Although I’d definitely take a paperback over my tablet as my medium of choice to read a novel, one can’t argue the convenience of a single device that can carry all the books you’d ever want to read. That’s why I’ve been steadily growing my ebook collection — being able to carry every tome I intend to digest this year in a jacket pocket, just makes sense. The ebook game is now in a hot innings, with new heavy hitters like Google Play and even India’s Flipkart taking to the field. So I thought it’d be interesting to see what Kobo had up its sleeve.
Known for manufacturing affordable dedicated ebook readers, and for going up against the likes of Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes’ and Nobles’ Nook devices, Kobo has now made its debut in the Play Store with a bookstore-and-reader combo app that promises to deliver a comprehensive reading experience on your smartphone or tablet. With a wide range of titles, cross-device content and bookmark sync, and a clean flat interface, Kobo sure looks like it’s up to bat — but can it score a home run? I spent a couple of weeks with the app to find out.
As someone who is a little less than three years out of grad school – and after doing 20 years of school straight – I still like to look at how technology can affect education. (It might also help that I am employed by my alma mater.) I’ve been thinking a lot about the ebook market lately and how it can change the way students learn – or at least how they buy textbooks.
Ebooks and self-publishing are making it easier than ever to get information out there very affordably, for both the publisher and the customer. Kindles and iPads alike are great tools for students, and Apple even released a tool called iBooks Author, which aims to make it easier to produce interactive textbooks for the iPad. However, I think the Kindle Fire (and entire Kindle family) is better poised to take over the e-textbook market.
Google are now selling ebooks through the Android Market. Check it out via this link. (If it goes to the Market homepage, then ebooks aren’t available in your country yet.)
On paper, this is not a big deal; Google have been selling ebooks through the Google eBookstore for months, and a free Android app to let you read them has been on the Market for just as long. But let’s look at the bigger picture…