I own a Kobo Aura HD and love every inch of it. Being in Canada, the choice of an eReader (that supported the E-Pub format) was easier to make. Very recently I discovered that the product experience wasn’t seamless – that ‘knot’ between software/hardware and the cloud was missing.
After a software update about a few weeks ago, I noticed that there were instances of duplicate collections under Library > My Collections (collections are like “shelves” to categorise your books). I opted to remove instances on the device but realised I couldn’t delete them! It was the most frustrating experience ever with my Kobo Aura HD. I finally gave up and contacted Kobo support. The representative gave me options to resolve the issue. The Basic Reset did not work and the duplicate collections were back in business, so the executive gave me the option to proceed for a Factory Reset. It was even more frustrating to understand that the Factory Reset will wipe clean my notes, bookmarks and annotations forever. The toughest job would be to reload the digital books data for which I did not have a list with me. However the Factory Reset did not solve the issue and the duplicate collections were back. It meant that the device was communicating with ‘something’ outside my system, maybe a cloud service. I later learned that Kobo offers cloud sync of bookmarks, annotations and notes (probably collections too) only on books purchased from their online store. Since I’m a designer my books are definitely not purchased on the Kobo store. Also as a Kobo device customer it’s disappointing to know that the company offers cloud services discriminately and there’s no way to control what gets synced on the cloud.
Here’s what I think Kobo should do to improve its customer experience. It’s time they reassess the cloud sync service they offer to customers. Allow all customers to choose whether they want the service at all and how they want it. Update their free Kobo software for PCs and Macs and make it more useful by allowing customers to sync/backup ALL their bookmarks, list of books, annotations and notes from their Kobo devices onto their PCs and Macs. They also need to look at Dropbox or Google Drive to augment that offering if possible. And none of what I just described is difficult or unthinkable. That apart let’s not forget that I have lost all my bookmarks, notes and other data, and my problem remains unresolved for now.
Edit: Kobo suggested I create a new account on Kobo (using a different email ID). And the duplicate collections were gone. The tough task was to create a new collections and putting the books into it. Hope the Kobo cloud database doesn’t go berserk again, I am running out of email IDs now.