Alex Reader FAQ

Due to an overwhelming demand and volume of email queries, the following are the most commonly asked questions. A quick scan may save you valuable time and effort.

  • About Alex
  • Buying an Alex
  • E-books for Alex
  • Compatibility
  • Using Alex
  • Accessories
  • 3G Alex
  • Registration
  • Warranty
  • Alex Marketplace
  • Getting More Help
  •  

    About Alex


    Q. What is Alex?

    Alex is a dual screen multimedia eReader that expands, enriches and personalizes your reading experience, launching a new era of eReader interaction and sophistication. Alex is the only eReader that offers open system access to the internet with full browsing capabilities, using Google’s Android Open Source OS.

    Q. The ebook e-reader market is getting crowded, what is so unique about Alex?

    The eReader market is going mainstream – expanding from serving strictly book content to include textbooks, newspapers and magazines. Alex takes that to the next level with full-color web browsing and multimedia capabilities.

    Q. What are some of the unique features of Alex?

    Enriched Multimedia Text Reading Alex is transforming the e-book reader market by delivering enriched multimedia text capabilities to eReader devices. ReadMate™ Alex’s revolutionary dual display ReadMate™ technology brings together the efficiency of reading on the EPD display with the responsiveness and richness of navigating the web on a touch sensitive LCD display. ReadMate™ engages users to browse the Internet and read online either in LCD or in the paper-like, high contrast, low power consumption Electronic Paper Display (EPD) giving the viewer the experience of reading from actual paper. Alex™ Browser The Alex™ Browser brings you the entire Web. Not only can members access the whole world of online digital libraries they can also explore the Internet through a fully-functional web browser and download other popular Android applications.

    Q. Why two screens?

    We designed Alex with two screens to meet different navigation and reading needs. The LCD - with its fast response rate - can be used to search, navigate, and explore all kinds of Web content. Once you find text you want to read in more detail, you can use the low-power EPD for natural, paper-like reading. You’ll probably do most of your reading on the EPD while still able to check out more colorful animated content, like pictures, graphics, and videos on the LCD. Move back and forth between any content at any time from the LCD to the EPD for easy reading. You can also use our special “explore” mode to show hyperlinked content directly on the EPD.

    Q. Why did we call the device Alex?

    Alex was inspired from the Ancient Egyptian Library of Alexandria that was the largest and most famous of all libraries of the ancient world. It functioned and remained a major center of scholarship for centuries after the Roman conquest of Egypt.

    Q. Who designed Alex?

    The founders of Spring Design merged the value of multimedia web browsing with the emerging market of electronic reading. We have outsourced manufacturing to the third largest EPD eReader manufacturer in the world. Spring Design, founded by Albert Teng and Jack Yuan in 2006, delivers innovative e-reader solutions and products to the eBook market. The Spring Design architecture will fundamentally change the way people view and interact with an electronic reader, broadening the electronic reader market.

     

    Buying an Alex


    Q. Where can I buy Alex?

    Currently, Alex is only available on www.springdesign.com. We are working with other book partners and retail distributors that will soon be selling Alex in their stores. Stay tuned, more partner announcements coming soon.

    Q. Do I have to pay monthly fee for using Alex?

    No. Your Alex is an open platform and allows you to surf and Browse the entire Internet for all types of ePublications (eBooks, Newspapers, Magazines, etc…)

    Q. Does Spring Design offer discount for educational market?

    Yes. If you are an enrolled student in an accredited school/university, you can purchase Alex at a discounted rate. For specific instructions on how to obtain your student discount please contact us at 1-888-670-7288.

    Q. Do you have any financing offers planned?

    No. Not at this time.

    Q. I was wondering when the shop goes live; is it possible to order internationally eg Europe?

    No. Alex can only be purchased in the USA at this time. We are aggressively working with regional distributors in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia to get Alex on the store shelves around the world.

