Kobo Vox to get Google Play with Next Update

Kobo has announced this morning that their over-priced and under-equipped Android tablet is now slightly more useful. In the not too distant future Kobo plans to push out a new update for the Vox. The update is going to bring Google Play to the Kobo Vox, along with 500,000 apps, hundreds of thousands of movies, videos, and music, and even a rival ebookstore. Vox owners are also going to get all the usual Google apps like Gmail, Google Reader, and more. This is good news for Kobo, and it should move the Vox sales from anemic to disappointing.

It's also a major change from the current situation. Right now the only way to get Android Market on the Vox is to root the tablet and perform a tricky hack to install the marketplace illicitly. Arguably it was more work than it was worthy.

On a related point, this marks a startling change for Google. The last I heard was that Google had minimum hardware requirements for Android devices before they could get the Android Market (a precursor to Google Play), and there were many budget tablets released in 2010 and 2011 which didn't have Android Market.

I wonder if perhaps Google is feeling pressure from the Amazon Appstore? Amazon is far more open to letting anyone in the US install their app store, and that is likely giving Amazon a solid user base of Android tablet owners as well as other Android device owners who Google refused to support.

I think today's news might also explain why some budget tablet makers shipped their devices with Google Play.  They were likely the first to learn that Google had changed the rules and that gave them a head start on the competition.

About Nate Hoffelder (11377 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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