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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Kobo Vox and NetGalley

Ever since I heard about the new, shiny Kobo Vox, I knew I wanted one. And with an initial release date of October 28th, just one day after my birthday, I knew it was meant to be.

I wandered into a Chapters on October 29th and was informed that the date had been moved to November 2nd. I was a little annoyed, but things happen. Luckily they had a demo in stock and let me play with it. I loved it! It was everything I wanted and needed, or so I thought.

I asked the salesman many questions and was told it had Android Market Place for apps (which is does not) that it reads PDFs (which it will, but only after you install a 3rd party app) and that it would read my NetGalley DRM-protected files (which it didn't, until I stayed up until 1 a.m. figuring out a workaround).

So, if you want a shiny new Kobo Vox and are willing to use some workarounds, this post is for you, so you don't have to stay up until 1 a.m. only moments away from teaching your Vox how to fly...

But anyhow...

First of all, before anyone out there tells me I'm a dumbass or something and that Kobo Vox does have Android Market Place because they say they is what Android sent me specifically when I asked them for more information:

"Hello there,

Thank you very much for writing in this morning. After some research I've found that the device you're using isn't supported for use with Android Market at this time.

This is why you have run into troubles. Be aware that the Android operating system is open source, which means any device manufacturer is free to use Android on its devices.

However, Android Market is an application created by Google that's only made available to devices that pass Google’s compatibility requirements.

In addition, manufacturers must obtain a license from Google in order to install Android Market on their devices.

For more information about the Android Compatibility Program, please visit:

If you have any further questions, I recommend contacting the manufacturer of your device directly. If I can advise any further, please contact me again, I'd be happy to help.


The Android Market Team"
OK, now that that's accomplished, let's move on...

Some links of interest that helped me along the way were the following:
Kobo Vox Review - Full Hands On
Essential Kobo Vox Apps and Tools
(I refuse to take all the credit. These two links helped me so much it's not even funny!)

The one good thing Kobo Vox going for itself is the browser. I was able to use the browser to direcetly open the Apps and Tools link above and directly download some of their recomendations onto my machine.

This post is specifically about Aldiko.

Hopefully you already know how to get your files from NetGalley to Adobe Digital Editions.

Adobe Digital Editions will recognize your Kobo Vox, but only after you have installed Aldiko. Using the Essential Kobo Vox Apps and Tools link, download and install the Aldiko app. You might get a warning that you are unable to install non-Android Market apps (which is a joke since it doesn't even come with Android Market), but just go into your settings, applications, and turn off the option to only accept official apps.

Once this has been installed, plug your Kobo Vox into your computer and set it to USB storage (steps should appear on the screen to do so). Once your computer recognizes it as an external drive you can open Adobe Digital Editions. From here it works pretty much the same as it did for older Kobos, simply drag the files you want from Adobe Digital Editions to the Aldiko folder.

But wait...there's still more!

Once you have transferred the required files over to the Kobo Vox, make sure you eject it so it removes itself from USB storage mode.

Now, from your Kobo Vox, navigate to your apps and open Aldiko. Now don't freak out like I did because your shelves are still blank. I swear, that was the moment Voxy (my loving nickname for my pain-in-the-ass Kobo Vox) almost learned how to fly like Peter Pan...but I digress...

Hit the home button in the top left corner (that looks like a little house) and then hit SD Card. Yes, I know it's not really located on the SD Card, but that's where you have to go, trust me. I have no idea why, but after hitting every single button on this machine at 1 a.m. trust me when I say this is where it was...anyhow...

Once you have chosen SD Card there is a list of folders, navigate to the Adobe Digital Editions folder and once you choose that you should see a list of the files you loaded up. Pick the file(s) you want and chose import to Aldiko.

Now wasn't that simple?
(After almost 4 hours or Googling, trial and error, and 1/2 a bottle of wine!)

I will update this post, or write new posts about updates or other apps that might help the Kobo Vox reading and reviewing experience more pleasant.

Do you have a Kobo Vox
Do you have any hints and tips you'd like to share? 
I'd love to hear them!


  1. Thanks so much for this post! I am itching to get my hands on a Vox but 90% of the ebooks I read are from NetGalley. Glad to know there's a way to get them on there :)

  2. There certainly is a way, just a bit of a pain. I believe they might be working on the issue to find a better way. I will keep you updated! Otherwise it's a good little machine. I would also really like to seem them actually add the Android Market Place.

  3. Holy. Putting books on on my Kobo is so simple, why did things get so complicated :/ And it doesn't even come with the android marketplace already? So it's definitely not plug and play sort of thing..but it is pretty ^_^

  4. It is plug and play for somethings. The browser is functional, as is Kobo (obviously). Even Facebook and YouTube are immediately able to be used. Just third party stuff is a bit of an issue. It bothers me because I was told I would have access to Android Market, which meant getting the apps I need, like Bluefire. Without it though you have to be more creative in finding workarounds.

  5. Ugh that sounds so frustrating! I mean it's good you're able to do it at all, but it should definitely not be that complicated!! =(

  6. Well the good news is the NetGalley contacted me on Twitter to let me know they had contacted Kobo directly and were working on a way to solve this issue together. So this is amazing news!

  7. I quite love my Kobo Vox (albeit for games some of the time), and this was very timely as I just signed up with Netgalley today too, and I was thinking I might have to go back to my old WiFi model or read on the computer. Thanks.

    If you're still searching, I've figured out how to access library books and how to install the Kindle app to my Vox.

  8. I am glad you found this helpful! I would love to know more about how to add the Kindle app and use library books. I never bothered hard enough to make it work as I was most concerned about the NetGalleys.

  9. That's fabulous! Thank you so much!

  10. For some reason, I cannot download aldiko. I get to the Click here to download part, but when I tap the "here" part, nothing happens. Repeatedly. Any thoughts?

  11. Thanks worked great! But updated Aldiko app at:

  12. I love my Kobo Vox but it's so much more complicated than the first generation Kobo!

    1. So very true. And the sad part is that now that I also have an iPad, I rarely use the Kobo Vox anymore. Mostly I use it for the the boy, the sister, and the hubby to share books with

  13. I bought the Kobo Arc yesterday and ADE on my laptop wouldn't recognize it. So I went directed to Netgalley on my Arc and it allows me to download the files directly rather than having to go to my laptop and then my Arc. Whoohoo!