Kobo’s Vox eReader has gotten full access to Google Play, finally allowing users to download as much as 500,000 apps from the Android app store instead of the initial limited access for only 15,000 apps. Google Play also opens Kobo Vox eReader users to a list of music and movies from Google’s Music Stores. Furthermore, the company makes available other popular Google-branded services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Contacts, Calendar, and Youtube.
This new offering will be available starting the forthcoming software update for the eReader, which will prompt users to connect to the Internet to get the update. On the other hand, one can do the upgrading manually by going to the Home screen, then selecting Settings, then System Update. This tells the device to check if the update is available. If it is, users may select Update Now, then download the update and restart the unit for the update to take effect. Google Play will ship with all new units of the device, as well.
The addition of Google Play on the Kobo Vox eReader will allow the company to compete more aggressively against the Amazon Kindle Fire, a fellow Android-based device that only has access to Amazon’s app store. Both devices have similar specifications of a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a micro USB port.
Recently, the Toronto-based company has also announced its interest in contending against Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Barnes & Noble’s PubIt in the ebook self-publishing niche. Early this month, it unveiled a novel platform called Writing Life, which allows independent writers and publishers to distribute their own written works for free and receive 10% higher royalty fees from the sales.
Kobo has been experiencing a streak of success lately. Just this month, the Rakuten-owned company announced that its eBook downloads have risen up to 400 percent. Meanwhile, the sales of its eReader are up by 160 percent, expanding yearly at a rate of 280 percent. It reportedly caters to 8 million users in 190 countries and has experienced a three-digit growth in recent times.
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