Why Doesn’t Kobo Offer OverDrive Integration on All Kobo eReaders?


Last September Kobo released the Kobo Aura One. Aside from the 7.8-inch E Ink screen with adjustable frontlight color, the other main new feature was the addition of built-in OverDrive support to download library ebooks for free directly to the reader.

Nearly one year later, the Aura One is still the only Kobo ebook reader to offer OverDrive integration.

All other Kobo ereaders require using a computer and Adobe Digital Editions to download and transfer library ebooks to the device over USB.

It takes several extra steps and is kind of a pain to deal with sometimes.

The company that owns Kobo also owns OverDrive so it makes you wonder why they still insist on using Adobe as a middleman to manage library ebooks at this point anyway, especially when it comes to Kobo’s own devices.

So why don’t other Kobo ereaders get OverDrive integration as well?

Kobo is known for using the same software on all their devices, dating back several generations. And yet OverDrive integration is the one software feature that remains reserved for the Kobo Aura One only.

What about all the people that would rather have a smaller ereader? It seems like an odd marketing strategy to lock in OverDrive support to only one model with a larger screen.

6 Responses to “Why Doesn’t Kobo Offer OverDrive Integration on All Kobo eReaders?”

  1. Agreed, also why doesn’t Kobo allow users to transfer notes and annotations to a PC or Mac or via email directly from device like Kindle?

  2. It is possible that the hardware (or firmware) is the issue. Perhaps there is additional firmware required for this feature that simply does not exist in the older Kobo devices and which cannot be added via a software update. I am thinking something to do with decrypting the DRM keys to allow the book to be read.

  3. Overdrive sync does work.
    When I download Overdrive ebooks to my Aura One and Sync my old Kobo H2O the ebooks appear automatically including expiry info.

  4. I’m trying to decide between the H2O and the One (time to upgrade from the Sony…) and the only hang up is the size of the One. I’d prefer the smaller size but want OverDrive. Is this likely something that could be integrated in an upcoming software update? Is it really that simple??

    • It’s not very likely at this point. The Aura One has been out for a year now; if they were going to add OverDrive to the other models they would have done so by now.