Kobo E-Reader to get Firmware Update

Kobo E-Reader users can now officially rejoice to the Good E-Reader news that Kobo is planing on rolling out a new Firmware Update in the next few days.

If you just can’t wait to download this firmware update, you can sign up for the pre-release version right now (http://blog.kobobooks.com/early-access/)

There will be two different ways that Kobo will distribute the release of the new firmware for the Kobo E-Reader.

Option 1: Download and Install (All Countries)

Download a new version of the Kobo Desktop application. This includes a wizard that will walk you through the Kobo eReader firmware upgrade process. The whole process, end-to-end, takes about 10-20 minutes, depending mostly on Internet connection and the speed of your computer. This can be done in the comfort of your own home and doesn’t require you to re-sync your library afterwards.

Option 2: SD Card Upgrade (Canada only)

Starting the week of July 5th, Canadian eReader users can visit the Indigo, Chapters or Coles store where they purchased their eReader and have the upgrade done for them by Indigo staff. This upgrade is performed using an SD Card and requires you to re-sync your books back onto your eReader when you get home. Not a big deal if you have a few books, but can take a while if you have a lot. (Please call the store to check before you go in. Not all stores will have SD Cards.)

Michael Tamblyn of Kobo has assured people who have a Kobo E-Reader that they have fulltime staff at Kobo Customer Care to answer any questions you may have over the Phone, E-Mail. During the Update process a special phone number will be made available if you need help.

For International Customers in Australia and New Zealand will be doing upgrades in Boarders, Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls after July 9 2010.

Below is a summary based on the Kobo official Blog regarding the updates enclosed in the Kobo Firmware Upgrade.

Font scaling

A number of people have had issues resizing fonts on epub files they have imported into the eReader, especially files from other stores/sources. Font issues have been tricky. [Warning: content of a technical nature] They are most often caused by hardcoded absolute font sizes in the epub CSS. Doing wholesale overrides of CSS can earn us bad karma with publishers. And while we can easily override some CSS elements (font face, for example, since we have a limited number of fonts on the eReader), the Adobe SDK actually prohibits override of absolute font sizes. (Grrr…) So we have had to do some crafty things behind the scenes to get around that limitation. We have tested the new release of firmware with every file that users have sent us with font resizing issues and it has worked in all cases we’ve tested so far.

Title Management

The biggest irritant we heard from lots of users was “I don’t care about *&@^#$# Jane Eyre! Get it out of my Library!” Totally understandable: some people feel it clutters up the Library or makes it harder to find purchased books. (Others love having a reader that is full of books as soon as you plug it in. That’s the way it goes…) There is a short-term fix in the new release while we work on a longer and more complicated one. In the short term, you’ll be able to hide pre-loaded books on the device — get them out of the way so you can look at the other books you’ve added. That definitely won’t address all issues, but it will address the biggest pain point while we work on a wider range of library management features for a subsequent release.

Battery Life

This was a software problem rather than a hardware one. Even when the device is in sleep mode, there is a negligible amount of activity on the device. The bug: in some situations, power consumption wasn’t tapering off as much as it should have when the device went into sleep mode. We found the bug and fixed it, so people should be able to get the 8,000 page turns they were expecting.

Charging Light

Used to: show nothing until it was charged and then turn red when it was done. New release: turns red when it’s charging (so you know something is going on), turns blue when it’s done. Should generally provide a more accurate sense of what’s going on.

Michael Kozlowski (5214 Posts)

Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about electronic readers and technology for the last four years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the Huffington Post, CNET and more. Michael frequently travels to international events such as IFA, Computex, CES, Book Expo and a myriad of others. If you have any questions about any of his articles, please send an email to michael@goodereader.com

  • Fvozza

    Its Aug 1st. Where is the firmware upgrade?????
    Frank Vozza

  • should_have_bought_kindle

    Second that. Anyone have a download link? This is ridiculous!

  • http://www.findprefab.com/prefab-homes Prefab House

    Can you provide a reference for the screen resolution?