    Q. What kind of pricing will be charged for the 3G unit's Internet access and data delivery?

    We are currently working with all US mobile carriers to select the best in class service provider as well as offering competitive pricing for our customers.

    Q. What the accessories included in Alex Reader?

    The Alex will ship with a battery, USB mini connector cable and AC Charger, headphones and a protective carrying case.

    Q. Can I return my Alex if I’m not satisfied?

    You can return your Alex for a refund within 30 days of receipt. Call our customer support at 1-888-670-7288 for a return authorization number.

     

    eBooks for Alex


    Q. What ebook stores or sources will be supported by Alex?

    Alex supports ebook stores or sources where you can find Adobe ebook formats with or without DRM (PDF, ePub, or ePub DRM Editions formats).

    Here is a partial list:

    Pay Sites (Requires that Adobe ID is activated on Alex)

    • www.booksonboard.com – Independent books store with a large collection of for purchase books including best sellers
    • www.ebooks.com – Large collection of for purchase books including bestsellers
    • www.kobobooks.com – Large collection of for purchase books including current best sellers.

    Free Sites

     

    Compatibility


    Q. Is the Alex Mac compatible?

    Alex works with PC and Mac.

    Q. Will Alex read PDB eReader format?

    No.

    Q. Will Alex support mobi format?

    Alex does not support mobi format.

    Q. Will Alex support Kindles proprietary AZW file format and DRM scheme?

    No.

    Will Alex support viewing password protected PDF files?

    Not currently. This feature will be enabled soon.

    Q. Just wondering if the Alex browser has Flash capabilities (for things like Hulu and Youtube)?

    Flash is not supported in this version. Alex supports MPEG2/4 and 3GPP video formats.

    Q. Does Alex work outside the United States?

    Yes. Alex can be used outside the United States. Alex supports both WiFi wireless and computer-based USB options for buying, accessing, and transferring content to and from your Alex.

    Q. I have several books in HTML format, will Alex be able to use them?

    Alex can read HTML format books. You can connect Alex to PC and mount Alex as a USB device, then you can copy them into ebooks directory. You can use Library application to find these books and open them to read.

    Q. How about Doc and Docx files?

    Alex does not support Microsoft’s .doc file formats.

    Q. I was also curious about integration with the Android Market: Will all standard applications be supported or are there limitations on their use due to different hardware or a modified version of Android being used for Alex?

    Alex supports Android applications that do not require GPS, camera or 3G connectivity in this Wi-Fi version).

    Q. Will Alex support Adobe DRM and/or Mobipocket reader so I can use my library's eBook lending for ePub and PDF books?

    Yes. Alex can support Adobe DRM, but not the Mobipocket reader.

    Q. I would like to know what ebook formats are supported by this device?

    Alex can support TXT, HTML, ePub and PDF ebook formats.

    Q. What audio formats were supported?

    MP3, M4A, AMR, MIDI, WAV, OGG Vorbis

     

    Using Alex


    Q. How do I connect the Alex to the Internet?

    In most cases at home connecting alex to the Internet is as easy as searching for your wireless access point and, if necessary, entering the security code required to access it(for a video tutorial on how to connect to wifi see our tutorials page here)

    However, at some public Hot Spots connecting to the wireless network is not sufficient to gain access to the Internet. That is because the Hot Spot may require that you login and sometimes pay for accessing the Internet.

    If this is the case

    • On the Alex main page tap on the Browser icon to start the Internet Browser.
    • The browser will try to access the default home page and should be re-directed to the Hot Spot Login page.

    Warning: If the home page does not get re-directed,

    Long press on the Page Forward key to bring up the Browser Menu and tap on Refresh.

    • Follow the directions on the Hot Spot login page to gain access to the internet.
    • You may now continue using the browser or exit out of it by long pressing on the back button to get back to the Alex main page. Either way you will remain attached to the Internet

    Q. How Do I use the Alex Browser?

    To use the Alex browser

    • Tap on the Browser icon on the main page.

