When Amazon added the sampler section to the Kindle iOS app in December it was clear that they had found a way to encourage readers to not stray out of the Kindle app. Kobo's new instant book previews, on the other hand, serve a different purpose.
Like the instant book previews feature on the Kobo website, the iOS app's new feature lets those without a Kobo account read samples of books in the Kobo Store.
Browsing the samples looks something like this:
I've been playing with the app this morning, and I can tell you that readers get to try all of the same annotation options they will enjoy should they sign up.
This feature is only available to those who don't have an account (I had to log out to find it). This is going to sharply limit the value to Kobo's current customers, but on the plus side this feature will increase the chances that potential customers will sign up.
Still, I'd rather see Kobo offer this feature to current customers as well, wouldn't you?
You can find the app in iTunes.