Though it’s a great device, I’ve always been a little dis­ap­poin­ted with my Kobo eRead­er. Sure, I got the cool black one, and it will let me read my ebooks, but the read­ing exper­i­ence was nev­er that pol­ished. It’s almost as if the soft­ware run­ning the eRead­er was unfinished.

Some of the things that annoyed me were:

  • strong flick­er when chan­ging pages
  • con­fu­sion over power light status (blue/red/purple — means what?)
  • con­fu­sion over char­ging pro­cess / status
  • bat­tery life was­n’t as good as I thought
  • text size was not change­able  for some ePubs

But the key word above is are ‘annoyed’ — past tense.

Not Annoyed
Kobo’s released their latest firm­ware update, and it addresses many of my con­cerns. And after doing the update, this thing feels new. Snappy! To quote from their web­site:

What’s In the Upgrade

Everything that we talked about here, here, and here.

The high­lights:

  • The abil­ity to res­ize fonts for any ePub file, no mat­ter where it comes from.
  • Improved bat­tery management
  • The abil­ity to hide/show the pre­loaded free classics
  • Char­ging lights that make sense (red/violet when char­ging, blue when finished)

The Upgrade Process
Ini­tially the upgrade was avail­able to people who signed up to an ‘early access’ pro­gram — ostens­ibly to help man­age the rol­lout of the upgrade and catch any bugs that may still be in the code.

Then, after a peri­od of time, the update was enabled for everyone.

Here’s how the upgrade works:

  1. Launch your Kobo desktop soft­ware on your computer.
  2. Con­nect your Kobo eRead­er to your computer.
  3. When promp­ted, down­load and install the updated Kobo desktop software.
  4. Restart the Kobo desktop soft­ware, and recon­nect your Kobo eReader.
  5. Fol­low the prompts as the Kobo desktop soft­ware recog­nizes that your eRead­er has­n’t been updated yet.

It’s really that simple. You may have to repeat steps 1 and 2 a couple of times as it seems that the Kobo desktop soft­ware does­n’t always ‘phone home’ to see if there’s an update.

Oh, and you will need a paper clip (to hit the recessed reset but­ton) and a bit of manu­al dex­ter­ity as you have to push 2 but­tons and the middle of the Nav­ig­a­tion Pad all at the same time to set the unit into update mode.

The firm­ware it did­n’t ship with
Kudos to Kobo devel­op­ment staff for listen­ing to cus­tom­er con­cerns and get­ting this update out. While I’m glad to see this firm­ware release fix these issues, it’s unfor­tu­nate that the Kobo eRead­er did­n’t ship with this ver­sion initially.

But hey, it’s out now and it works well. Time to read anoth­er book!