In the ereading world, the Kobo sits in the number 2 spot, right behind the giant that is the Amazon Kindle, and in front of the Barnes and Noble reader, the Nook. Although you can buy a Kobo reader, many people choose to use the reading app on their iPad, Android tablet or Blackberry Playbook instead. The Kobo reader comes installed on the Blackberry Playbook, and there is currently no way to install the Kindle app or the Nook app without side-loading the Android versions. So unless you have some tech no-how, then the Kobo is it for reading ebooks on your Playbook.
Luckily, the Kobo app is pretty sleek. Admittedly, it has its limitations, but all in all, Kobo has released a pretty cool app. The white and blue colours are inviting and relatively easy on the eyes. The app only has two major windows: The Library and The Store.
This makes it easy to navigate, no matter how new you are to reading on a tablet. The Library houses all purchased ebooks. New ebooks can be purchased, or simply downloaded if free, in The Store.
The Library looks like a newsstand, with all the covers of your purchased books facing forward. It only shows ten titles at a time but you only have to scroll down to see more. This makes it easy when to find the title you are looking for assuming you don’t have that many books. Unfortunately there is no search option or way to organize your books so if you are an avid ready, you may have trouble finding the titles you are looking for once you have a few hundred books listed.
The Kobo app does have a couple of cool features though. Any book that has been opened will be auto-bookmarked, which is indicated by the green fletching over the book cover. The other cool feature is located on the top right corner of the app. The name and cover of the last book you had open appears here, and you can jump directly into it by tapping the cover photo. This saves a lot of time searching.
The Kobo store is a pretty slick experience. Users have multiple ways to search for content. There is a Search option, so it’s easy to find specific titles.
The vertical view makes browsing through categories super easy
You can also browse categories, or check out different recommended reading option by tapping the ‘More’ option. There is also a section dedicated to free books. I particularly like the ‘Recommended Reading’ section.
This section opens up lots of different browsing options, from eBook Exclusive Shorts to Start a Series to Discounted Bestsellers. This is a great way to find new authors to try out.
As much as I like the Kobo app, it does have its faults. I would love to see more organization options in the library, a search option at the very least. I would also like to see more lighting, font and page-style options. Books look great on the tablet but prolonged reading does get a little hard on the eyes. The brightness can be adjusted and there is a ‘Night Mode’ option, which makes the background black the type white but a sepia option would be very cool.
Night Mode has an on or off option and a brightness slider
The Kobo is a great alternative to the Kindle app, and is a great option for all types of book lovers.
If you think a tablet is the way to go, then you may like the Blackberry Playbook. If the Kobo App just doesn't do it for you, then you may want to check out the Kindle Fire.