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Google Play Opens Full Access to Kobo Vox eReader

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.

via techrunch

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4 Comments

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  1. I’ve had my Vox for over 6 months but rarely used it as I preferred my Kobo Touch for casual reading (with the exception for Zinio mags). This update has transformed the Vox! With full access to Google Play (aka Android Market) I can now use it as a real ‘tool’ for work/pleasure as well as a great colour eReader. Great move Kobo!

  2. Interesting comment! I did purchase a Vox last fall and ended up returning it due to performance issues. I will now take another look at it.

    Btw – I see that Best Buy and Future Shop have dropped the Vox price again – some places have it for as low as $169 cad. Do you see this as a precursor to a NEW Vox appearing soon?

  3. There were huge performance improvements in this update as well, so people reading earlier reviews should understand that the Vox released last fall and the Vox one buys today are very different. Same hardware, of course.

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