Kobo App: A While Later

imageCarin wrote me and asked if I still liked the Kobo app as much as I did when I wrote about it in June of this year.

After your post about the Kobo app on the iPad, I installed it on my iPad.  I was wondering if you still were enjoying it.  For the first few days I was LOVING it.  I was the kid who always loved getting the gold star on my homework at school, so an app that gives me badges and tells me I’m “Good in Bed” is a winner with me!

I bugged a friend and got her to use the app thinking it would be all kinds of wonderfulness, Goodreads style, but there’s not much there to share!  Without the ability to rate the books in my library, she can only see that I have them, not how much they sucked.  (Although I guess I could make a shelf for that.)

I also had an issue where I loaded a book and it was missing a chapter!  I emailed it to myself, opened in kobo, and started reading.  Then Chapter 2 was just 2 blank pages.  And chapter three mentioned some mighty wang viewing I definitely had not been party to.  So I re-opened the email and used Bluefire to open the book – low and behold there was whole chapter, including a scene where the heroine spied on the hero. (Of course he knew she was there – he’s a shifter so he could smell her! And what’s a shifter to do other than whip it out and show her what she’s missing?)

Anyway, the chapter goof up was frustrating.  And then I realized I’d earned a lot of the badges I was likely to earn, at least without changing my reading habits.

So, I’m writing to you wondering how you feel about it now?  Are there features I’m missing?  I feel like they could have done some really awesome things with the Reading Life and friends portion of the app, but they just didn’t do it.

Yeah, Carin, I’ll be honest: the bloom is off the rose a bit for me and the Kobo app, though I do like it a bit more than the other reading apps I have on my iPad.

First, when the iPad is not connected to WiFi (I have a Wi-Fi only iPad), the Kobo app will crash repeatedly. If it can’t have internet, then I can’t have books. Poor thing. That can be frustrating, particularly when I’ve been carrying the iPad with me and want to read something only to have the app fail on me due to no internet.

I like the stats given for my reading habits, and I like the idea of contributing to their Read On! effort to gather 1 trillion pages read and make donations to charities specified by readers, but the best part for me is still the ease of creating shelves for my content on the iPad—I love that. I can’t say enough about how easy it is to organize my content on the Kobo app, and how much I like adding books to different shelves. But if it crashes when I’m not hooked up to WiFi, there’s not much point in my using it when I’m not inside my house or at a place where I can access WiFi.

When I’m reading on the iPad, which isn’t often, as I like to be outside in the summer as much as possible, I switch back and forth between the Kindle app and the Kobo app. I still like the Kobo app a lot still, though it has its quirks. For the stats and the shelves I look at them as minor annoyances rather than dealbreakers for the app itself.  Unfortunately, it raised my expectations for the Kobo Touch, which, as I ranted, does not have collections or customizable shelves like the app does.



General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    Marian says:

    So I’ve been wondering…

    Do you know how and/or if you will be able to by books for the Kobo once Borders is no more? Is Amazon or maybe someone else going to buy the rights to e-book sales perhaps?

  2. 2
    LG says:

    @Marian – Shouldn’t you be able to buy books for your Kobo from anywhere that sells PDF and EPUB formats? I don’t own a Kobo, but my Nook works that way. I have not bought a single e-book from Barnes and Noble – I buy them all either directly from the publishers or from AllRomance.

  3. 3
    ADL says:

    First, when the iPad is not connected to WiFi (I have a Wi-Fi only iPad), the Kobo app will crash repeatedly.

    This is why I do not like the Kobo app on my iPad (wi-fi only). I have to constantly be tethered to Internet in order to read what I purchased. Therefore, I use Kobo as little as possible and use either Bluefire or iBooks (each having their own quirks, but at least I can access the books whenever I want to).

  4. 4
    Carin (of the original email) says:

    The Kobo app can read any ePub, except B&N, which I believe you can only read on the nook or nook app.

    I email myself books from my computer.  Then open the email on the iPad and click the attachment.  It says Open In… and I choose Kobo (or Bluefire, as it’s been lately).