    Using the Browser Menu

    • To access the Browser menu from inside the browser, long press on the Page Forward key.

    Menu Functions

    • Go - Allows user to enter a URL manually
    • Bookmarks - Bookmark the current page or goto a bookmarked page
    • User - can also see the history of all the WEB pages that he has visited
    • Windows - Allows the user to move between browser windows on Alex.
    • Refresh - Redisplay the current page. This will clear the cache for the page and re-fetch it.
    • Stop - Stops the current page fetch
    • Forward - Returns to the previous page visited if the user has
    • More - More menu functions
    • Find - on Page Searches for a string on the currently displayed web page
    • Select Text - Selects text on the currently displayed web page
    • Page Info -Shows the html information about the currently displayed page
    • Share Page - If you have email setup allows you to send the address of the page to a friend.
    • Settings - Normal browser setting functions.

    Q. How do I get books and other content onto my Alex?

    There are two ways to get content onto Alex: over wifi or by directly connecting the Alex to your PC or Mac.

    Over Wifi

    Currently, access to ebooks is provided either through Google Books or by visiting an internet ebookstore through the Alex Browser. Content that is downloaded from the Alex browser or through Google Book bookstore on Alex will automatically show up in the Library(see list under the 'ebooks section of the faq' for all of the available stores and sites).

    Warning: If the book is in the Library but fails to open it is probably Digital Rights Management protection and will not work unless you have a valid Adobe ID. Make sure that you have activated your Adobe ID on Alex.

    Transfering Content From the PC

    If you already have content on the PC it can be transferred to Alex using the USB cable that is included with your purchase.

    1. Turn On Alex
    2. Connect the USB Cable to Alex and then to the PC
    3. A notification will show up on the Alex
    4. Drag you finger from the very top of the LCD screen to the bottom of the screen to open up the Notification window.
    5. Tap on “USB connected”
    6. Tap on “Mount”. This will mount the SDCard on the PC. I will show up as a new disk.
    7. You will see a set of folders

      Ebooks – All ebooks should be placed here
      Music – All music files should be placed here
      Pictures – All pictures files should be placed here
      Video – All video files should be placed here
    8. Locate the content on your computer that you want to copy or move to Alex and drag the content into the proper folder as shown above.

    When you are finished transferring your content to Alex:

    1. On Alex drag you finger from the very top of the LCD screen to the bottom of the screen to open up the Notification window
    2. Tap on “Turn off USB storage”
    3. Tap on “Unmount” to unmount the SDCard from the PC and make it available to Alex again
    4. 12. Uplug the USB cable.

    Q. How do you enabling Adobe Digital Rights Management(DRM) on Alex?

    Before content that has been protected using Adobe DRM can be read on Alex the user must activate his/her Adobe ID on Alex. To do this

    1. Make sure that Alex is connected to the Internet through WiF.
    2. On the Alex home page click Settings --> About your Reader --> Adobe ID.
    3. You will then be asked to either enter your Adobe ID and password. Click Activate, or, if you do not already have an ID you can create a new one by clicking Create new.
    4. If you click Create new you will be taken to the Adobe web page. You can create an ID either from Alex or from a PC. You must then go back to step one to enter the newly created ID

    Warnings:

    To activate an Adobe ID Alex must be connected to the internet. Try to access a Web page, if you can not then fix this problem first.

    If the activation fails it might be because the date and time are not properly set on Alex. The date and time must be correct within a few minutes of the current time of day.

    Q. How fast are your page turns?

    It depends on ebook content. On an average they are less than 500ms.

    Q. Does this product support listening to books?

    No. Text-to-speech will available soon.

    Q. Can the display switch to landscape-viewing?

    No.

    Q. Can I annotate with written notes, or is it highlighting / recorded comments only?

    Yes. Alex support taking notes with the onboard virtual keyboard. Alex also supports highlighting, underlining and recording audio comments as well.

    Q. Could you please indicate if the Alex reader supports highlighting for PDF's?

    This version does not support highlighting in PDF documents.

