Kobo is offering a software update for its 7 inch tablet, bringing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the Kobo Arc. Sure, Android 4.1 is kind of last year’s software… but it brings a number of new features to Kobo’s $200 tablet.

Kobo Arc

While Kobo isn’t as big a name in the US as competitors Amazon or Barnes & Noble, the company runs one of the largest digital bookstores in the world. But unlike NOOK and Kindle tablets, the Kobo Arc has full access to the Google Play Store.

That means in addition to purchasing books from the Kobo store, you can use the Arc tablet to download hundreds of thousands of apps from the Google Play Store including apps from Kobo competitors. Want to read Kindle books on your Kobo Arc? You can do that.

The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update brings new features including:

  • Google Now 
  • Rich notifications
  • Face unlock
  • Improved search, voice recognition, and typing

Unfortunately the Kobo Arc is kind of tough to find in the US. I haven’t found any online retailers selling it for the $200 list price, but oddly enough you can find a few models on sale at Amazon for $227 and up.

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