Thursday, 8 August 2019

Kobo's four standout features

Overall, as I've argued before, Kindle's e-reading software is more advanced than Nickel (Kobo's operating system). Kobo, however, offers four key features that Amazon, at the moment, doesn't match:
  1. OverDrive integration: It is only possible to borrow e-books to read on a Kindle e-reader in the US. Also, the feature is not neatly integrated into the software as it is on a Kobo e-reader. To borrow an e-book on a Kindle e-reader, the user needs to first access the document on OverDrive and then go through checkout to send it to the required device. On a Kobo e-reader, in comparison, OverDrive is integrated into the device's software, and it is possible to borrow books from the Kobo store. Further, it is also possible to borrow an e-book on Libby and then automatically sync it to a Kobo e-reader. 
  2. TypeGenius: Kobo's TypeGenius is a feature that provides a scale to adjust font-weight, font size, line spacing, margins and justification. The scale is not precise as it could be, but it is still significantly better than Amazon's restrictive and limited settings.  
  3. Installation of add-ons: Kobo e-readers are relatively open, and it is easy to install add-on software, e.g., KOReader, and patch the code to access hidden features. The newer Kindles, in comparison, are challenging to jailbreak; this means most users are restricted to using the native software to read PDF documents. Kindle's PDF reader, relative to Kobo, is usable, but KOReader is far better for reading PDF documents. 
  4. Pocket integration: Sending articles to a Kindle e-reader is possible via the Send to Kindle browser add-on or using Automata's Pocket to Kindle application. In comparison, Kobo seamlessly integrates Pocket articles in a designated articles section. This means saved Pocket articles automatically sync and can be managed directly on a Kobo e-reader without requiring the use of add-ons or third-party applications. 

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