Kobo vs Nook

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Latest news about Kobo and Nook:

09.09.17. Kobo launched Audio Bookstore. Kobo has launched an audiobook bookstore that sells audiobooks individually and also provides them on a subscription level basis. Their entire audiobook catalog is powered by Overdrive and this is the first time they have ever been involved in an audiobook subscription scheme. Kobo has updated their app for Android and iOS and have brought over a fully functional audiobook player. You can make purchases and listen to your content on Android, and with iOS you can only listen to titles you have already bought or have used a credit on. The Kobo audiobooks service is available today in the US, UK, Canada, Australia for $9.99/mo.

04.08.17. Kobo will discontinue PDF Files support. Kobo has announced that it will no longer be offering PDF files to download from their online store by November 1st 2017. This change will only affect self-publishers and legacy content that was only made available in the PDF. In these rare cases Kobo will be automatically converting PDF files to EPUB/KEPUB. If there are specific titles that cannot be formatted correctly, Kobo will be sending out an email and provide a breakdown of the books that failed the conversion process.

04.04.17. Nook for Android gets Search by Voice. Barnes and Noble updated their Nook for Android e-reading and added a host of new features. The new version brings a number of notable enhancements such as search by voice, which searches your e-reader and the store for e-books. Just tap the microphone in the search bar, and tell NOOK what you’re looking to read. Besides, now you can create custom Quote Cards from your favorite highlights, choose a background and share via social media, email, or text message.

22.02.17. Kobo Plus - unlimited e-Book subscription program. Kobo launched a new unlimited subscription program for e-books, called Kobo Plus. The first two countries where it will be available is the Netherlands and Belgium. Readers can pay € 9,99 per month to have access to 40,000 titles and 16,000 of those are in the Dutch language. This new e-book subscription platform is a byproduct of Bol and Kobo. Bol.com introduced digital reading in the Netherlands and Belgium five years ago, and since then has experienced amazing growth. In addition to the 1.2 million eReaders sold in the Netherlands, customers can also read their eBooks digitally via tablets and smartphones. The selection of eBooks has grown enormously over the past few years. One in seven non-fiction books sold in the Netherlands is digital.

21.04.16. Kobo Cloud Reader is discontinued. Kobo Instant Reader, Kobo's web-based reading interface, has been officially discontinued and the link to access it now redirects to the companies general app page. The Nook Cloud Reader has also been abandoned with the advent of the new Barnes and Noble website that was unveiled last summer. Both online reading apps were developed in 2012 to bypass the new Apple policy to handle all in-app purchases through their own financial system, instead of app developers processing it themselves. They never gained significant traction because the companies that ran them never really promoted them. They languished in obscurity for a number of years, until they were quietly discontinued. The Kindle Cloud Reader remains the only online reading app to be maintained and available for public use.

23.03.16. Barnes and Noble launched a new website. Barnes and Noble totally revised their online website and it looks great. The new site puts reading first, instead of pillows, scented candles and toys. The entire main page is full of great books, whether its the B&N Top 100 Books or book reviews done on their blog.  There is also a bunch of image carousels that showcase new and notable Nook books and also books that are recommended to you based on past purchases. During a recent shareholders conference the new Barnes and Noble CEO Ron Boire said that his company is going to heavily focus on the modern web and make their website responsive on mobile phones and tablets.

04.03.16. Barnes and Noble is closing the Nook App and Video Store. Barnes and Noble is trying to stem the bleeding of the ailing Nook division by implementing cost cutting measures. This March they intend on closing the Nook App Store, Nook Video Store and the UK Nook e-book store. The closure of the app and video store will effect every single tablet Barnes and Noble has ever made. This includes the Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Nook HD, Nook HD+ and all of the Samsung for Nook branded devices. Barnes and Noble is encouraging everyone to gravitate to Google Play or a 3rd party app store. Barnes and Noble says that the closure of the app store is going to allow them to to concentrate their focus and efforts on their core digital content business, which are Books and Newsstand.

14.01.16. Kobo released reading app for kids. Kobo has just released a standalone app for Android called Kobo Kids. It is an e-reading app, but also an online shopping system where there is a number of e-books and graphic novels available. In 2013 Kobo developed a children’s portal to showcase all of their comics, graphic novels and e-books. This system was only available on the web version of their store and this is the first time the company has ever developed a dedicated app to draw attention to it. The Kobo Kids app features a bright and bubbly interface that showcases a series of icons pointing to genre topics such as space, dinosaurs, animals, classics, superheroes and many others. When you click on a particular topic it displays a number of titles and offers previews. Kids, are not able to buy content on their own, but the parent has to purchase them, but it is significantly easier to do this once they download a sample.

12.11.15. Barnes & Noble released Nook Audiobooks app. Barnes and Noble is getting serious about audiobooks. The company announced the release of the Nook Audiobooks App for iPhone and iPad, as well as a new website, NOOKAudiobooks.com.  The website has been designed to complement the apps, allowing customers access to a selection of more than 60,000 audiobooks online with the ability to listen anywhere.The app allows customers to purchase the audiobook through the app without a subscription. The app also allows for free samples of any audiobook.

05.09.15. Barnes & Noble and Samsung unveiled new tablet Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK. Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK is a new 8-inch tablet blending Samsung’s elegant design and multi-tasking power with NOOK’s unparalleled reading and entertainment experience. It's the thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast device from the two companies and costs $399.99.  An ultra-fast octa-core processor enables consumers to quickly jump between books, movies, apps and the web without lag. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK offers customers an impressive collection of digital content to explore from Barnes & Noble. The expansive NOOK Store’s reading and entertainment content offering includes over 4 million books including bestsellers, new releases, classics and enhanced titles with special content.

