main device storage was the exact same process as with the 256GB microSD card for my cell phone (Android Oreo) a while back, it just took longer (by several minuets).

Following the video I linked to in Part 1, in (Boyue) User Settings I selected the default (furthest to the left) for Page Turn Settings, and Regal Mode every 20 pages (as far as I know Kobo devices (which was my previous e-reader) uses Regal mode refreshing). In Power Management I selected Seep Time to occur after 10 minuets of inactivity, full shutdown after an hour of inactivity, and to disable wi-fi after 10 minuets of inactivity.

Following the directions on this video I enabled the Google Play Store on my Mimas. In the Apps section of (Boyue) User Settings I selected the gear icon on the top right and turned-on Enable Google Framework from the bottom of the list. I was asked for my Google credentials once I launch the Google Play Store for the fist time. Once logged-in, I installed Moon+ Reader Pro, SwiftKey (and adjusting the settings to minimize animations and other un-eink-friendly features), Read&Write for Android (its not available for my Android Oreo cellphone). From the (Boyue) App Store under Tool I installed the Warm/Cold Color Temp app. This app enables the blending of cool and warm front lights in the Mimas, instead of only being able to use one of them at a time. The app is still only in Chinese, but it is extremely basic: the top slider controls the warm light and the bottom slider controls the cool light. I want to install the G-Mail app from the (Boyue) App Store as well, but I want to know if I can password / pin protect particular apps (and not the entire device) first.

With keyboards and other vital usability apps ensure that you enable Boot from Boot and Background Activity in (Boyue) User Setting -> Power Management -> Application Startup Management.

A few notes about the screen: I am finding it glossier then expected; at least that is the case with me looking at the device at my computer desk with its’ small overhead white neon light. Also, after I broke-in the stylus pen by drawing on a blank note page until it was nearly completely black I noticed a few very minor scratches on the screen. This could be a screen quality issue, but more likely is due to my natural tendency to be a hard presser with my pens and pencils.


Tips from the Boyue Likebook (BoyueTechnology) Twitter account which I likely will be referring to latter:

April 16th 2019
How to do the screenshot?
1. Enter into "App"
2. Enter into "Android setting"
3. Enter into "Screenshot"
4. Set the time for it, finished.

April 15th 2019
Do you know how to add (note) templates to your Muses or Mimas?
Just copy your templates (1404*1872 JPG/PNG) to the "note" folder of root directory will be ok

March 13th 2019
Many customers would like to know how to add bookmark?
It is easy, just click top-right corner will be ok.

March 11th 2019
How to add dictionary to Likebook Mimas?
1. First you need to download dictionary from Internet and whose form should be “Stardict”
2. Then create a folder name as “Dict” in your device inner memory root directory
3. Copy the stardict dictionary to the folder, finished


At this point I’m calling it a night. I will be tackling this project some more tomorrow.
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#7  quiltfanatic 05-20-2019, 04:47 PM
Help. My Mimas arrived but is all in Chinese language. Don't know how to set English as default. Or is it even possible? Do I have to return it?
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#8  SJC-Caron 05-20-2019, 05:47 PM
@quiltfanatic:

When first turning-on a Likebook device the first screen that appears after the initial loading screen is a language selection screen in Chinese with Chinese selected as the default. Just scroll down the list of language options until you see English (written in English). If you are already pass this point then go to the Apps section (4th tab at the top of the home screen) and select the Android Settings App (a gear with a robot peaking from one corner) and from there select the localization menu and select your preferred variant of English from the display language options list.
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#9  quiltfanatic 05-21-2019, 09:54 AM
I could not have done it without your excellent instructions and recommendations. Thank you SJC-Caron.
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#10  SJC-Caron 05-21-2019, 08:16 PM
After a long weekend of playing around with my Likebook Mimas I have the following general thoughts:

If you are primarily reading epubs then you may be better off with the smaller Likebook Mars or Muses, but for PDFs and comics / manga, the larger size of the Mimas is a godsend. Too bad that the Mimas can’t read CBR / CBZ files with its default readers and Moon+ Reader is too prone to reverting to scroll mode from page mode while I’m trying to zoom-in on a particular section.

