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  1. #1
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    Tips for the frustrated Philips 7+ Android 4 tablet user

    The Philips 7+ (PI3800) Android 4 tablet was launced in China and is perhaps sold in some other countries by now. This affordable tablet of good name is a huge disappointment to an English speaking buyer. The reason is not the hardware, which is of fairly good quality, but the fact that Android Market (or Google Play) cannot be installed on it. This means that almost no decent Apps in English can be downloaded. In China, the device comes with Philips HiMarket App which offers a fairly useless variety of mostly Chinese and mostly free Apps – as far as my ability to read Chinese App-descriptions allows me to see.

    The local IT technician I employed first thought that he managed to install Google Play by means of an APK file discovered on the internet. Google Play actually installed on the PI3800. But this proved to be a mirage because the Philips 7+ will not play the Google Play App and will not download or install anything coming from that source. If you want a decent App like Evernote 3.6, almost all sites offering it will divert you to the stonewalling Google Play. Using VPN in China will not solve this problem, which makes me wonder where in the world Google Play will install on this tablet.

    There are only two ways you can get some passable English Apps on your Philips 7+, as far as China is concerned, and as far as my experience goes.

    The first is to download from alternative markets like 1 Mobile Market, GetJar and Soc.io Mall. You won't get the variety and quality that Google Play offers. But after a hard struggle you will be happy and grateful for the few good ones you have discovered and managed to download and install. I'm not a games fan but I installed all the Angry Birds Apps as well as other good games such as Cut the Rope from these markets "of the second rank".

    The second way to go is to search for downloadable APK's on the internet. An APK is the "installation file" of an App. The search will take you to shady corners of the internet. But I managed to download and install an older version of Evernote this way, to give one example. For this operation, you need a WiFi File Explorer program (which I managed to download & install) and a File Explorer program (managed that as well) – so you can hunt down and download the elusive APK on your PC and transfer it to the tablet.

    Using these workarounds, I have by now given up on certain things I need and found consolation in some questionable alternatives. I wanted Skype for Android, so I could use the Philips 7+ as a Skype phone in some situations. But Skype will not install – or rather will not sign you in if you manage to download & install it. I have installed an App called IMO which kind of works as a knock-off for Skype services.

    I wanted to use the tablet mainly as a book reader, but there is no way I can get around the Google Play stonewall as far as Sony's Reader App is concerned. That's what I need to read the books I bought from Sony Store. On the other hand, the pre-installed Browser and Gmail apps on the Philips 7+ do their work perfectly. So do the pre-installed Camera and the "Gallery" (photo and video) Apps.

    Its an exercise in frustration and disappointment to buy a Philips 7+ in China, perhaps elsewhere too. But working under its hood compulsively is addictive and it has its joyful moments. You never know when you might make a breakthrough, like I did with Evernote or with the very nice Kingsoft Office program I managed to get hold of. I'm going to see if I can get a Sony Reader App URL from Sony Support chat. Who knows where good luck might lead the owner of the Philips 7+.

    A special Philips Forum category dedicated to Philips' tablets will make a world of difference to the usefulness and pleasure afforded by these new products.

  2. #2
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    I forgot to mention one other thing you could try to make certain apps (especially games) install and actually play on the 7+: Download and install "Magic Code". I'm not sure it can still be downloaded at http://forum.xda-developers.com/atta...9&d=1325655063 . The app can be switched On & Off. So you can try installing other apps with Magic Code on or off.

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    Another tip -- install SlideME Market. Download the SlideME Application Manager APK from the SlideME website and install it on the Philips 7+. This will compensate for the absence of Google Play Market to a large extent. You can also get paid Apps from this Market.

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    Chur bro. Great work! Loads of useful info. Definitely will give them a try and hopefully breath some "life" into the tablet. Thanks again for sharing all the tricks and tips.

  5. #5
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    An interesting discovery I made is that you don't lose your installed apps (perhaps not even your data such as documents and photos) when you reset the machine using the Reset-"hole" on the side of the PI3800. The user manual warns that you will lose all your stuff. But when my machine stalled and would not switch on, I inserted a pin into the Reset-"hole", pressed gently while simultaneously pressing the on/off switch, and hey presto the machine started with all apps returned to me. This is especially heartening if you have to get hold of some apps by hook or by crook because Google Play won't play in China. I regularly get the message that my SD Card is damaged, with an invitation from Android 4 to reformat the SD Card. My internal SD Card (i.e. not the removable, external card) works quite well, despite the error message. But I could not resist the most recent invitation to reformat. This did wipe my data, my saved APK's etc from the internal SD card. So my tip is: save all important stuff to your external SD card, including those APK's you wrested from the darker nooks and crannies of the internet, being cut off from Google Play.

  6. #6
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    Here is an interesting URL for non-Chinese people battling with Android devices in China: http://www.lostlaowai.com/blog/china...get-paid-apps/

    The advice given will at least work for an Android phone. I'm not sure if a tablet like the Philips T7+ has anything like a SIM card, a SIM card being the key to solving the problem discussed in this thread.

    Another thing: Theoretically, visiting Hong Kong or Tapei or Tokyo with your Philips T7+ or any other Android tablet bought in China in tow, should solve your problem. You could download the Google Play app there, then buy and/or install the apps you need, and return to China a happy man (or woman). If this will actually work, I have not tried.

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    I am not sure if Philips have any plans of adding sim cards on their tablets, but if in case that happens, it will be so much cooler than I thought.

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    Does anyone know if Philips is going to issue a 'patch' for the Android 4.1.1 operating system used for this tablet? I've read that it is at risk for HEARTBLEED and perhaps other invasive virus. I've tried to communicate with Philips but the 'format' that is required cannot be transmitted once complete. Do I need to be worried about using this device in areas with public WIFI? Comments?

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