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Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Uncategorized |

Kobo, an alternative to Amazon for users in Latin America

Kobo, an alternative to Amazon for users in Latin America

is an excellent service that allows us to buy for our Kindle, or other electronic readers (although Kindle is the best option). It has an impressive catalog, for avid readers from other countries, symbolizes the ability to have access to books that have not yet been published in our country. But here’s the problem: a part of the Amazon catalog is not available for users in the Caribbean and Latin America. And if we really want to read this ebook, because we have to use an alternative.

One of the best alternatives on the market is Kobo, an application and online store that offers books in EPUB format ebooks whose advantage is, quite simply, we can download and buy the books that are not available on Amazon. While it is true that Kobo’s catalog is not as big as the Amazon, enables us to bypass these geographical restrictions. But this benefit not mean we have to ignore the advantages of Amazon: still has excellent mobile applications, applications for Mac and Windows, and the ability to download ePubs directly.

This is one of the things that surprised me most Kobo: having to download books in ePUB, a format that is not compatible with the Kindle, I had to postpone the test for a while, but the attraction of Amazon forbidden books was too strong. The pleasant surprise came in the form of applications Kobo. Although he could easily use Calibre to convert ePubs in the format that I liked, the free app lets me read from Windows, Mac, iPad or Android, with an excellent interface.

Advantages of Kobo

As we said, Kobo has a number of important advantages, especially for Latin American users. Those who have to deal with blocked content always have to be looking for alternatives that are often not as good as the original option. Fortunately with Kobo have nothing to complain about.

  • International access: while insisting that it is one of the best, if not the best option in the market, Amazon lacks internationally. There’s more to account for his absence or absence of its products in certain countries, but we as users are not interested in us. So, Kobo is friendlier to international users. We use various payment methods, and is simple to buy, simple as Amazon. Usually found in the books are available on Amazon Kobo when we can not buy them.
  • Variety of formats: although we can download the ePUB to our reader, you can also build an HTML file through the table of contents (or, if we win, we can read the chapters on separate HTML files). If you have an Android or iOS device, you can read books directly from applications. Which brings us to the next point.
  • Excellent apps: all ebook readers I’ve tried for Android and iOS, Kobo is one of the best. Not only because we can read the books that we download, but also because it offers a huge catalog of classics for free download, and has features to share what we are reading in social networks. Moreover, in the same way that Foursquare has badges with which we can announce that we have been more than two hours reading, when we started a new book, and more. The notification center is great, the interface is very simple to use, and the page turning animations are also excellent, even better than the Amazon Cloud Reader. It would need a good list of recommendations when finished reading a book to be truly perfect.

Disadvantages of Kobo

With Kobo good things, we also ran into bad things. There are too many, and can be solved with a little extra work, or using applications-seriously, are so good you can not stop recommending them. However, it can be somewhat cumbersome if we are used to the facilities we have on Amazon.

  • Incompatibility with Kindle: for reading an ebook with ePUB format we need to use a file converter, we have already spoken several times of Calibre-but this does not mean that the conversion is completely successful. May be missing characters, and more. The truth is that Kobo lacks variety of formats, for example, not only could offer downloads in PDF ePUB but also, it is simpler to convert. Perhaps it is a way of making use of the application, which is only compatible but yet if we have stored our ebooks have different formats can be tricky.
  • Form of payment: although we have several payment options when trying to shop from the Kobo mobile app we will be redirected to a browser window to do so, instead of being able to buy directly as we can from a Kindle or from applications Amazon. It’s a minor detail, but it could be worked by Kobo. Also, buying from the web no problems.
  • Books: One of the great weaknesses of Kobo’s catalog. Remains enormous-one million free books is not negligible, but from a business standpoint Amazon’s catalog is much larger and has more titles that would otherwise not be achieved for Latin Americans.


Beyond the disadvantages just listed, Kobo remains an excellent choice for use as an alternative to Amazon. That elogiemos to Kobo does not mean Amazon continue to have a store not superior, with more variety, but unfortunately for users who do not have the ability to purchase any title that we like, so we have to legally pursue other options. And considering the rest of the options, Kobo is excellent.

If, over time these minimums fail to resolve problems, to have a stronger international presence will definitely have an advantage over Amazon. With a larger catalog, and support for other formats can really shake one of the Internet giants. But, for this, take time and decisions.

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