On a recent trip to Hong Kong I bought myself an Ainol Novo 7 Paladin. This is no Ipad killer, but a great little Android tablet for $100. It came with Android ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) v4.01 installed and a bunch of useless (to me) Chinese language apps. In the state I bought it the browser was incredibly laggy, YouTube didn’t work, there were very few installed apps that I would use, etc. – it was near useless…
Here’s how I got my Paladin from a mess to ICS v4.03 with a fully installed and working suite of English Language Apps (see photos at end of post to see apps installed). This is being written from memory a couple of days after getting it sorted; please let me know if you spot any steps that I have missed (I don’t think I have!). Anyway, here goes:
- I upgraded from ICS v4.01 to v4.03 following the instructions from Colonel Zap found at http://colonelzap.blogspot.com/2012/02/ainol-novo-7-paladin-ics-403-update.html
His instructions are:
a. Go to your settings and remember where to change the system language
b. Download the update.zip here
c. Copy the update.zip to the root of your sd-card DO NOT UNPACK
d. Tablet is off, sd-card is inserted. Press and hold Vol + and Power until update procedure starts.
e. Be patient, wait until update is complete and tablet reboots.
f. Go to settings and change the language from Chinese to whatever you like (if you didn’t skip step a…)
Note that this is not an official update from Ainol and if you read around the web on various blogs you will find people describing all sorts of problems using non-official roms. Well, it worked perfectly for me, with no problems at all and everything working 100%. You, of course, upgrade at your own risk!
- Next I installed ClockworkMod and used it to do a system backup (sensible steps to take before moving on to installing a custom ROM). I did this using the instructions found at http://androtab.info/mips/ingenic/clockworkmod/
That page is somewhat confusing. What you want to do is:
a. download recovery-signed.zip for your tablet (ClockworkMod Recovery 5 for ainol NOVO7 Paladin)
b. rename it to update.zip, then put it on root of SD card
c. install update.zip from recovery (this means turn the device off then reboot whilst holding the plus button in for a few seconds at the same time as the on button; then from the menu that appears choose to “install zip from SD card”; to make a selection use the Paladin’s volume + and – to navigate up and down; either the power or M button to select; the “previous” button to go back to previous menu)
- Make a backup using ClockworkMod . To do this you simply need to reboot using ClockworkMod recovery (holding plus button again while turning on) and then choose the “backup and restore” then “backup” options from the menu. After the backup is competed it will then return you to the “reboot system now” menu item. Do this (just a regular reboot)
- Install the Paladin Custom ROM made by pinkflozd (at v 0.7 when I installed this) found at
My version of his instructions (simplified!) are to:
a. First install ClockworkMod Recovery (you just did this in step 2, so ignore this step)
b. Make a backup of your system in ClockworkMod recovery (you just did this in step 3, so ignore this step)
c. Put the zip on sdcard (this zip: DOWNLOAD 0.7.20120214, or an updated version if this no longer works – see the link above).
d. Apply the Update in ClockworkMod Recovery AND clear your Dalvik Cache ( copy the downloaded zip file to the root of your sd-card; reboot using ClockworkMod recovery; choose “install zip from SD card; allow it to complete, then once back at the menu choose “advanced” then “Wipe Dalvik Cache”)
Note: If you follow all of the instructions above (including clearing the Dalvic cache before rebooting) everything should work fine, BUT I missed that step and still could not use YouTube from within the NineSky browser. Because of my mistake I had to use ClockworkMod to “wipe cache partition”, ”Wipe Dalvik Cache”, and “wipe data/factory reset”. This meant I had to then manually reinstall many apps, but everything works beautifully, eventually! Follow the forum thread above if you need further clarification (or confusion from contradictory posts!)
- Adding More Apps. I added many through the market, but since many apps aren’t shown in the Market (due to the Paladin being a MIPS processor based device) other sources are needed. These will be sources where you download .apk files (sort of the Android equivalent of Windows .exe files). Before you go downloading these you must install Astro file manager via the market; you are going to need it to install the .apk files that you download from elsewhere (later when you have downloaded an .apk file you simply browse to it from within Astro, short press it, then choose Install from the menu – EASY!)
So, having installed Astro it is time to go .apk hunting:
One very good source is http://tabletrepublic.com/forum/novo-7-paladin/onesimus7-paladin-working-tested-apps-list-w-download-links-884.html. The files listed as “No Magic Code needed” can simply be downloaded and installed. For the others you must first download Magic Code 1.3 from the page link, install it, open it, then turn it “on”. It will then remain on permanently, even after reboots, unless you open it again and turn it “off”. With Magic Code on then you can go ahead and install the other apps from the page in the normal way.
- Congratulations. You should now have a fully functioning system with the gmail app working properly, YouTube working great, etc. Welcome to the world of useful cheap tablets!
Photos of the 4 screens of Apps that I have installed (they are photos rather than screenshots as I can’t find a screenshot app that works…)
If you have any apps installed that you think I should check out then please leave a comment and share with me!