Kindle vs Kobo: Three features you can’t find on Amazon’s eReader

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  • Quirky bookmarks
  • Helpful lock screen
  • Reading Stats
  • The eReader market has long been dominated by Amazon’s Kindle, but there are some great alternatives if you want something different. The big rival to Amazon’s supremacy is Rakuten’s Kobo, with this line of eReaders boasting over a decade’s worth of experience. If you’ve never picked up a Kobo before you may think there can’t be too many things different between one eReader and another, but that’s far from the truth.

    The Kobo range boasts some unique features over Kindle which could make you reconsider which device you want to use to read your next novel of autobiography.

    Whether you’re a long-time Kindle fan looking for a change, or planning on getting your first eReader, here are three features you can find on Kobo that you won’t get on one of Amazon’s devices…

    Quirky bookmarks

    One of the biggest barriers to picking up an eReader and venturing into the world of ebooks is simply how much people love physical books.

    From the feel of a cover in your hands to the tactile sensation of turning a page and that new book smell – these are all things you can’t get with a digital device.

    No matter how far technology advances, these sensations and feelings are difficult to replicate. But there is one quirky thing that Kobo has done to help bridge the gap.

    With Amazon’s Kindle eReaders, if you need to bookmark a page when reading a book you simply have to touch towards the top of the screen to bring up a bannered interface and then press the Bookmark button in it.

    However, on Kobo – it’s slightly different. If you need to place a bookmark you simply tap the top right-hand corner of a page.

    And in a nod to the way people mark their progress in a real book on Kobo bookmarks appear as a folded corner.

    It’s a quirky feature which gives the illusion of what a bookmark could look like in a real, physical book.

    As an added bonus, unlike in physical paperbacks, you won’t need to worry about dog-earing the pages in your book permanently when you fold a corner.

    To remove a bookmark in a Kobo ebook you simply need to tap the top right-hand corner once again.

    Helpful lock screen

    The lock screen you get when you put your Kindle to sleep will depend on which model you’ve got.

    If you purchase the cheaper, ad-supported Kindle you will be greeted with a series of different sponsored messages from Amazon on the lock screen.

    While if you get an ad-free eReader you will either get a piece of artwork or the cover of the book you’re reading.

    On Kobo it’s similar, but there are a few key differences.

    These devices offer a lock screen whether your device is put to sleep or powered down entirely.

    The latter is a great addition as on Kindle you’ll only get a lock screen when your eReader is sleeping, not when the screen is turned off.

    And on Kobo you get a few extra bits of information on your lock screen.

    Besides the book cover, your lock screen will say whether your device is ‘Powered off’ or ‘Sleeping’ at the top of the screen.

    While at the bottom, underneath the book cover image, the lock screen shows the percentage of the book you’ve read so far and how many hours are left till you finish it.

    These extra details don’t appear on Kindle and come in handy as it provides crucial information on how your reading is going.

    You also won’t get any adverts on a Kobo lock screen as all Kobo eReaders are ad-free.

    Reading Stats

    Unlike Kindle, your Kobo will deliver fascinating insights into your reading habits when you finish a book and via the main home screen.

    When you finish end a bestseller on Kindle you will be greeted with a screen where you can rate the book, follow the author and get further recommendations.

    Whereas on Kobo when you finish a book you will be greeted with stats such as how long it took to read a book and the average minutes spent in each reading session.

    These stats can also be found via the Reading Stats screen which you can access via the main Kobo home page. You can also get quick access to these stats while reading a book by clicking on the graph icon in the bar UI that aappears when you tap at the touch of a page.

    Stats on Kobo shows details on the percentage of books in your library that are finished, the exact number of books you have finished reading and the total number of hours you’ve spent reading.

    There are also badges you can been awarded via the Reading Life Awards system, which helps motivate you to read more.

    These Awards are akin to Achievements or Trophies on your PlayStation or Xbox and unlock after you hit certain milestones.

    Amazon Kindle fans can access stats via Reading Insights, but this isn’t available directly on the device.

    You instead have to head to the Kindle app or the Reading Insights website.

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