How to Read The Straits Times Print Edition on Android Tablet for Free

If you have read this article, you will know that the print edition of the Straits Times can be downloaded in PDF format without any subscription. But it comes with a bit of hassle. How about using their official app to read the news instead without any subscription?

If you have an Android tablet that is rooted, then you are in luck. Below are the prerequisites.

  • Android tablet that is rooted
  • ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is installed on your computer
  • USB Debugging is enabled on Android tablet
  • The Straits Times for Tablet app must be installed

All the prerequisites are mandatory. Once they are met, proceed to create an XML file on your computer called ST_ANDROID_TABLET.xml with the following data in it.

Change the username and password fields in lines 7 and 10 to some values of your choice. They are not tied to a valid subscription. Save the file in UNIX format, not in DOS format.

Copy the XML file to the root of the SD card in the tablet. You will need to know the location of this file within the ADB session.

Now launch ADB and run the following commands.

Confused on what we are trying to do? Read the explanation below.

Line #1 – Launch ADB shell

Line #2 – Switch to root

Line #3 – We are tring to search for the XML file under the /storage directory using the find command. SD cards are normally mounted underneath /storage

Line #4 – Location of the XML file printed by the command in line #3. If you never get any output, try running the command again as: find / -name ST_ANDROID_TABLET.xml -type f

Line #5 – Change to the directory where we want to copy the XML file to

Line #6 – Copy the XML file from SD card to required location

Line #7,8 – Logout from ADB shell

Now, launch the app and try clicking on the PDF links. It should start downloading the PDF pages of the print edition!

Update (18-Oct-2014): This hack does not work anymore as the bug has been patched.

Related: New workaround available – Access The Straits Times Print Edition on Android Tablet for Free.

ibrahim = { interested_in(unix, linux, android, open_source, reverse_engineering); coding(c, shell, php, python, java, javascript, nodejs, react); plays_on(xbox, ps4); linux_desktop_user(true); }