It’s hard to believe that it has been almost two months since we first saw The Steve demo the iPad over a grainy web cam feed from our offices here in Toronto. At the time, we announced that we were planning to be the first 3rd party eReading application on the iPad, and showed you some mockups.

We had originally planned to take our existing iPhone application and ’scale it up’, but as we began to see the richness of the interface and interactions that are capable on the larger screen, we knew that wouldn’t cut it. We had to start from scratch!

We’ve taken a brand new approach to our iPad application compared to the apps you’ve seen from Kobo in the past, but still stayed true to our values. We set out to create an immersive experience by making full use of the iPad’s large screen, and by adding our own flavour to deliver a breathtaking experience. The Kobo experience on the iPad is truly unique.

Our customers are familiar with our slimmed down ‘Kobo’ format where we take content from our publishers, and standardize it for reading on smaller screens by taking out fonts, images, etc. However, for the first time we can publicly announce that we are done with that. Instead, all books read on the iPad will be full ePubs, as intended by the author, editor and publisher. We will still offer a feature that will let you apply our hand-tuned, optimized reading experience, but if you just want the original book, it’s now there for you.

We also know that Kobo’s cloud approach that allows synchronizing books between apps has been a bit of a headache for users who want to read offline. Generally offline reading works, but in the Kobo iPad app, offline is the default. If you want to read, the book is always on your device.

But Will Apple Accept Us?

As you see in the video below, our iPad app is almost ready to go. We’re applying the finishing touches this week and have planned to submit Kobo for iPad before Apple’s March 27th deadline. Ultimately, we are in their hands.

We also don’t know how our app will perform on the real iPad: Will it be fast? Will it have enough RAM?

Our commitment to our customers will be to get our hands on several iPads as soon as possible (road trip to Buffalo is already planned – feel free to say hi if you see us at the Walden Galleria on the 3rd!) and to optimize our application for the real device as soon as we have it. We think we’re on to something truly incredible but we won’t know for sure until we get our hands on a real iPad.

Kobo has always strived to deliver beautiful applications that are a pleasure to read with, and our iPad application is no exception. Take a peak below at what we hope will be available in the iPad App Store on April 3rd.


Kobo on iPad from Kobo on Vimeo.