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Old 05-02-2010, 12:20 PM   #1
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Wish list for first firmware update

I know release has only JUST happened, but I also know the Kobo people are watching this forum So, any wishes for the first firmware update? Here is my list:

1) They simply *must* fix the issue where some books display with a tiny font that can't be scaled. This is inexcusable, and they knew about it before the launch. It affects books from their store, as well as from other places.

2) The desktop software is not very user-friendly. I had to go into the WEBSITE to make changes in how the desktop software displays! They really need a simple drag and drop interface like the Sony software, iTunes and other programs people will be familiar with. And we need to be able to delete the pre-loaded books via the software too.

3) I know this is not a high-end device so requesting all sorts of extra features won't get us anywhere. But two small UI features that I think ARE achievable and would be a huge help are the ability to delete books on the fly (i.e. you should not have to hook back up to a computer to delete a book you've just finished reading) and some sort of folder/tag/category system.

4) Support for either Word documents or some sort of plain text format. I know they want you using the store and they don't want to over-complicate things, but PDF is a terrible format for a pocket-sized device and it would be nice if the user had a way to drag and drop their own documents without having to convert to epub or something. Even converting to PDF would be beyond the skill of someone like my mother, and as this device is aimed at entry-level people, I think support for .txt or .doc would be a big benefit.

5) Any tweaks to speed up the load time would be most welcome. And an auto-shutoff would help too. Every other device has one and I know I was quite alarmed the first time I left it on overnight and saw the next morning that it was still on the page I left it at and had not gone to sleep mode.

So, what other suggestions, keeping in mind that they aim to keep this a beginner, entry-level device and will not add every feature under the sun?
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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A simple way to remove books from the 'books I'm reading category' would be most welcome. At this point I'd be happy knowing how to do it at all.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the opportunity ficbot. They may be looking or watching this forum but I doubt if they'll listen. Did they listen to you when you were testing the pre-release?

They chose to ignore the pdf issue and along with that their customer base. Do you think they'll listen now!

Anyway, as for your list above, it's comprehensive and well-thought-out. Must agree with ALL except Item 4. I MUST have pdf readability - that's why I bought the damn thing. I am comp-savvy but I ain't got the time to do all this crap of rebuilding files in different formats. You (they) promised me pdf now give me pdf.

Yes, and "hiding" those dam# I'm reading lists.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
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My main feature would be to fix the hanging that tends to occur as the Kobo proceses new files. If it hangs, your file will not show up in your list. You'll need to connect to it via USB and modify the file (rename it or whatever) so it is processed again.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the opportunity ficbot. They may be looking or watching this forum but I doubt if they'll listen. Did they listen to you when you were testing the pre-release?

They chose to ignore the pdf issue and along with that their customer base. Do you think they'll listen now!

Anyway, as for your list above, it's comprehensive and well-thought-out. Must agree with ALL except Item 4. I MUST have pdf readability - that's why I bought the damn thing. I am comp-savvy but I ain't got the time to do all this crap of rebuilding files in different formats. You (they) promised me pdf now give me pdf.

Yes, and "hiding" those dam# I'm reading lists.
Don't you think that's a little harsh? I don't think they have ignored any issue - they simply had a release date to make, and there are always bugs in newly shipped products like this. I don't think we'll need to wait for long for fixes.

What PDF issues are you referring to? I am aware of some problems with resizing text in EPUBs, but I haven't heard of any problems with PDFs. They are displayed. You can zoom and pan if you want, or you can view them full screen and page from one to the next. Is there another problem I'm unaware of?
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:32 PM   #6
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I'm not sure it's occurred to us to put it this way: Canada is the beta test before this thing rolls out to Borders in the US. That's not a bad thing; we usually wait months before products released in the US arrive here, if ever. You need real life users to work the things that the engineers and small number of testers either overlook or don't think is important until a product goes to a larger group. I'd be astounded if Kobo doesn't tweak the firmware regularly over the coming months. So, keep the suggestions specific, and be patient.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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It's unfair to call us the beta. They did a beta. Kobo's about half owned by a Canadian company, and they're based in Toronto. That's why it's a Canadian release.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:22 PM   #8
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It's unfair to call us the beta. They did a beta. Kobo's about half owned by a Canadian company, and they're based in Toronto. That's why it's a Canadian release.
It's an extended beta, to be sure. Another term for it might be a "soft launch". If you were a company releasing a product, releasing it in a small market and having a month to work out the launch bugs before going live into the big market would be a very attractive option.
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Old 05-02-2010, 04:24 PM   #9
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Bah. By that definition, any product that is not launched globally is a "beta".
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Old 05-02-2010, 05:19 PM   #10
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You know, it's a 1.0 device. It's out of beta, but it's new on the market, so there are going to be bugs. They apparently do firmware updates every two weeks.

I second ficbot, especially better book-sorting (I mean, they load the thing with 100 books!). I can't see them not knowing that people want this feature, so I bet we can expect an upgrade. And I don't care much about other formats, I just want the Toronto Public Library to get more ebooks!
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:00 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ficbot View Post
5) Any tweaks to speed up the load time would be most welcome. And an auto-shutoff would help too. Every other device has one and I know I was quite alarmed the first time I left it on overnight and saw the next morning that it was still on the page I left it at and had not gone to sleep mode.
I think the way eInk operates is that your battery drain when simply leaving the screen is nominal if not non-existent. This is likely the rationale behind them putting the front cover for the currently read book as the powered-off screen.

Because of this I'm quite certain that having an auto-off feature is extraordinarily close to irrelevant. The device likely takes almost as much power to be on and on one page as it is to be off with a front cover displayed.


I agree the software needs changing. Deleting books via the device and removing books from your I'm Reading list from the device seems to be something that should be available.

I don't know how the device and web/desktop software process works when all the books are purchased via kobobooks but using calibre with external sources seems like a hackjob. I'd like for their software to mesh better with external sources of books.

Last edited by SeptemberWasp; 05-02-2010 at 06:05 PM. Reason: added some stuff
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Old 05-02-2010, 06:52 PM   #12
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I've been wondering, what exactly can be updated through firmware and what is impossible due to hardware, software, or whatever other extraneous factors?
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:14 PM   #13
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Bah. By that definition, any product that is not launched globally is a "beta".
I'm amazed that you can't see how this sort of launch would be desirable for a company, but we'll just move on.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:42 PM   #14
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ficbot and everyone else - thanks for the great feedback. It is a 1.0 product and we're committed to extending it and improving it. Keep the feedback coming and we will address your issues the best we can.
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Old 05-02-2010, 08:31 PM   #15
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Of course it is, but still, give them a break. It's a great product. I've been following the forums and figured out the font scaling issue and I don't even own one, my brother does. I read ebooks on my Motorola Milestone (854x480 res is plenty).
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