Googlie Booglie!

COMPLETELY REVISED with Google Play Services v4.0.33 and Google Play Store v4.4.21! Step-by-step instructions on how to install Google Apps on the nabi 2 and nabi JR Tablets running Android 4.0 OS (aka Ice Cream Sandwich). NOTE: The previous issue that was being experienced with the Google Play Store app has been resolved and can be fixed by following the steps in this post.

Access Denied!

APPLICATION PROTECTION - Step-by-step instructions on how to setup Application Protection on the nabi 2 Tablet. Add the Amazon Appstore to Application Protection to prevent your child from accidentally gaining any access to the Appstore when they click on the MORE GAMES button in their favorite game.

BlueStacks Attack!

Wanting to sideload Google Play Store apps onto the nabi 2 Tablet, but don't have an Android smartphone! Install BlueStacks on your PC or Mac and sideload away!

nabi 2, nabi JR and nabi XD OTA Updates

Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the latest Over-the-Air Updates nabi 2 (v2.1), nabi JR (v1.2) and the nabi XD (v1.4).

Installing and Configuring the Amazon Appstore

Step-by-step instructions on how to install and configure the Amazon Appstore on all nabi Tablets for any region.

Going to the Movies

Review some of the options for backing up your DVD collection for viewing on the nabi Tablet.

nabi Shop

Officially open for business! Purchase a variety of colored Bumpers, Screen Protectors, and KINABI Letter Packs, as well as, the nabi 2 Tablet directly from Fuhu, Inc. More accessories to be added soon!

nabi Labs

Link to the nabi Tablet YouTube channel and Professor Joe's famous nabi 2 Drop Tests.

2012/02/23

REVISED - Installing Alternative Markets! (Original nabi Tablet)

Even with the myriad of YouTube videos out there, some parents appear to still be struggling when it comes to installing the alternative markets on the nabi Tablet.  Below you will find step by step instructions to get you through those setups.  

Viewing this blog post on your tablet, will allow you to skip several steps, by easily clicking on the download links.  If you type "everythingnabi" in the Google Search field and hit Go, you'll find several links that can get you to Everything Nabi! 

To ensure an error free process, be sure your default internet browser is the Browser app and not the Maxthon Mobile Browser.

Note if you already use the Amazon Appstore or Android Market on your smartphone, then logging in with same account will allow you to install apps that you've already paid for, as long as they are compatible. 

AMAZON APPSTORE:
1. Login to Mommy Mode.
2. Type "Amazon Appstore apk" into the Google Search field and tap Go.
3. Tap on the link listed as: Install Amazon Appstore.
4. Tap the Download now button.
5. Pull down on the Notification bar at the top of the tablet.
6. Tap on Amazon_Appstore-release.apk, once the download has completed.
7. Tap the Install button.
8. Tap the Open button.
9. If you have an existing Amazon.com account, enter the proper e-mail address and password and tap the Sign In button. If not then create an account, by clicking the Create an account button.

After successfully logging in to the store, you may want to enable the Parental Controls and ensure that In-App Purchases are disabled.  For steps on how to do this check out the Installing & Configuring the Amazon Appstore post.


GOOGLE PLAY STORE:
1. Tap this Android Market v3.3.12.apk link to begin downloading the file.
2. Tap on the Download button.
3. Pull down on the Notification bar at the top of the tablet.
4. When the apk states Download Complete, tap on it.
5. Tap on the Install button.
6. Tap the Open button.
NOTE: Some parents have run into force close issues after clicking the Open button.  If this happens power off the tablet and then restart it. Log back into Mommy Mode and launch the Market app.
7. Tap the Yes button to begin adding an account to the tablet.
8. Tap the Next button.
9. Tap the Create button if you do not already have a Google account, otherwise tap the Sign In button.
10. Tap the Finish Setup button.
11. Tap the Accept button to agree to the various Terms of Services.

After successfully logging in to the store, you may want to enable the User Controls and ensure that purchases can only be made by first entering a PIN.
12. Enter the Market app.
13. Tap the Menu Key.
14. Tap on Settings.
15. Scroll down to User Controls and select Set or Change PIN.
16. Enter a PIN number then tap the OK button.
17. Re-enter the Pin number then tap the OK button.
18. Check the Use PIN for Purchases option.
19. Tap the Backup Key to exit Settings.
Anytime that an app is now to be purchased within the Google Play Store, a pop up will display asking for the PIN number.

