Kobo app for iOS: Getting started guide and accessibility

Original Author(s): Prashant Ranjan Verma

The Kobo app is available for iPad, iPhone and iPod. It can be installed free of charge from the Apple App Store. Kobo apps are also available for Android, Blackberry and Windows devices.

According to Kobo, more than 3.5 million free or affordable titles are available for reading through this app. Some of the features available in this app are:

  • Syncing of bookmarks, notes, and highlights across all devices running Kobo apps.
  • Easy look up of unfamiliar words: Use the dictionary, Wikipedia or Google.
  • Tracking of reading habits and sharing on social media.
  • Side loading of EPUB and PDF files from email, Dropbox, iTunes or the web.
  • The first chapter previews for thousands of select books.
  • Support for many languages including English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese and Japanese.

Reading books

On any iOS device, open the App Store and search for Kobo. Install this app like any other iOS app. After installation, you need to sign in with a Kobo account to use this app.

The Search button at the top right corner can be used to search for books. From the search results, tap any title to check out the synopsis, reviews and ratings. When accessing free titles, tap on the Preview button or the Read button to download the title to your device and start reading.

The app defaults to full-screen view for easier reading. Just tap on the screen to bring up the toolbars. The TOC button on the top provides access to the table of contents as well as bookmarks and notes in the currently open book. Controls for customizing the display are shown in the bottom of screen on iPhone and on right margin in iPad.

Side loading EPUB files

EPUB files can be easily opened by using the "Share" feature of iOS.

  • Tap to open an EPUB file received as an email attachment or in your Dropbox folder, also on any webpage in Safari browser.
  • When the file download is complete, tap on the "Share" button.
  • Now tap on the "Open in" button and choose Kobo in the list of available apps.
  • The book will open in Kobo app. The title is also added to the library. Next time when you want to read this book, open the Kobo app and select the title in the library view.


The Kobo iOS app is reasonably accessible with VoiceOver screen reader. Books can be added to the library and opened for reading. Navigation using the TOC is possible. VoiceOver can read the text by characters, words and lines if needed by adjusting the Rotor. The appearance of the text can be modified by changing font size and display themes. Magnification is also supported. See accessibility evaluation of Kobo on EPUBTEST.org.

When using VoiceOver, the reading is not synchronized with the text displayed on the screen. Controls in the user interface could have been labeled better.

See also:

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This page was last edited by PVerma on Thursday, May 4, 2017 06:06
Text is available under the terms of the DAISY Consortium Intellectual Property Policy, Licensing, and Working Group Process.