InkBox OS 2.0 Arrives: Huge Updates for Kobo eReader Users

4 min


Free and open-source eBook reader operating system InkBox OS 2.0 scores a massive update.

There are not many open-source eBook reader operating systems in the market. Most eBook readers use proprietary OS by their manufacturers. InkBox is an open-source, Qt-based eBook reader for Kobo eBook devices which also comes with a full-featured operating system called InkBox OS.

The long-awaited arrival of InkBox OS 2.0, the operating system designed to replace standard firmware on Kobo and Kindle e-readers, is finally here. Built upon the solid foundation of Alpine Linux 3.10, InkBox OS 2.0 introduces a range of exciting features and enhancements. With its user-friendly interface and optimal e-paper screen optimization, this update is set to redefine your eBook reading experience.

Biggest release of InkBox OS ever. Yes, the time gap between 1.9 and 2.0 is huge, but we hope you will find that it was worth it.

InkBox team

The core of InkBox OS is powered by the InkBox shell, which encompasses an intuitive interface for reading e-books and managing your personal eBook library.

InkBox OS features

Here are some of the standout features of the InkBox OS:

  • Full integration of the KoBox X11 subsystem, enabling the use of X11 applications available in the Alpine repository. Imagine running the Geany text editor or even challenging opponents on XBoard chess.
  • Support for various formats, such as ePUB, PDF, images, and plain text, granting you the flexibility to enjoy diverse content.
  • Configurable page display modes for a personalized reading experience.
  • Harnessing the power of the muPDF rendering engine, InkBox OS delivers exceptional rendering for ePUBs and PDFs.
  • Seamless wireless connectivity and an integrated web browser (NetSurf) enable effortless access to online content.
  • Encrypted storage powered by EncFS ensures the utmost security for your valuable data.
  • A fast and efficient dictionary and local storage search function to aid your reading journey.
  • Dark mode for those who prefer a more immersive and eye-friendly interface.
  • Option to compile Kernel for your customization
  • A built-in VNC viewer app enables convenient remote access to your desktop.

Preety impressive list, isn’t it? Now let’s take a look at the new features of this release.

Version 2.0 Enhancements

One of the highlights of InkBox OS 2.0 is the introduction of Kindle Touch (KT) support, allowing users to enjoy the benefits of this innovative operating system on their Kindle devices. Although a release image is unavailable, interested individuals can request an installation guide to explore the installation process. You may create an issue in GitHub to request a Kindle image from the team.

Furthermore, InkBox OS 2.0 introduces support for signed custom user applications, also known as ‘user apps,’ which can be conveniently installed from the dedicated repository on GitHub. A variety of applications, including ‘Maps,’ ‘Sketch,’ and ‘sanki,’ expand the functionality of InkBox OS, empowering users with versatile tools for their eReading experience.

InkBox 2.0 - word search
InkBox 2.0 – word search

The user interface of InkBox OS has received significant attention in version 2.0, resulting in a more polished and refined design. Users can expect a completely overhauled home page and library browser, introducing new sections such as ‘Recent books’ and ‘Pinned books.’

Moreover, the introduction of folder support in the local library browser allows for better organization and navigation of e-book collections. InkBox OS 2.0 also includes experimental highlighting support and the option to export highlights as JSON files, enhancing the annotation capabilities for users who wish to delve deeper into their reading materials.

Local library
Local library

Numerous system-wide improvements have been implemented to enhance the overall user experience. Notable updates include a fix for special characters that occasionally failed to display correctly, a complete overhaul of the power daemon, and a revamped Wi-Fi framework. The Wi-Fi support has been expanded to include i.MX507 devices, such as N705, N905C, and N613, provide a broader range of compatible hardware for users to choose from. The virtual keyboard in X11/KoBox has been significantly improved, contributing to a smoother and more efficient input experience.

Font customization
Font customization

For readers seeking versatility beyond e-book reading, InkBox OS 2.0 introduces several valuable applications. The inclusion of a ‘To-Do’ application facilitates the creation and management of checklists, enhancing productivity and organization.

Additionally, the KDE app, ‘Qalculate‘ application enables users to perform complex mathematical calculations directly from their eReader device, offering convenience for users with academic or professional needs.

Custom user apps
Custom user apps

In terms of system enhancements, InkBox OS 2.0 has made strides in several areas. The refined reader framework ensures a seamless and enjoyable reading experience. The update system has been improved, streamlining the process of installing future updates.

InkBox OS 2.0 also introduces specific enhancements tailored to certain device models. For instance, the N306 model now supports keyboard and mouse input via USB OTG, providing additional flexibility for users who prefer alternative input methods. Moreover, N306 users can now take advantage of custom device cases, allowing them to personalize their eReader device according to their preferences and style.

You can learn more about the changes in this release in the GitHub changelog.

Video

The team has prepared a working video on the following page with various devices, including Kindle.

Wrapping up

InkBox OS 2.0 is a great release delivering a comprehensive and user-friendly operating system specifically designed for Kobo and Kindle devices. If you are looking for a FOSS eBook reader operating system which is capable of many features, you may consider InkBox.

You can learn more about the project on GitHub.


Arindam

Creator and author of debugpoint.com. Connect with me via Telegram, Twitter, or send us an email.
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