How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?

How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?

Summary: Google Android smartphone owners now have a couple choices for ebook clients, including Amazon Kindle and Kobo. How do these two apps stack up to each other and what is your favorite Android ebook application?


Last week I posted my Google Android ebook reader showdown and concluded that Aldiko and Kobo were my favorite two applications. Many of us Google Android owners have been waiting anxiously for the release of the Amazon Kindle application and you can find it now in the Android Market for free. Jason Perlow already posted a review of the app with an extensive image gallery so I won't repeat the same thing here and recommend you check it out. Since I previously wrote a full review of the Kobo application for Android, let's take a closer look at how they stack up.

Kobo Amazon Kindle
Font types 3 available Default only
Font sizes 5 5
Background/font colors Day/night toggle White, sepia, & black
Bookmark/furthest read sync Automatic, with inconsistent behavior Manual and automatic sync
Orientation support Portrait only Landscape and portrait
Bookstore In application Mobile formatted web page
As you can see there are only a couple of differences between the two (background color support, font types, and orientation support) and it really comes down to which ebook store you are invested in for your purchased content. Now that you can find both Amazon and Kobo clients for Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Mac, and Windows PC devices and computers you can figure out which is best for you. I use Kobo primarily because I can read Kobo books on my Barnes & Noble Nook and Sony Reader while the only dedicated ebook reader that supports Amazon ebook store content is the Kindle.

I understand that support for an in-app store, dictionary, and more are coming to the Kindle app while the furthest read support in the Kobo reader is being improved.

Both apps are currently limited in that they do not allow you to read EPUB books, including from other ebook stores or public libraries, that could be transferred via USB or microSD card connection. To read non-DRM EPUB books you should look at the Aldiko application that I wrote about in my ebook reader showdown.

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Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Android, Google, Hardware

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  • RE: How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?


    Like you, I've found the Aldiko app to be quite good. I especially like the ability to adjust brightness on the fly by sliding my finger up and down the left side and the ability to change the text justification (ragged text is so much more pleasant to read than justified). And using a collection of Python tools, I've been able to set all of my purchased but DRM'd content free.

    What I give up is syncing bookmarks and last position read. Until last week, this wasn't a problem, because my only other ereader was a 17" Dell M90 laptop, which gets a little warm and heavy while kicking back on the couch. But I bought my wife a Kindle for her birthday, based on your review, and I've found I enjoy it (the flash took some getting use to). So I have high hopes for the Barnes & Noble client, whenever it arrives.

    Thanks for writing such a great blog. It's helped my make quite a few hardware and software purchasing decisions.

  • RE: How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?

  • RE: How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?

    Make that, "I bought my wife a Book..."
  • RE: How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?

    Or, rather, a Nook (thanks again for another jumbled message, fast fingers and HTC autocorrect).
  • RE: How does the Kindle app for Android stack up to Kobo?

    Thanks for the review! We have updated the Kobo for Android application with performance and bookmarking improvements. You can download the update from the Android Market now.

    New features are on the way! Sign-up to our Beta Program to receive early releases for the platform of your choice.

    Jason Gamblen
    Product Owner, Mobile
    Kobo Inc
  • Slicing up product differences

    With multiple kindle apps for Droid, and considering the already slim differences between iPhone, iPad, iPod, Kindle, netbook, Nook and the myriad of available bits out there, I wonder when there will be an iPad app for Kindle or an iPad app for Android... Perhaps silly, but I suspect that some point the platform will be more and more irrelevant, and the content will make all the difference. Given that future, Amazon's recent price cut on Kindle makes a ton of sense. Apple's business model of making money on everything might not work in a world where they face a razor/*&*/blade business model of loss-leading devices with purchasable content.