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Old 10-08-2019, 12:27 PM   #1
noja
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Kobos Without Computers

Hi! I'm wondering how many of you are living in a computerless world and how you all might manage Kobo without one. What I'd really like to set-up is the ability to send all ebook content to a Kobo by only using a mobile device. (I'll manage deleting books directly from Kobo)

My grandmother has an old old Win 7 pc and I'm officially going to retire the computer and just replace it with an iPad as that works for her (she can actually use the damn thing). That will leave her with three total devices: iPhone, iPad, Kobo Aura H2O.

She reads a ton of books from Kobo bookstore, libraries and shared from my Calibre over Calibre-Web.

Here is my use case for using these services on iOS and getting books onto her Kobo. I'm hoping someone can help me with OverDrive and Calibre-Web.

1. Kobo Bookstore: this one is easy - I'll log her into the iOS app, she buys a book, hits sync on the Kobo, the book shows up.

2. OverDrive: I haven't used a Kobo for awhile, but I hear OverDrive now will sync the accounts. So, she browses her library, checks out a book, hits sync on the Kobo, the book shows up.

Question: she has three library cards - will OverDrive on iOS/Kobo support multiple lending libraries somehow?

3. Calibre-Web: This one is hard. Calibre-Web has a "Send to Kindle" option that lets me email a book directly to my device from any other browser. Kobo doesn't have that. Using the built-in browser on the Kobo with Calibre-Web is very difficult for me - nearly impossible for my grandmother.

Question: Working from iOS, can I download a book from the site, add to Kobo app, hit sync on the Kobo, the book shows up? Is there any way to make this work?

Honestly, I'd get her a new Kindle, but there are so few .mobi options from the libraries that it makes the Kindle a non-starter.

Thank you all for any help or suggestions!
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:53 PM   #2
perisiana
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I use always my Kobo with Calibre, but when I'm on holiday and I don't have my PC with me I use "SimpleHttpServer" app,an app that open a server from my phone, I have my phone address as homepage in the browser so I only need to search the book I want in my folders on the phone from the Kobo browser.
You can set a particular folder too as homepage if you need, so you can download the book for her, open the server and she just needs to open the browser to find the book in download folder (for example).
The files are simple links, just click to start the download.
Idk though if exist something similar on iOS (I'm on Android)

Last edited by perisiana; 10-08-2019 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:57 PM   #3
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While Kobo added overdrive support, they did not add it to the H2O, nor (I believe) to the Kobo iOS app (since this would be a rather convoluted given overdrive has two apps for iOS already). Though if you have a Kobo with overdrive support then syncing the H2O (on the same Kobo account) would download the books.

As to multiple library cards, yes... in a way. On the Kobo itself she'd only be able to search from one of the given libraries. However you can link all the library cards to overdrive and sign in to the overdrive account on Kobo, then use the iOS app Libby to search and borrow from all three libraries fairly easily, she'd still need to switch libraries but with Libby it's a mere tap to that library on a Kobo it's more involved. Any book borrowed from any of the three linked to overdrive would then come to her Kobo on a sync.

Note that she would obviously need a Kobo which supports Overdrive, or at least a Kobo which does would need to be logged in with the same accounts.

Of note is that Kobo has recently officially supported dropbox on the Forma, there's a user made mod that pre-dates this which brought dropbox and other cloud storage services over as well. Though you would need to either transfer .epub or if using kepub name the file .kepub.epub for the Kobo to read it (regardless of if it's via the official supported method or the user mod).
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:17 PM   #4
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It's possible on any Android phone or tablet that supports a USB2GO to USB Host adaptor (it's just two connectors and wiring).
You may need to add a File Manager App. If you can download an ebook from Gutenberg and using the Filemanager copy it to a USB Memory stick, then any ereader will work.

The iOS is very difficult due to Apple's walled garden approach. I have an iPhone and it's impossible as far as I can see. I also tried an iPad. Apple doesn't intend "user files" except via Apple Cloud or iTunes (or replacement). Apple pretty much blocks use of external storage for user files (or even at all) on iOS.

I've done Download and File Transfer on ancient Sony Android Phone, recent Alctel and a Tablet all with different Android versions. All three devices work direct with a Micro SD card that then works in any ereader that has a Micro SD slot and also with USB storage mode on Kobo, Kindle, Sony, Nook ereaders as well as obviously USB memory stick and even a USB HDD with additional power (you can get a €4 USB only adaptor or a Y adaptor to power the slave device (needed for most USB HDD). What you CAN'T do on most phones / tablets is power the phone/tablet via USB while it's in Host mode with a device appearing as USB Mass Storage. A very small number of phones/tablets inc some running Windows do support external power in host mode.
So charge up your phone/tablet first.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:26 PM   #5
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Most old Win7 PCs can run Linux Mint with Mate desktop and a choice of "Windows like themes". Calibre, Waterfox/Firefox, email etc can have icons. A task bar can be setup to work like XP / Win7 with all the applications on a Classic Windows style start menu.

