[OFFICIAL] Why did Kobo change the Sleep/Power Off behaviour?
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a Product Manager at Kobo, and it is my responsibility to plan and prioritize what features we build on the Kobo Reader.
I've been reading a lot of feedback on the new Sleep and Power Off features, and I thought I would give everyone here some more context on why we chose the implementation we did.
When we decide what features we are going to build or change, we gather feedback from many places. We consider what is happening in the eReader market, we do some brainstorming, but most importantly, we listen to our customers.
We have a number of sources that we look to: MobileRead is a large part of that, as is talking to customers directly, but one of the most important places we get feedback is from customers who contact us directly - often when they are having issues with their Kobo Readers.
Two things kept on coming up:
1) Why is my battery life so low?
2) How do I know the Kobo Reader is off?
#2 might seem silly to everyone here on MobileReader, as it says on the screen 'Press Power to turn on your Reader', but this community is only a portion of our customers. Many of our customers didn't see the small text below the cover art.
To resolve these two customer pain points, we made two changes:
1) Your Kobo Reader will now go to sleep after 15 minutes. This was the best balance between usability and battery life.
2) Your Kobo Reader will power off after being idle for 30 minutes, and a new very obvious power off screen will appear.
Both of these work in tandem to solve our customers biggest issues.
One important piece of feedback we've had since we launched the firmware update is that you like that cover art on the power screen. No, like is too soft. You LOVE it. Some of you have said it was actually your favourite feature about the Kobo Reader.
Sometimes when trying to balance what are trying to accomplish, we miss the small things, and this is clearly one of those cases.
Here is what we're going to do to make it better: in the next firmware update we release, we will add a new setting. You will be able to change the Power Off screen to be either the new "Power Off" page, or you can change to the behaviour we had before, with the cover, and a small "turn the power on" message.
Let me talk about one more thing before I close this very long post: a number of you are asking why the sleep and power durations are set as they are and not configurable.
One of the things that's very important to us is that your Kobo lasts as long as it possibly can. In discussions with our hardware team, we've discovered that anything longer than the options we've set would impact the lifetime of your battery. If we had longer settings, we would have to replace the battery well before the normal lifespan of your Kobo is up. That's the last thing we want to do - we want you to enjoy using your Kobo as long as possible.
The one thing I will commit to doing is trying to speed up the 'Boot from Off' time. Our development team thinks are opportunities for big improvements there, and I think that's the real concern here, and less about the sleep time.
That being said, I'd love to hear more about this from you.
Thanks for reading this, and thanks for being part of our early access program. The feedback is invaluable and helps us make the Kobo Reader better for everyone.
And the short version for those who don't want to read that whole thing:
- We want to let you change the off screen to a cover, and will in our next update.
- We will try to speed up the boot time, so powering off isn't such a pain.
- We can't change the sleep/power duration as it will eat into your batteries natural life. If you don't care about that, let us know and maybe we can find a solution.