Kobo Arc gets Jelly Bean-shaped refresh, update available now

Kobo Arc owners who connect to a Wi-Fi network should find a little surprise waiting for them in the form of a Jelly Bean update.

Included with the update is face unlock, Jelly Bean's swipe-down notifications area, and Google Now, which itself just got an upgrade. The Google Now inclusion is particularly handy, as it makes the Kobo stand out from the likes of the Kindle Fire. 

The standout feature for Jelly Bean for us is its clever Project Butter, which promises to speed up the whole operating system and reduce lag from touch inputs. With the Kobo update, early reports indicate it is already making a big difference to handling.

The Kobo's home screen has also been tweaked to reduce the amount of interference Kobo's UI overlay has with stock Android. Now the device handles more like a Nexus.

The update has made the Kobo into a serious contender for potential Nexus 7 buyers. It is as up-to-date as Google's offering and, crucially, is available in 64GB form.