13.07.15. Barnes & Noble closes international Nook Store. The Digital Reader found an interesting email sent to international Nook users about the Nook app for Windows. International Nook users outside the US or the UK that their content will be removed from Windows machines and their money refunded. They will also no longer be able to open Nook books on their Windows devices. This is directly related to B&N’s buyout of Microsoft’s investment in the Nook store last December. It is unclear where the Nook is headed but it’s clear that it is currently rolling back partnerships in order to streamline what is now a shrinking business.

14.05.15. Kobo launched free ebook platform for Southwest Airlines passengers. Kobo introduces an e-reading platform for Southwest Airlines passengers, the latest in a flurry of separate initiatives to put ebooks in closer reach of travelers. The platform offers approximately 140 free ebooks (a figure Kobo plans to grow), of which about 85% are full-text editions, while the remainder are samples of titles readers can buy after landing. Kobo’s in-flight e-reading platform represents another push toward curated ebook discovery as publishers and retailers strive to deliver the right content to the right readers at the right time. The move also falls in line with efforts by Kobo’s parent company Rakuten to expand its global ebook business, a key growth area the company identified earlier this spring when it acquired the library distributor OverDrive.

05.12.14. Barnes & Noble and Microsoft end their Nook partnership. Barnes & Noble today announced the termination of its agreement with Microsoft surrounding the Nook business. This comes alongside word that Nook device sales felt down 60% this year. The two companies entered into the partnership two years ago with Microsoft initially investing at least $300 million to create Nook Media. This partnership was created after B&N refused to pay Microsoft patent royalties for its Android-based readers. But nothing substantial ever materialized from the deal. Over the summer B&N teamed up with Samsung to produce a Nook-branded tablet. But apparently even Samsung couldn’t help the dying e-reader pioneer.

03.12.14. Kobo offers ebook catalog on third-party e-Ink readers. Kobo announced an initiative to give E Ink’s hardware partners the option to offer their customers access to Kobo’s catalogue of more than four million eBooks. By adopting Kobo’s reader application, hardware partners can now add a digital book solution to their offering or expand their existing collections, making titles from all popular genres available on their devices. In addition to Kobo’s line of E Ink eReaders, the Kobo bookstore is now available on select Sony Reader devices, as well as the most popular smartphones and tablets with Kobo’s free eReading apps. As a result of this initiative, E Ink’s hardware partners will be able to provide their customers access to a large collection of eBooks without having to invest in creating an online library. E Ink’s hardware partners will be able to negotiate contracts and revenue sharing options directly with Kobo.

20.11.14. Nook launches Audiobook app for Android. Nook launches an audiobook app for Android users, sweetening the deal by bundling two free audiobook titles with first-time downloads of the new app for a limited time. Through an easy-to-use, simple shopping experience and high-quality listening experience, the new NOOK Audiobooks App offers the best audiobooks for adults and kids at great low prices, with free samples available on a wide selection of titles. Recall, earlier this month, Scribd added audiobooks to its subscription ebook platform in a move meant to give Amazon’s Audible a run for its money. Scribd also said it’s hoping to entice ebook readers to listen to more audiobooks, seeing the two markets as potentially complementary.

29.10.14. Kobo adds Marvel Comics to its library. A new partnership brings more than 250 of Marvel’s digital comics to Kobo platform. Many of those titles are tied to popular franchises with established fan bases, like The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, so the move probably doesn’t herald a seismic shift in the outlook for fixed-layout and illustrated ebooks. Super Hero fanatics young and old can enjoy these illustrated eBooks on Kobo devices, such as the full-color Kobo Arc 10HD Android tablet, or via free reading apps available for most popular tablets and smartphones. Still, it’s a modest vote of confidence in the format on Kobo’s part, not to mention an expanded play in a field dominated by ComiXology, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year.

08.09.14. Kobo adds books for kids from Reading Eggs. Kobo partnered with Reading Eggs to make more than 120 of their children eBooks available to millions of Kobo Readers worldwide. For the first time, the popular Reading Eggs eBooks will be available in the digital format outside of the Reading Eggs program and are available exclusively on Kobo. Developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers, the Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and word memorization so that kids learn skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It directly supports what children learn at school and will help to improve a child’s results at school.

22.08.14. The new Nook is almost all Samsung Galaxy Tab. Barnes & Noble has announced the "the first ever full-featured Android tablet designed for reading" - Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch tablet made primarily by Samsung. It includes something called the “Barnes & Noble Advantage,” a deeply linked app that allows for book downloads as well as tech support. To be clear, this is a Samsung device being sold in B&N stores with a bit of branding. In terms of partnerships it’s not a bad idea but it does suggest that dedicated Nook hardware is no longer a priority. Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is on sale today in stores and online for $179 after $20 rebate. This is the same price available online at Amazon and other retailers.

26.06.14. Barnes & Noble will dump its Nook business. Barnes & Noble has announced that it will separate its retail and NOOK businesses into two separate public companies. This separation is expected to be complete by the first quarter of the next calendar year. This news comes alongside B&N fourth quarter 2014 financial results where the Nook side of the company continued to drag down the rest of the company. After the split, the Nook business will no longer have the comfy life raft of Barnes & Noble. It will be sink or swim, and if the brand’s history is any indication, the Nook will not be treading water for very long. So, who knows, maybe Microsoft will acquire it quickly.

06.06.14. Samsung to make next Nook Tablet based on Galaxy Tab. As Barnes & Noble struggles to remain relevant in the ebook market, it’s turning to Samsung in hopes of boosting digital content sales. The company announced a partnership with Samsung that will bring co-branded Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets by early August. The co-branded devices will combine popular Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 hardware with customized NOOK software to give customers powerful, full-featured tablets that are designed for reading, with easy access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive digital collection of more than three million books, leading magazines and newspapers.