Children of @elandes reading on Kobo eReaders
For months, this has been the disposition of the Kobo Touch at the local Best Buy I pop into for tech fondles:
So when they finally had it out today, I jumped on it.
Since I haven’t been able to fondle it until now, I’ve allowed Kobo to fall off my radar screen.
That was a mistake.
1) It was probably the purchase of Kobo by Rakuten that prompted Barnes & Noble to talk about “unlocking the value” of their Nook line.
2) Kobo is better positioned to survive versus Barnes & Noble. It’s not hobbled by all that real estate that will need to be dumped.
3) Also, Barnes & Noble is going to start feeling some heat now that Apple is trying to take away its textbook business.
Not to venture into the iBooks Author discussion — that will come after I’m able to sample the new texts — but I’ve made my position clear in another post here: All Devices Should Access Everything. Period.
As a principle, I’m not in favor of any company slicing itself a proprietary piece of cheese. That’s not good for everyone.
So thinking about the repercussions of iBooks Author and having Kobo back on my radar, I tweeted this:
As it turns out, I’d tuned into a wavelength. Because shortly thereafter this tweet appeared in my stream:
That’s from Jim Dovey, iOS Software Chief Architect at Kobo in Toronto, Ontario. He is so good that Apple wanted to hire him.
Here is his post: iBooks Author vs. ePub Author
I think there’s enough know-how in the industry outside of Apple to make a competitor to iBooks Author, by which desktop publishing in the eBook age can be as limitless in possibility as we can make it, yet not be restricted to a single target platform.
He also did a follow-up post with details of the engineering skills he seeks: ePub Author Coalition
I think Kobo would be making a grave mistake if they didn’t step up and do this.
Barnes & Noble can’t. Everyone has seen their desktop apps.
No one would want Sony to do it. They’ve had years to fix their desktop app and haven’t (they basically threw the original one away and started again).
Google? The company that screwed its core business, search? No.
That leaves Kobo.
It also puts Kobo in an enviable position. And an opportunity to live up to their motto: eReading Anytime, Anyplace & On Any Device.
The future of digital books — xBooks — is too important to fall into the hands of any single company beginning with “A” — Apple or Amazon.