Being the impatient person that I am, I signed up for early access to Kobo’s firmware upgrade program. The upgrade was relatively smooth, short of extreme awkwardness in setting the device to “upgrade mode” (it basically involves you holding the menu button, the middle D-pad navigational button, and pressing the power button against a table). The upgrade works well and I can now view all epub formatted books with proper font resizing. They didn’t quite give the ability to delete the 100 free Gutenberg books, though you can selectively hide them from the browse menu, by selecting “My Books” instead of “Pre-loaded Books”. My books will show you titles you’ve added yourself, and those that are set to “now reading”. The ability to actually delete these titles (either through the Kobo app) or from the device itself, would be nice.
There are a few other changes I’ve noticed – they’ve added a “sleep” feature. If you hit the power button quickly, the device will go into a lower power mode, draining less battery power. If you don’t reactivate it in the next fifteen minutes, it turns off. This also provides the benefit of allowing you to get back to your book more quickly, should you just be wandering off for under 15 minutes. The full power on boot-up takes a fair bit longer.
I only really came across one major issue with the update, being that after I upgraded, the device kept displaying the “first-use” screen, where it asks you to connect it to your computer, to set it up with the Kobo app (though I had already done this). I fixed this by resetting the device to default settings, from the device itself. The device will now show a “powered off” screen in the power off state, hiding book illustrations on shutdown (showing your book cover on shutdown was neat, I’m not sure why it was abandoned). Beyond this, I had to re-transfer my purchased titles after the firmware upgrade, but that wasn’t really too big of a deal.
A step in the right direction with this update – I’m looking forwards to new features in coming firmware updates.
You can read the official 1.4 firmware thread over at the mobileread forum.