    Q. Does Alex allow users to organize books into folders?

    Yes.

    Q. Will it be possible to use the proxy with the Alex web browser?

    VPN will be supported on Android 1.6, coming November 2010.

    Q. What Languages does Alex User Interface Support?

    Currently the Alex product supports

    • English
    • Chinese (China)
    • Chinese (Taiwan)
    • Spanish
    • French
    • German
    • Czech
    • Italian
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Dutch
    • Polish
    • Russian

    Q. Will I be able to listen to the music while reading the eBook?

    Yes.

    Q. Will be able to subscribe to podcast from my Alex?

    No.

    Q. How long does Alex's battery charge last?

    It can support up to 7500 electronic page turns, or 6 hours online browsing.

    Q. Can I charge Alex outside the United States?

    Alex ships with a micro-USB cable for charging your Alex from a computer USB port and a power adapter that supports voltages between 100V-240V.

    Q. How do I save battery power when reading an eBook?

    You can press POWER button to turn off LCD and Alex will automatically go to power saving mode when you are using PREVIOUS or NEXT PAGE button to turn pages.

    Q. Does Alex come with Wi-Fi?

    Yes. Alex supports 802.11 b/g wireless connectivity

    Q. Will I be charged wireless fees?

    This depends on the wireless service providers terms & conditions.

    Q. Does Alex's Wi-Fi work everywhere?

    Wherever there is 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity

     

    Accessories


    Q. Why does your device have a 2.5mm headphone jack, rather than the 3.5mm jack standard on most current electronic devices?

    Because Alex is very slim there was no space for 3.5mm jack. The next generation Alex will come with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

     

    3G Alex


    Q. Will the cellular service be included with the purchase of the 3G Alex device?

    All options with the US mobile operators regarding pricing and service packages are still under negotiation.

    Q. When can we expect availability of a 3G Alex?

    A 3G Alex version with HSUPA functionality will be available for purchase soon.

     

    Registration


    Q. Do I need to register my Alex ?

    You will need to register your device to take advantage of other Spring Design services such as:

    1. Software upgrades - allows us to contact you with important software upgrades or product notifications Warranty
    2. Allows us to activate your Alex warranty Proof of Ownership
    3. Provides a record in case of product loss or theft

    Q. How do I Register/Deregister my Alex ?

    You can register your device by two methods: From Alex unit

    1. Turn on Wi-Fi.
    2. In home screen, touch Settings > About your eReader
    3. Touch Register. Enter your Spring ID and password, and touch Sign in.
    4. If you don’t have a Spring ID, select Not a member. You can then apply for one.
    5. To deregister your Alex, select Deregister. Your Spring ID will change to Null.

    From www.springdesign.com website

    1. You must first be a member to register your Alex.
    2. Select the “My Account” link found on the top right corner of the website.
    3. Click 'Already a member?'
    4. Enter your Spring ID and password, and touch Sign in(if you don’t have a Spring ID, select 'Not a member'. You can then apply for one).
    5. Once you have an active My Account, select the “product registration” link and enter in the device serial number, purchase date and purchase location. The serial number is engraved on the back case of Alex.
    6. You are now registered.

     

    Warranty


    Q. What kind of warranty options are available?

    Your Alex is covered by a One-Year Limited Warranty.

     

    Alex Marketplace


    Q. When will the Alex SDK be available to 3rd party developers?

    Coming Soon…

     

    Getting more help


    Q. My Alex is not-functioning. Can I get a replacement?

    Alex is covered by a one-year manufacturer's warranty. The warranty information is posted on the main support page when you click the support tab on our website's main menu.

    Q. Where can I get more help?

    To reach Alex Support via phone or e-mail, please visit the Contact Us page on the www.springdesign.com website.

    You can also reach us by calling the following number inside the

    United States: 1-888-670-7288 between 8:30am – 5:30pm PST Monday – Friday.