A Mini Review of the New Kobo Desktop App

This morning Kobo released a desktop ebook reader application for PC and Mac computers. Basically, the app allows users to read and download ebooks from Kobo’s 2.2 million titles.

Kobo also has dedicated reading applications for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Palm Pre, and BlackBerry.

I downloaded the app and tried it out. You can download it here from Kobo’s website. Also, to celebrate the new Kobo Desktop app they are offering $2 off select books with promo code “kobodesktop”.

Compared to other ebook reading apps, the Kobo desktop app is rubbish. It’s exactly the same as the Borders desktop app. That’s not surprising considering that they both connect to the Kobo ebookstore, but what is surprising is that the Borders app has been out for 2 and a half months.

What’s more, if you have ebooks downloaded to the Borders app, you cannot access them in the Kobo app, and vice versa—they are completely independent accounts, despite the fact it’s the same exact store. And neither app allows you to import ebooks from other sources.

The reading mode for the PC app itself is extremely basic. The only options available are increasing and decreasing font size, accessing the table of contents, and full screen mode (which is somewhat misleading because the margins are very wide). There are buttons to go to the previous or next chapter, and page forward and backward buttons. That’s it. And scrolling the mouse wheel does not turn pages.

What’s odd is that the Kobo site specifically says that you can change font style, but I do not have that option.

On the positive side, the Kobo desktop app does offer a pleasant ebook browsing and buying experience. Kobo’s store has a nice clean layout with numerous searching and sorting options. It’s a pity that they didn’t put much into the reading portion of the app, the most important part. You can’t even add bookmarks for Pete’s sake.

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