The way I hold my e-reader, when not viewing it flat on a table, is by holding it with both hands at the bottom of the side bezels. As a result, the part of my thumbs that connects to the rest of my hand is resting over the hardware buttons, leading to several accidental presses. I would advise Boyue to indent the buttons on the bottom of the Mimas by at least the length of the button set in any future revisions of their 10.3 inch e-readers.

On the software side of things the default PDF viewer is decent (the option to automatically crop the white space on the edges of the PDF is great), as is the default notes app (inspite of calling their lined paper template “bars”). Question: if I were to use the Mimas notes feature to start a hand-written diary, how many pages could this file be until it is too big for the Mimas to handle? But their epub reader needs a lot of work still, and its not just an issue of lack of experience with programming / designing around Latin-based languages and alphabets. Even pictures that are supposed to be centred in the epub are presented off-centre. I’m suspecting a CSS rendering issue here, but I seen programs that had CSS issues but didn’t mess-up word and pronunciation spacing, so who knows what the issue is. Also, Boyue needs to include a default serf font as well as the default sans-serf Arial font. How hard would it be to negotiate font usage rights from an open source font foundry like The League of Movable Type? At least Boyue acknowledges this software weakness by including KO Reader in the Boyue App Store.

Speaking of software issues: the default epub viewer, Moon+ Reader, and KO Reader all lack an option to view the epub with the publisher’s default fonts and formatting. Also, each reader program has a different sized centre zone that you double tap on to see the program’s top and bottom menu / settings bars. Moon+ Reader’s centre zone is particularly small, so I’m often trying several times to escape Moon+ Reader’s full-screen mode before I am successful.

In regards to the Mimas’ battery life: if you don’t use (or only use sparingly) the device’s wi-fi then I suspect that you could get about a week of device usage between charges. If on the other hand you have the wi-fi always on then the device’s battery life becomes a day / a day-and-a-half.

Speaking of wi-fi; supported files (such as epubs from StandardEbooks.org or PDFs from OpenStax.org) don’t appear in the Mimas’ books directory once downloaded; you must access them separately from the Mimas’ file directory app and import them into the Mimas’ library program.



Now for the more technical stuff:

While Android Settings recognizes the 128GB microSD card I installed, as does Moon+ Reader, the Boyue file directory and Microsoft Windows (when I connect my Mimas to my computer) do not, only showing the 16GB of space on the main device. How can I fix this? It seems like Moon+ Reader has directly taken over my microSD card, but I can’t access it outside of the Moon+ Reader app.

Side-loading external fonts and dictionaries was relatively straightforward, following the instructions provided in the Mimas’ Quick Start Guide and the Boyue Likebook (BoyueTechnology) Twitter feed. But the annoying thing with installing fonts is that all variants are listed separately (eg: Input Serf Regular, Input Serf Italic, Input Serf Bold, etc.) instead of being grouped together (eg: all Input Serf font variants being represented by the Input Serf font menu listing) as is the case with fonts on my computer. As things currently stand searching through the font options in the default, Moon+, and KO readers is tedious. Would creating sub-folders in the Fonts folder (eg: putting all Input Sans fonts into a folder under Root -> Fonts -> Input Sans) help with this issue at all?

With the dictionaries I downloaded from huzheng.org (pretty much the only source for StarDic dictionaries that I was able to find), I was able to plot them down directly into the existing Dict folder on my Mimas once I extracted them from their tarbal container. But there seams to be a limit to the number of dictionaries the Boyue Dictionary app can support because I can’t access the britannica_concise_encyclopedia at all and of the other three dictionaries I installed one of them only appears intermittently. Other annoyances regarding dictionaries: it would be nice if the listing of dictionary files on huzheng.org would have a date attached to them because for some dictionaries (such as Urban Dictionary and The Collaborative International Dictionary of English) it would be nice to know how recent / current they are. And of course Moon+ Reader uses a different dictionary system, so I need to figure out how to transfer the same files twice, if not find a different GoldenDict compatible dictionary files.

It would also be nice if I could find a simple way to set default apps for file extensions so that all PDFs would use the Likebook’s default PDF reader, that all epubs would open in Moon+ Reader, that CBR and CBZ files open in KO Reader, etc. Right now I have to do this on a per book basis.


PS: I found a full Mimas Instruction Manual on Amazon.com. I hope it helps.
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