If you’ve got a Kobo Arc, get ready for jelly beans.
Kobo has released an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean firmware update for its 7” Google-certified Kobo Arc tablet. Promised enhancements include faster performance, improved search capabilities, increased touch responsiveness, and additional intelligence features. The update is 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, executive vice-president of devices for Kobo, in a statement. “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.”
Related Story: Kobo launches Arc tablet to battle Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD
Kobo is touting several new features and benefits with the move to Android 4.1, including:
Google Now: Personalizes information based on a user’s location, time of day, history, and calendar events, to show 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: Notifications can be accessed from directly within the notifications area.
Improved search: 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: Jelly Bean introduces text-to-speech capabilities and an embedded speech recognizer that enables Voice Typing without an Internet connection.
Face Unlock: The improved Face Unlock now calibrates in different conditions and can now optionally require a blink to verify a live person is unlocking the device.
Toronto-based Kobo launched the Arc last year to go head-to-head against Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD. Launching with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, its specs include a 1280 x 800 HD display, a 1.5 GHZ dual-core processor, and 1 GB of RAM. There’s a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for videoconferencing and the battery life is rated for 10 hours of continuous use with WiFi turned off, and two weeks on standby.