Good news for readers who use Kobo’s iOS app. After my post last week where I criticized the most recent update for adding too many bells and whistles, Kobo got in touch to let me know that they’d heard similar complaints from others, and that they had an update in the works that would address some of the user interface issues. Well, here it is straight from Kobo’s test kitchen: a peek at what the forthcoming update will look like. Continue reading
I’ve been trying to come up with a good way to describe the newly released Longform app for iPad. It’s a digital magazine on steroids. It’s an infinite magazine, a magazine multiplex. It’s a portable reading room where new issues arrive daily. It’s an evolving anthology of nonfiction journalism.
The point is, it’s awesome. If you have an iPad and you prefer longer, more substantial articles over 350-word pieces, you’ll love it. Continue reading
A monopoly believes it is a permanent fixture in its industry. An Internet e-commerce company worries obsessively that it can be destroyed at any time if it doesn’t stay fast and smart. The contrast between Amazon and big publishing could not be more stark.
The Passive Voice
I no longer enjoy launching the Kobo app on my iPhone or iPad. I stopped looking forward to interacting with it a few updates ago, and now I actually avoid it.
This has been building for a while. A year ago, I praised Kobo for being ahead of the curve when it came to adding entertaining new features to its iPad app (the features were later extended to other platforms). “Best app,” I wrote then, and I meant it. But over the past six months—well, ever since Apple crippled all the competing ebook retailers’ apps for strategic reasons in the summer of 2011—Kobo has been adding new features to make its app more and more “social” and “networked” and “fun”, with the consequence that the app has started to become less and less enjoyable to use. The latest upgrade (version 5.3) has simply made it not worth bothering with anymore. Continue reading