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Topic: Libby on Android (Read 1362 times) previous topic - next topic
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Libby on Android

This is audio related but not about audio per se. I suspect some people here have experience with what I was trying to do; maybe someone has experienced the same problem.

I have an older 4G smart phone that I had to give up using a little over two years ago because it isn’t LTE capable. It is an HTC One running Android 5.0.2. I have no direct internet access of course but I can connect the phone to WiFi.

I’ve been using if for some audio playback, using its built into the Android system audio player. It is easy to copy audio files to the phone and hassle free to play them. Now I want to play audio books borrowed from the library. This requires a special player, Libby, which comes only from the Google Play Store. I never before used the Play Store on this phone.

I started with the Play Store icon, then signed on, which appeared to work. There is no longer any requirement for entering ID or password and, as far as I can see, there is no option to sign out. Right after I signed on there was a message across the top of the screen saying something like “unable to access Play Store content”. It has not been repeated.

What I get now is a blank screen except for a search dialogue across the top. I’m not certain if it is part of Play Store or just some search engine for the web. When I key in Libby I get a list of several Libby software things, all of which may be for the same library program.  If I select any of them, the system goes into perpetual busy state with an arrow head snake chasing its tail in a circle. Maybe if I waited long enough it would time out but so far I haven’t had the extreme patience necessary for that.

The above procedure works as expected on my current, connected phone.

What occurs to me is that Play Store has since been updated and will no longer work on such an old version of Android or maybe with such an old version of the Play Store program. I find no way to update the Play Store program and, for certain, there is no HTC Android update for the phone.

Are there any other possibilities, in particular ones that might work on this phone?
Am I correct in believing there is no such thing as a generic Android system that might be used to update the Phone’s OS?
Has anyone had good experiences with any particular Android forum?

Re: Libby on Android

Reply #1
Are there any other possibilities, in particular ones that might work on this phone?
You can bypass the Play Store and manually install the app. The Libby app claims to support Android 5, so it might work. You can download it from here. You can also try installing older versions of the app in case the latest one doesn't work. (Beware: there are a lot of sites hosting malicious Android apps out there. The site I linked seems to be trustworthy, but it wouldn't hurt to double check.)

Am I correct in believing there is no such thing as a generic Android system that might be used to update the Phone’s OS?
Sort of. There's no such thing as a generic Android system that you can install onto any phone, but some clever folks have worked out ways to customize newer versions of Android to work on older phones. You're not going to get the latest version of Android, but I've seen copies of Android 7 for your phone floating around. Unfortunately, installing these upgrades tends to be rather difficult, and if you make a mistake you could permanently damage your phone.

Re: Libby on Android

Reply #2
If you wish to attempt an Android upgrade, you could have a look at 'Discontinued Devices' on They appear to support a number of HTC One variants.

Re: Libby on Android

Reply #3
Definitely try sideloading APK's before messing with the install. I don't think you can get libby on it but a good alternative app store is f-droid, it's a repo mostly for FOSS apps. Might give the phone some extra utility.


Re: Libby on Android

Reply #4
The only possible usefulness of the phone is as an audio player (well, I suppose it could take photos too, if that interested me in the slightest). With the audio I've played on it for some time, I have zero complaints. It would be rather foolish to stop using it just because of its age.

The addition I want, Libby, is to access the public library system audio, mainly audiobooks. Like the Audible player for audiobooks sold by Audible, it is the only legitimate way to do so, possibly the only way period. I now have recommendations to try or instead of the Google Play store for an installable Libby program, so maybe that will b e a viable work around.