Kobo Arc to receive Jelly Bean update starting today

The 7-inch Kobo Arc (read our review), which was released just a couple of months ago, will start its Jelly Bean update rollout today. The update will bring everything you'd come to expect from Jelly Bean -- Project Butter, actionable notifications, Google Now and new keyboard functions. Presumably the update will still include Kobo's software customizations, which it calls the "Tapestries UI".

This seems to be just a basic updating of the OS, with other Kobo-specific updates being announced. That's completely fine with us -- Jelly Bean is a big jump up in overall functionality and usefulness. Happen to have a Kobo Arc and receive the update today? Let us know in the comments.


Improved search, Google Now, Face Unlock, and more with latest

Android Jelly Bean 4.1 firmware update

Toronto, ON – March 21, 2013 – Kobo, a global leader in eReading, today announced its Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean firmware update for Kobo’s award-winning 7” Google-certified Kobo Arc tablet. This update optimizes the user experience with faster performance, improved search capabilities, increased touch responsiveness, and additional intelligence features to help organize and streamline information with actionable notifications.  The update is now available to Kobo Arc customers when they next connect to Wi Fi.

“Kobo Arc is the perfect tablet for people that love consuming books, movies, and surfing the web,” said Wayne White, EVP of Devices, Kobo. “With the latest Jelly Bean update, Kobo Arc becomes the perfect eReading companion that offers more with intelligent search recommendations, voice-to-text, and a highly responsive touch screen.”

Key Android 4.1 Jelly Bean features and benefits include:

·         Google Now™: Perfect for on-the-go Kobo Arc users looking for an easy way to organize their busy schedules, Google Now personalizes information based on a user’s location, time of day, history, and calendar events. Google Now shows restaurants in the area, how much traffic to expect before the morning commute, when the next train is coming, the score of a current game, a flight status, and more.

·         Richer notifications: Kobo Arc users will never miss a beat due to a richer notification experience. They can now action notifications directly within the notifications area as well as expand and collapse notifications to display more or less detail.

·         Improved search: Finding online content has never been easier with text or voice searches, which are now presented in a visually rich way.  Google Search can be opened directly from the locked screen by swiping up and users have the option to simply say "Google" to activate Voice Search within the Google Search screen.

·         Optimized voice recognition and boosted predictive typing: To complement speech-enabled online searches, Jelly Bean introduces impressive text-to-speech capabilities and an embedded speech recognizer that enables Voice Typing without an Internet connection. For those who prefer typing, an all-new keyboard lets them glide over letters to type a word while it dynamically predicts text.

·         Face Unlock: Keeping the Kobo Arc secure has never been easier with the improved Face Unlock, which now calibrates in different conditions and can now optionally require a blink to verify a live person is unlocking the device. In addition, users can feel safer with improvements in malware blocking.


Kobo Arc is a sleek 7” Android multimedia tablet with full access to the Google Play™ store, with access to more than 700,000 apps and games. It provides users with a new way to discover content – eBooks, movies, TV shows, music, web pages, and more. Kobo’s exclusive interface, Tapestries, allows users to collect and curate content of interest in dynamic, visual Tapestries by “pinning” content to the home screen. The Kobo Arc’s Discover Ribbon recommends related content based on the items pinned to Tapestries. The more users collect in their Tapestries, the more the Kobo Arc learns what they love and provides them with more engaging content.

The device has a high-definition display that delivers crisp, sharp text, and with more than 16-million colors, brings photos, videos, and games to life. With front-facing speakers enhanced by SRS TruMedia™, a built-in microphone, and a front-facing camera, Kobo Arc provides 10 hours of continuous reading or video play and two weeks on standby. Kobo Arc is available with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB configurations at local retailers.

For information, please visit: https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fclick.linksynergy.com%2Fdeeplink%3Fid%3DkXQk6%2AivFEQ%26mid%3D37217%26u1%3DUUacUdUnU30251%26murl%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.kobo.com%252Fkoboarc&token=49fWLAI0

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.