There is no longer any need for Kobo Glo users to be tied to the company’s custom-made Linux-based operating system. It is now possible to switch to an Android installation that even allows the use of third-party apps.
Kobo Glo users could theoretically retain access to their existing library of ebooks by running Kobo’s Android app, as well as using rival ecosystems such as the Nook and Kindle.
Details of how to install Android on a Kobo Glo have been posted on the MobileRead forum. The process is straightforward, as the Kobo Glo runs similar hardware to the Tolino Shine – an Android-based German e-reader.
Whilst demanding 3D games might be asking a little too much of the Kobo Glo hardware, it would nonetheless be possible to carry out many other common activities that you would on a tablet, such as surfing the web and accessing email.
Yet the Kobo Glo’s 1 GHz processor and E Ink screen is not best suited to even basic activities like surfing the web. And there are budget tablets available at the Kobo Glo’s €129 (£99.99) price point which would provide a better user experience overall.
The current generation of E Ink readers arguably provide the best digital reading experience available. But expecting them to perform as a tablet is simply not realistic.
Being able to run Android on the Kobo Glo is great for hobbyists. It could also provide some fun for anyone with an old Kobo Glo that is largely left unused.
For everyone else, though, installing Android on a Kobo Glo would offer limited practical benefits and many downsides. The device already performs well running its intended platform, and should you run into difficulties, obtaining support under warranty could prove a challenging experience.