Competition is fierce in the ereader market, with device manufacturers cutting retail prices on their dedicated devices and partnering with retailers to make sure their gizmos get into holiday shopping baskets. But the ereader devices themselves are just part of the electronic book equation: there’s also a broader ecosystem to consider. If consumers buy a book, they can read it on a device…but can they also read it on their phone? How about a PC?
In a move to keep abreast of the competition, electronic book service Kobo has launched its Kobo Desktop Application for Windows and Mac OS X. The application enables users to instantly tap into books they’ve purchased, download them to their computer for offline reading, as well as synchronize books and bookmarks with Kobo ereader devices and manage their libraries. And, of course, users can shop the Kobo eBook Store for new content. Users can also enables users with third-party readers—like the Sony Reader—to connect to Kobo to purchase and download content. Users can customize the font, style, and size of their reading material to match their preferences.
“Kobo has long supported reading across platforms, and now we are the first to provide an experience that supports a wide range of ereaders and mobile devices,” said Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis, in a statement. “The Kobo desktop is the first phase of a new Kobo initiative to give readers more control over their ebooks, and new tools to display and share their growing library.”
The Kobo Desktop Application joins Kobo apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry, as well as the Kobo eReader.
The desktop application puts Kobo on footing similar to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which both offer client software for their online bookstores for mobile platforms and desktop PCs. Earlier this month Sony announced it plans to launch Reader applications for Mac, Windows, and mobile platforms (iPhone and Android) later this year…Sony’s current Reader Library application is Windows-only.