kobo.jpgMichael Tamblyn of Kobo has just announced an upgrade to their ereader firmware. Here’s what the Kobo blog says about it. I’ll do without the blockquotes:

We are very happy to announce that we have firmware upgrades on the way for Kobo eReader customers. I’m going to give as much detail as I can on this process and will be checking the forum to answer any questions that come up over the next couple of days. This is a big post, with lots of info, so let’s get started.

Two Ways to Upgrade

Option 1: Download and Install

Download a new version of the Kobo Desktop application (instructions below). 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: For Canadian customers:

Starting the week of July 5th, Canadian eReader users can visit the Indigo, Chapters or Coles store they purchased their eReader from 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.

For other customers:

We are working with Borders (US), Borders Australia, Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls this week to schedule the release of upgrades for your eReaders. If you bought devices from these retailers, we will have final dates for you by July 9th.

Getting The Upgrade

We are releasing the upgrade over the course of the next two weeks, but if you’re anxious to get it now, there’s a way to jump to the front of the line!

Starting Tomorrow

We are making updates available through our “Early Access” program. Sign up here:


and we will send you a link to download a new version of the Kobo Desktop Reader that includes our eReader upgrade wizard. First come, first served! We are aiming to send the first batch of Early Access emails July 1st and send additional batches July 2nd through 4th (yep, we’re working both US and Canadian holidays to get this out to you!). Borders U.S. or Australian user? Sign up now and you’ll be the first to receive the upgrade when it’s available.

Starting the week of July 5th

SD Card upgrades available in select Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores. (If you bought your eReader there, they will have SD Cards to perform the upgrade.)
Email goes out to all Canadian eReader users, informing them of upgrade options and timing.
We will also be emailing people who have contacted Kobo Customer Care with issues that are addressed by the upgrade.
Kobo Desktops will start to automatically prompt their users to upgrade. (This doesn’t happen all at once. A percentage of the total user base gets prompted on the 5th, then we dial it up through the week until everyone is done.)
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)
During the Upgrade

We have plenty of help options — update FAQs and staff standing by at Kobo Customer Care to answer questions via phone or email. Phone numbers and help links are available throughout the update process if you hit something unexpected or want some help.

As I said in my last post, a hardware upgrade is not for the faint of heart, but we have done everything we could to make this as simple as possible. Unexpected issues may pop up, but we’ll do everything we can to deal with them quickly and get you reading on your new and improved Kobo eReader. Thanks everyone for your patience, suggestions, and advice while we put this together.

Michael Tamblyn

EVP Content, Sales & Merchandising


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