There are a number of other websites that offer Android apps, just be sure to do your due diligence when selecting sources and apps for your tablet.  Here are a few additional sites: 1Mobile Market,  4SharedAppBrainAppoliciousAndroidZoom,  and GetJar.

2012/02/18

Going to the Movies!


Adding movies to the nabi Tablet seems to be one of the larger growing interests on the Facebook page.  The information provided below is given simply to educate parents on the subject. 

First backing up or ripping of your personal DVDs to another electronic format is illegal, as a result of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copy Right Act.  This law goes against the rights of consumer's Fair Use protection and what has been previously ruled in regard to the older Audio Home Recording Act of 1992.  The circumventing of a manufacturer's Digital Rights Management protection appears to be universally frowned upon by most governments and the Motion Picture Association of America.  Please take this into consideration when reading the rest of this post.

While the nabi Tablet provides the FoozKids Videos with access to an assortment of predefined and customizable kid-friendly YouTube videos; WiFi access is required.  On a long road trip you can only count on Angry Birds to hold your child's attention for so long.  Sure tethering the nabi Tablet to your smartphone may be an option, but unless you have an unlimited data plan, this could be expensive.  

An assortment of your Home Videos may do the trick.  In this case, you can simply copy the AVI formatted files to your Micro SD card and the Gallery app will play them.  That will probably keep your child entertained for a half hour or so; unless of course you're one of the families that is constantly submitting to AFHV.

On the other hand, if you have a number of DVDs that your children enjoy, you may want to make some of your investment portable by backing it up to an electronic file format that an Android Tablet can view.  This is where the small investment in a large and fast Micro SD Card becomes worth it.

While some parents on the Facebook community have posted freeware applications that can bypass DRM protections and convert from DVD to the MP4 format, none of these are generally associated with each other or come in an all-in-one application.  One of the issues that can arise with freeware is that the developer stops upgrading their program on a regular basis.  With new DVDs releasing every Tuesday introducing the latest DRM protections developed by the industry, it may be important to choose something that is constantly being upgraded.

One application that can convert the latest commercially released DVDs with DRM protection direct to a supported digital file format is IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter.  A lifetime license key is currently on sale for $30.00 (regular $35.00) which provides you with the latest decryption software updates.  An added bonus is that the fully functional trial version is capable of converting up to 10 DVDs at no cost.

Below are the basic steps required to use IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter, after you've downloaded the trial version and installed it selecting all of the defaults.

1. Put your DVD into your Windows computer.
2. Launch IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter.
3. Dismiss the Registration window.
3. Check the Title that you'd like to converter.  Generally this will be the option with the largest time in square brackets.
4. Enter the desired Filename for the converted file or accept the default.
5. Choose the location where you'd like the converted file saved.  

NOTE: You can save the file directly to your Micro SD Card.  This will probably take a bit longer than saving the file to your hard drive, but it will save having to move the file later.  A Class 10 Micro SD Card is recommended for this method.

6. You can change the default MP4 Profile to one of the many choices available in the pull down list or create your own by selecting the Configuration button.  I'd recommend sticking with the default MP4 settings for now.  You can play around with the settings on future rips, once you see how the first conversion turns out.  Increasing or decreasing the quality and resolution settings will respectively increase or decrease the size and time to generate the file.
7.  There are other settings for the program that you may also choose to change.  Especially if you're doing this late in the evening.
8. Click the Rip button, once you have everything setup the way you want it.
9. The time it takes to backup a DVD will be dependent on several other factors including: other programs running, Windows OS, amount of RAM, Processor speed, DVD drive speed,  and where the file is being stored.
10. Once the conversion has completed, if necessary, copy the MP4 file to your Micro SD card and put it in the nabi Tablet.
11.  Launch the Gallery app and your video will display as one of the possible choices.

NOTE:  IDEAL DVD to MP4 Converter will remember all of your settings from the previous backup, so if you were happy with the results all you'll really need to do is insert another DVD, launch the application, select your desired title and click the Rip button. 