Android with a 3rd party file manager (avoid one with spam/trojans/privacy theft) on nearly any phone/tablet will work, but very much more awkward than Linux Mint + Mate Desktop + Redmond Theme etc. Install Firefox or Waterfox on Android.

I have also managed to download direct from Smashwords and Gutenberg on a Kobo Aura H2O. However a decent 6" Android phone or 7"/10" tablet with a 32 G micro SD card and File Manager is better. There is also a Calibre App for Android.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:18 PM   #6
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I don't know how great your Grandmother will find it, but I find your comment about calibre Web being difficult.. it is certainly no more difficult than buying a book from Kobo web site. Just a couple tricks to make your life easier. Use the mobile version of Calibre web, (full version won't work at all.) and put your username/password in the URL, / bookmark. So, if your server was example.noip.org on port 8080, type in the following url in the kobo web browser and bookmark it (add to favorites, optionally, set as home page):
http://myusername:mypassword@example...rg:8080/mobile
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:25 PM   #7
noja
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGlitch View Post
...Of note is that Kobo has recently officially supported dropbox on the Forma, there's a user made mod that pre-dates this which brought dropbox and other cloud storage services over as well. Though you would need to either transfer .epub or if using kepub name the file .kepub.epub for the Kobo to read it (regardless of if it's via the official supported method or the user mod).
That right there is news to me! Its a few extra clicks, but I think it'll come closest to what I'm looking for. Thanks for the suggestion and the tip to Libby! I think that will be everything she'll need.
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noja View Post
That right there is news to me! Its a few extra clicks, but I think it'll come closest to what I'm looking for.
Re: Dropbox integration. Keep in mind that at the moment it's only available for the Forma, we don't know if it's going go be opened for other models, so I wouldn't count on it.
With your grandmother use case, I would recommend the Kindle app in her iPad for sideloaded books, you could send them to her iOS app with Calibre options, if she can read in her iPad that would be a solution while you investigate on how to connect Kobo to your Calibre Server, or until Dropbox integration reaches the older models.

A kindle ereader isn't the perfect solution either, because there she loses the ability to borrow books from the library, so working with what she already has I think the kindle iOS app is the easier workaround.
Now, you need someone to borrow one of the Kobo models with the Overdrive integration implemented to set up the Libby account, you'll need to register it temporally with your grandmother's account s both for Kobo and Overdrive, and once you have it working, you'll be able to do a factory reset on the borrowed Kobo to return it to the owner, or I think that's how it works, I don't have an Overdrive account.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:52 PM   #9
noja
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Originally Posted by milady133 View Post
Re: Dropbox integration. Keep in mind that at the moment it's only available for the Forma, we don't know if it's going go be opened for other models, so I wouldn't count on it.
With your grandmother use case, I would recommend the Kindle app in her iPad for sideloaded books, you could send them to her iOS app with Calibre options, if she can read in her iPad that would be a solution while you investigate on how to connect Kobo to your Calibre Server, or until Dropbox integration reaches the older models.

A kindle ereader isn't the perfect solution either, because there she loses the ability to borrow books from the library, so working with what she already has I think the kindle iOS app is the easier workaround.
Now, you need someone to borrow one of the Kobo models with the Overdrive integration implemented to set up the Libby account, you'll need to register it temporally with your grandmother's account s both for Kobo and Overdrive, and once you have it working, you'll be able to do a factory reset on the borrowed Kobo to return it to the owner, or I think that's how it works, I don't have an Overdrive account.
Thanks! Your comment pretty much sums up what I think I'll be doing for now. In this use case, OverDrive - not Calibre, is the deal breaker. So, I'm sticking with a Kobo and then hoping for a potential solution in the future for Calibre-Web. Either a better browser on the Kobo itself or a solution for the "send to" option. Since I run a dedicated server for myself, I'll be looking for any way to utilize that "send to Kindle" option on Calibre-Web. Basically trying to find something that allows an emailed document to load into a folder that will sync with Kobo.

Also, I never mentioned in the OP, but a major part of this exercise is to find a way that she'll never have to use the micro-usb port again. With age, plugging and unplugging the charge cord has become difficult and she's frequently damaged the port itself. With a truly wireless experience, I can attach a wireless charge adapter and then she doesn't have to worry about it.

Thanks again everyone!
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