    I really think Kobo is missing an opportunity to step ahead.  I love basics and the extra features (shelves, Reading Life) but I think they stopped short of doing something really cool with it.

  5. 5
    LG says:

    “The Kobo app can read any ePub, except B&N, which I believe you can only read on the nook or nook app.”

    @Carin – Yes, that’s exactly why I don’t buy my e-books from B&N. The Kindle DRM was part of the reason I didn’t buy a Kindle (I didn’t feel like rewarding Amazon for creating something that was intended primarily to read e-books protected with their DRM), and I was a tad annoyed when I found out B&N had their own DRM.

  6. 6
    Brian says:

    @Marian, all books bought through the Borders website were really bought through Kobo so you can just buy through Kobo directly (or Books on Board or Diesel or All Romance or Harlequin or Sony or ebooks.com or anywhere else that sells Adobe DRM’d ePub).

    Also if you haven’t already you’ll want to migrate your Borders library to Kobo very soon.  You should have gotten an email from Borders about this (or you’ll get a message when logging into your library at Borders.com).

    @Carin, unless something’s changed in the past few weeks the Kobo app only does DRM free ePub.  Any DRM’d ePubs will need either Bluefire or Txtr on the iThings.

  7. 7
    Carin says:

    @Brian -that explains a lot.  I have a couple books with DRM on the Kobo App, but when I think back, they are books I got through Kobo.  The other stuff is ARe or Carina.  And the ARe was hit or miss (as far as me being able to open it or not).  I couldn’t figure it out and just gave up and switched back to Bluefire.  Thanks for explaining.

    @LG – YES.  No B&N and no Kindle for me.  I like to be able to shop around and and their my-playground-my-ball attitude bugged me.  I went with a Sony, which is nice but can be reeeealy slow to load books or move to the main menu.  Now I’m getting hooked on reading on the iPad, which lets me shop around.  No folders though.

  8. 8
    H. Vert says:

    I’ve been using the Kobo app on my iTouch for a while without problem.  But now that I think on it, I don’t know if I made a note if I was always connected to the web somehow.  Something to keep in mind when I’m traveling.

  9. 9
    Lil' Deviant says:

    After your rave about Kobo I downloaded the app to my Cruz.  I thought I would look around at the free ebooks.  Get a feel for it and the website.  I set up my account and started to look around.  I tried to download one of the free ebooks offered but wasn’t successful.  Then the next day I had a hundred dollar transaction on my card.  I managed to dispute it but it has made me very leery of the website.  As someone who has made several purchases on-line with Amazon, Borders or just shopping this made me nervous.

  10. 10
    SB Sarah says:

    (HOLY HELL Lil’ Deviant. That’s horrible! I’m sorry that happened to you.)

    I’m still going back and forth between the Kobo app on the iPad and eInk devices. I’m testing the Kobo Touch now, and am working on my review. Anyone have a Touch that they’re using and enjoying? I’m curious what others think.

  11. 11
    Kristi Davis says:

    Hi, why is no one mentioning this awesome sounding shifter book with spying mighty wang that I now want to read?

    Clues? :)

    I do not have the Kobo ap, I just prefer my Kindle or BlueFire on the iPad. I might have to try it though.

  12. 12
    beletseri says:

    I love the shelves on the Kobo app, that is pretty great. But when i read on my ipod it always crashes without internet. It’s super annoying. I really want to get the kobo touch. It seems like the best (and most affordable) ereader on the market that won’t hinder me with an annoying DRM. But at the same time I work at Borders, and I’ve seen first hand some of the problems people have had with it. And to be honest I’m not very trusting of the Kobo service people.

    Ah well, I can’t wait for Sarah’s review of the Kobo Touch! You’re pretty much the only ereader reviewer on the internet that I feel I can really trust.

  13. 13
    Carin says:

    @Kristi Davis – the book was Tempting the Beast by Lora Leigh.  It’s the very first book in her Breeds series.  Crack.

  14. 14
    Rosecampion says:

    For the no internet/crashing kobo problem, I have better results if I switch my iPad into airplane mode. It’s like the crash happens when it’s looking for the wifi, but if I tell it not to look, there’s no crash.

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