In the face of App Store restrictions and reports that the company is to launch its own tablet in the final quarter, Amazon has launched Kindle Cloud Reader, a new web app that allows Amazon users to download and read Kindle books, without the need for a Kindle device.
The new web app has been specifically tailored for the browser and is currently supported by Google’s Chrome software and Apple’s Safari browser, both on the Mac and on the iPad. With Amazon already offering specific applications for the PC, Mac and tablet devices, the new web-based app signals Amazon’s intention to create an experience that can be accessed on any device, by simply visiting the app in the browser.
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TechCrunch spotted Amazon’s new service, a tool which on early inspection mimics the reading experience of the Kindle via a HTML5 interface. The availability of the web application on the iPad highlights the fact that Amazon isn’t willing to pay by Apple’s rules, with overbearing restrictions in its App Store. The company had previously cooperated with Apple’s policy change, requiring publishers to remove links to third-party stores from within their apps, reducing the ability for Kindle readers to be able to purchase new books via their iOS devices.
Kindle Cloud Reader provides a small link in the top right of its interface to connect to Amazon’s website, allowing users to download books as they would from their desktop. Once purchased, books will be synced to the web app, a seamless experience that Kindle owners have experienced on their physical readers.
Bookmarking, note taking, reader customisations have all been incorporated into Kindle Cloud Reader, perfect for those who left their Kindle or tablet at home and want to be able to catch up on their reading whilst they have an idle period at work, at home or on the daily commute.
There is also the option to sync your purchases to your device so that you can read them offline, perfect if you are in an area with no service or you intend to read Kindle books whilst on your travels.
Kindle Cloud Reader is live right now, you will be able to add the new service as a Homescreen Shortcut on your iPad, using the new application like the native app and be able to download and sync new books to your device without any troubles.