Do you know how most companies will get the tech in place to support a partnership before they announce the partnership? Not Kobo. They rolled out a new update today for the iPad and iPhone apps which adds support for Portuguese.
If not for last Thursday's news about the partnership between Kobo and the Brazilian media retailer Livraria Cultura, I might think that Kobo was foreshadowing the announcement. But in this case they are rearshadowing the news.
The update also adds support for the not yet released iOS 6, which is due out this week, as well as new font support including Avenir (iOS 6), Cochin, Helvetica, Optima, and Palatino. In addition to the bug fixes and performance improvements, the app also now has a progress indicator which shows where you are in the book.
There's also a new page turn option; hold your finger near the edge of the screen and the app will jump forward or back to a new location. The screen contents won't shift with the page number, so it's not terribly useful, but it is a way to skip ahead. And last but not least the app now supports book specific reading statistics, including an estimated time to finish a title. You can find these by first pulling up the TOC and then selecting the stats option.
The app also has a couple subtle changes to how it displays books in the library. It no longer uses a skeuomorphic design to make the cover images look like books on a shelf, something which always looked ridiculous when applied to newspapers and periodicals. I'm glad for this change, at least; it was a design that never really made sense. Hardly anyone actually displays their books like the faux bookshelf used in many reading apps, so there was little point in copying the idea.