Being ubiquitous has its advantages, and like music, photos and video, it’s just as easy to take a library of your own books wherever you go, too. Kobo has its line of eReaders, but it also has a dedicated app that brings the experience of reading, browsing and downloading new books to a number of devices and platforms. It’s a free app that aims to appeal to those who like to read on their smartphones and tablets.
In case you weren’t sure, you’re not required own a Kobo device to use the app and access any of the books in the vast Kobo library. Downloading the free app allows you to sign up for an account and begin browsing the selection of 4 million titles the Kobo Store has to offer.
The app is currently available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Windows 8 tablets. You can download it here and then go about signing up and buying the ebooks you want. There are also emagazines, comics, graphic novels and children’s literature to browse through, if you’re interested. Note that the iPhone and iPad app doesn’t allow you to purchase books directly. You would have to do so on any of the other platforms or via a Mac or Windows PC first before accessing them on those devices.
The app does have two components to it. There’s the store, of course, as well as your own library, including Facebook integration to see what friends who have opted in are reading.
The store lays out books in various genres, and within those, are a number of sub-genres that break things down further. Trending books are found in the Top 50 eBooks banner. The Made in Canada section lists eBooks written by Canadian authors. The Recommended For You section naturally lists titles that might be a good fit based on what you have in your library, plus what you’re been browsing for.
There are also plenty of eBooks available for free, or older titles that can he had for only a few dollars. 12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northrup and 1984 by George Orwell are two that can be downloaded for less than a cup of coffee. A crime novel called Plague that takes place in London in 1665 is currently being promoted. There are numerous biographies from John Lennon to Bobby Orr. Personally, The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime caught my eye when sifting through some of the eBooks in that category.
It is easier to find free eBooks on the website than it is on the app, but again, anything you download or bookmark (the Want to Read section in your library) will be updated on the app wherever you use it. Even if you started a book or magazine on one device and then moved to another, all bookmarks and settings are maintained, so it’s a seamless transition.
Kobo continues to make the app free to download on a wide range of devices, and you can use it at your leisure.