I'd request that if you have any other software recommendations for the community that you leave a comment below.

As a cool alternative to the default Gallery, I'd highly recommend Movie Gallery Free available in the Android Market.  The only real difference between the paid and free app is that the free version limits the display to up to 10 movies in 5 folders.



The creators of Movie Gallery, Tools4Movies, also offer an all-in-one DVD to MP4 conversion application called DVD Catalyst which is currently on sale for $10.00 (Regular $20.00).  They've provided the community with how to instructions from inserting the DVD to viewing the video on the nabi Tablet.

March 13, 2012 UPDATE: Check out Going to the Movies - The Sequel! for steps on how to install, rent, view and download movies using Google Play Movies (formerly Google's Videos app).

2012/02/17

Customizing the FoozKids Apps on Nabi

Fuhu, Inc. allows parents to customize what is available in the FoozKids apps on the Nabi 1 and nabi 2 tablets.  This can be accessed through the Parental Dashboard app under Parent Mode on the nabi 2 tablets or through the  FoozKids web-site or the FoozKids computer application on your computer.

NOTE: There is a current issue with adding customized websites through My Channels.  If when you enter your search criteria the page just hangs, simply tap the gray Back arrow and then enter the EXACT same search criteria again.  This will immediately give you a single page of results that can be added to My Channels.


1. On your computer, login to the FoozKids website.
2. Enter your account information, using the same e-mail address and password you used when setting up the nabi.  Hint: The password is the same one you use to go into Mommy Mode.
3. You are now logged into the Parental Dashboard where you can control what content is available through both the computer application and the nabi Tablet FoozKids apps.  Select the nabi Tablet product.  
NOTE: You can always switch between child accounts by clicking on their Avatar on the top of the page.
4.  The nabi Parental Dashboard allows you to manage all of the content that is available to your child through the FoozKids apps found on the nabi Tablet.  Select the Websites Edit link.
5. You'll be presented with 7 pages of the predefined Websites that are available for viewing through the FoozKids Websites app on the nabi Tablet.  You need to uncheck the sites you'd like to remove access to.
Here's where I've found a slight flaw in the logic used for these pages.   
If you choose to refine what is being displayed by choosing your child's gender and age it will display those websites fine, however it still keeps all of the other non-gender or non-age appropriate websites checked.  I brought this up during the beta testing of nabi 1.1 OS, so hopefully it can be addressed in the near future.

WORK-AROUND:
7. Do not select your child's gender or age.
8. Click the Disable All link to uncheck all of the displayed sites on the page.
9. Click the Next link to move to the next page and repeat Step 8.
10. Continue until all of the websites are unchecked.
11. Now you can filter by Gender and Age.
12. Click on the title of a website that you may be interested in to read a description of the material.  A link to the actual website is also provided, so that you can look at it further and decide if it is appropriate for your child.
13. Go through and check the websites that you'd like you child to have access to.
14. Other available websites can be viewed and checked by filtering on other Gender or Ages.

15. Repeat the above steps for Videos, Games and Crafts.

NOTE: Adobe Flash Player is required for many Websites and Videos.  This app can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Families outside of the US may be subject to a limited experience on some websites and videos due to international restrictions.

16.  Once you have chosen from the predefined Websites, Videos, Games and Crafts you'll probably want to add some specific things that weren't available.  Click on one of the Add  links listed under My Channels.  This is where families from outside the US can add country specific content.
17.  My Channels provides Google and You Tube searches for sites that contain your search criteria.  
18.Once you've reviewed the website or video and feel that it is appropriate for your child, then simply click on the green Add button to add it to your My Channels list.
19. Continue adding your custom content within Websites, Videos, Games and Crafts.

NOTE: For those parents wanting to make the YouTube app available to their children in Kidz Mode this is a much better option, as it allows you to control what your child is watching.  It completely eliminates that chance of them going from a kid-friendly video to something on the other end of the spectrum.

20.  FoozKids Flix works along the same principles, as above, check the video series you want your child to have access to.
21.  Once you've completed all of your modifications, it's time to check to see if they've synced with the nabi Tablet.  Simply launching Web, Videos, Games or Crafts in Kidz Mode will let you know.  

