How to Enter Partial Refresh Mode on Sony PRS-T1 (Video)

Sony PRS-T1 Red

Yesterday, thanks to a tip via MobileRead, I discovered a simple trick to get the Sony PRS-T1 to enter into a semi-permanent partial page refresh state. This is very handy for scrolling through lists like with the Dropbox app and root explorer, and makes some games and other Android apps work better too.

This probably works on non-rooted Sony Readers as well but it’s only going to be useful on a rooted Sony PRS-T1 because using the Sony apps (the browser, homescreen, and Reader app) resets the partial refresh back to normal.

Here’s how to enter the partial refresh state: When scrolling and pinch-zooming with the PRS-T1’s web browser there’s a 1-2 second delay before it sets the screen. Just scroll or zoom with the browser and then quickly tap the top of the screen to open the notifications bar. Do it fast enough before it sets the screen and then the Reader will remain in a semi-permanent partial refresh state.

Use the shortcuts bar, Android launcher, and back button to navigate. Using any of the Sony apps will reset it back to full page refresh.

What’s cool is that you don’t even have to be connected to the internet; the browser will open with the last web page visited already showing so you can just quickly enter the partial refresh mode and then jump back to the Android homescreen with the notifications bar and make use of the partial refresh trick.

It makes using the Dropbox app, file manager, using the settings menu, and anything else that uses list and scrolling ten times easier. It also works to give other ereading apps like FBReader and Kindle partial page refresh. But the quality isn’t very good because the text is rougher and less dark than with full page refresh turned on so it’s not going to be very useful for that.

Here’s a video showing the partial refresh trick in action, along with a couple of other things like using text-to-speech on the PRS-T1 with FBReader and using an alternate homescreen.

Sony PRS-T1: Enabling Partial Refresh, Text-to-Speech, etc

11 Responses to “How to Enter Partial Refresh Mode on Sony PRS-T1 (Video)”

  1. Hmm…
    Tried it. Worked at the first try.
    Coolreader refreshes absurdly fast, faster than many LCD devices.
    Kindle is also noticeably faster.
    Also, the switch survives sleep-mode, so if you don’t use the Sony apps you can live in this mode indefinitely.
    – Graphics look to be straight B&W, no grayscale: App icons on Zeam launcher are just blobs.
    – Dropcaps on a Kindle book I tried vanish. Body text is nicely render if a bit pale.
    – Aldiko, however, looks way bad. Not reccomended.
    – Text quality in coolreader goes from laser printer-sharp to very slight jaggies. Not offensive though; I favor Georgia font on eink devices and its a dark font to start with. Activating embolden on coolreader is not a good idea as text gets way too dark. Best guess is anti-aliasing is off.

    I’ll stick with it for a while to see if the substantial refresh speed improvement is worth the quality loss.

    Good tip.

  2. Nathan,
    Did you modify your home screen using this approach?

  3. by the way,

    The Ivona text to speech app works well with Cool Reader, and the voices are superior to the default voices. Since they are still in Beta, they are also free.

  4. This Refresh mode is definitely useful. Anytime I had to scroll a long list I would always overshoot the file or app I needed. Now the scrolling is much more controlled.

    Also, some of the card games I play are more tolerable now, and even Instafetach is better, even with the degraded font appearance.

  5. Hi! I would like to thank you for the guides you published. With your help my Sony is MUCH better now!
    Ciao from Italy!

  6. I couldn’t get the Ivona text to speech app to show up on the Market for my PRS-T1 for some reason…

  7. Ivona doesn’t show up in “My apps” in the Google Market for me either, which tells me I probably sideloaded the main app and the related voice, by backing up the apks from my Galaxy Player.

  8. Could you try the partial refresh trick with ezPDF and comment on it?
    I remember you saying in the rooting article, that using ezPDF is a pain on the PRS-T1 due to the flashing.
    I was wondering how it works now, so that would be great!
    Thanks in advance!

  9. Forgot:
    It would be especially interesting due to its ability to comment PDFs. So perhaps you could try that two?! 🙂

    • Sorry but I don’t have enough space to install ezPDF. You might be able to get someone at MobileRead to test it. Scrolling would probably be pretty smooth if the quality of the text isn’t degraded too much, but I can’t see it being any better than Sony’s stock PDF app.