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Overview

This is an overview of the major pieces of software available on Kobo. All of these applications can be run through NickelMenu or KFMon, and have varying use cases. There is no need to pick one to install; all of these softwares can exist simultaneously.

DRM notice

Custom software is not built to handle books protected by DRM. You will need to remove DRM if you want to read DRM-protected books, which may not be allowed in your jurisdiction.

KOReader

KOReader is a multi-platform e-book reading application filled with features, with new ones added every month. This application is generally recommended for:

  • PDF users (KOReader has many options for reflowing and cropping documents)
  • Power users (KOReader has many configuration options and features available)
  • Online-connected users (KOReader has many wireless connectivity features)
  • Those that wish to view their books through a file browser rather than as a list
  • Those with multiple KOReader-supported devices (Andorid, macOS, Linux, other e-readers)

The downsides of KOReader are:

  • There are many features that you might not end up using, which may make the options menu feel a bit messy
  • KOReader can be buggy at times, with bugs appearing and disappearing between each monthly release
  • Monthly updates may be undesirable if you are not often near an Internet connection

Plato

Plato is a Kobo-only document reader with fewer features than KOReader, but with a cleaner interface.

The upsides of Plato are:

  • It is Kobo-only software, meaning everything is tailored for your device (rather than targeting many devices like KOReader)
  • It has a cleaner UI than KOReader
  • Useful features, like a calculator

The downsides of Plato are:

  • No in-application updater; all new releases must be manually installed
  • Less fine control than KOReader

Ultimate Manga Reader

Ultimate Manga Reader is a Kobo-only manga reading application with online integration, similar to Tachiyomi.

This is your best option if you intend to view and download manga on your device (a 7-inch device is recommended at a minimum). Keep in mind that Kobo devices don't come with very much storage (except for the 32GB Forma and Aura ONE), so you may want to expand your memory if possible for the best experience.

The downsides of Ultimate Manga Reader are:

  • It's currently a bit buggy -- backlight control does not work
  • It looks a bit less refined than KOReader and Plato

Vlasovsoft (pbchess)

Vlasovsoft is a software suite featuring a reader, a file manager, and several games. Vlasovsoft is paid software -- the reader and file manager are free, but the games will require a $5 license key to exit the time-limited trial mode.

CoolReader has a customizable status bar and has customizable gestures (similar to KOReader), but is generally less feature-packed. Vlasovsoft as a whole receives less frequent feature updates than any other application, but is very stable.


InkBox

InkBox is an application that can either act as a complete replacement for Nickel (as an operating system) or as a traditional add-on application that can be run with NickelMenu.

I don't personally know much about it, but it seems to be a pretty decent option for tinkerers with a Kobo Mini, Touch, or Glo.

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