NOTE: The syncing between the tablet and the FoozKids website takes a few hours to update the selections available on the Tablet.   Nabi Cares Support addressed this issue with the release of the nabi OS 1.1.2 update.

UPDATE:  I had planned to finish this blog post today over lunch, but unfortunately didn't have time to take that break.  In the meantime, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Fan-a-Tech Robyn had uploaded the following You Tube video.  Great minds think alike!


2012/02/14

Customizing Your Child's FoozKids Avatar!

Here are the steps necessary to have you and your child customize their avatar for FoozKids and the Nabit Tablet.

1. On your computer, login to the FoozKids website.
2. Enter your account information, using the same e-mail address and password you used when setting up the Nabi.  Hint: The password is the same one you use to go into Mommy Mode.
3. You are now logged into the Parental Dashboard where you can control what content is available through both the computer application and the Nabi Tablet FoozKids apps (Web, Videos, Games, Crafts and Flix).  Select the Computer product.
4.  Click on the Click Here link located on the lower right corner.
5. The download of FoozKidsSetup_3.2.16.exe should start automatically.
6. Once the download is complete, launch the executable file.
7. Confirm that you want to install the program.
8. Walk through the installation confirming your desired language, accepting the license agreement and choosing the installation location.  To keep it simple just go along with all of the defaults.
9. Click the Finish button to launch the FoozKids application for the first time.
10. Click the Sign In link located under Already a Member?
11. Sign into the FoozKids application using the same e-mail address and password, as in Step 2.
12. Choose the child's account that you want to use.
13. You can choose to sign up for the optional FoozKids subscription, or click the X in the top right corner, to continue.
14. Select the Creator application.
15. Begin customizing  the avatar with the numerous options and hundreds of combinations.  Be sure to click Save once you have what you want.  
NOTE: Clicking the Undo button will take you back one change, as many times as you click.
16. OPTIONAL: Click on the Parental Dashboard link at the top right corner and login, in order to customize the options available for the FoozKids Apps on the Nabi.
17. Close the FoozKids application and power on the Nabi Tablet.
18. Click on the Menu Key and choose Child Settings.
19. Enter the Mommy Mode password.
20. Give it a second and your new avatars will display.

For those families with only one tablet but multiple children, be sure to take advantage of the FoozKids application that you've just installed.

2012/02/03

Even the Competition has Issues!

Ok, have you heard of or experienced any of these issues with your child's Nabi Tablet.
1. Screen Freezing. 
2. Unable to connect to WiFi.
3. Charging problems.
4. Crashing Apps.
5. Sluggish Performance.
6. Problem with Physical Buttons,
7. Microphone Trouble.

If you have then you might have wondered if you made the right decision in purchasing this device over similar and higher priced market alternatives.  

While there have been a few issues with the Nabi Tablet, for the most part they have been addressed quickly by Nabi Cares Support and the Facebook community with adaptable workarounds or factory resets.  The charger issue has been addressed this week, no thanks to Toys R Us.  There is the Android 2.2 OS issue which causes freezing and others like the inability to have multiple tablets under the same account which are to be addressed in the delayed firmware update.  There are also some 3rd-Party apps that crash that need to be updated by the app developer.  

Rest assured these are all typical technical issues experienced by nearly all tablet users.  From the touted industry leader the Apple iPads to the Amazon Kindle Fire, each of these tablets have had their own various issues upon initial product launch and beyond.




Luckily the Fuhu, Inc. and the Nabi Cares Support team are sticking behind their product and working with us to correct issues as they come up.

I for one can't wait for the upcoming firmware update, though we really haven't had what I would call problems with our tablet, other than the periodic freezing.  I hope that Nabi Cares Support can provide the Facebook community with an update sometime next week on the progress of the firmware/OS development.  Fingers crossed!

For now sleep easy in knowing that you did make the right decision in purchasing the Nabi Tablet for your child and that we're dealing with a company focused on customer support.  

We are all still early adopters of this product, as such we have to be aware that there will be bumps along the road, but we'll get to our destination in time.  Remember patience is a virtue.

nabi Tablet News

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