Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader Is A Go

Dave Zatz —  August 10, 2011 — 6 Comments

kindle-cloud-reader2

Amazon has quietly launched an entirely web-based version of their Kindle e-reader platform. It’s not the Kindle 4 or a Kindle Air Android tablet but the Kindle Cloud Reader is an interesting product in its own right.

First, while the Kindle Cloud Reader is entirely web-based the iPad browser edition let’s you “download” or cache any book for offline reading. Meaning, when you hop on that plane, your digital book will still be accessible without Internet access. Next, the Cloud Reader is capable of something no Kindle iOS app is… by integrating a book store shopping experience. Browse and purchase a book without leave the “app.”

I assume this Amazon initiative was fast tracked when Apple threatened to take a 30% cut of just about everything consumed via iPad or iPhone — leading some to consider Apple App Store abandonment. But Apple somewhat relented, effectively forcing merchants to merely remove in-app shopping links should they choose to abstain from Apple’s non-favorable profit sharing plan. Given that change of course and Amazon’s native support of many mobile platforms, I wonder if there’s actually a need for or interest in a web-based reader at this point (which isn’t currently compatible with smartphone web browsers).

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6 responses to Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader Is A Go

  1. There is a typo in your link to the Kindle Cloud Reader. The correct link is: https://read.amazon.com/

  2. Fixed, thanks! I obviously did type it correctly at least once, given the screengrabs above. :)

  3. I’m going to try it today… if it reads and annotates as well as the iPad app, but has a better shopping experience, why not?!

  4. Disappointing that Firefox isn’t supported at the initial launch of this.

  5. “I assume this Amazon initiative was fast tracked when Apple threatened to take a 30% cut of just about everything consumed via iPad or iPhone — leading some to consider Apple App Store abandonment.”

    If you write an iOS app in HTML, you can do 3rd party commerce. If you write an iOS app with the native tools, you can’t do 3rd party commerce.

    “I wonder if there’s actually a need for or interest in a web-based reader at this point”

    Why not? Kindle, like Netflix, aims to be wherever you are. If someone builds a platform, they’ll build a client. Apple’s hungry ghost condition probably did speed development up, but it would’ve made sense eventually for the Kindle ecosystem to have an HTML client even if Apple weren’t making such a crazed land-grab.

  6. Last week, I ran off to work without my Galaxy Tab with the Kindle software on it. Darn! so at lunch, I went to the Cloud Reader and was able to bring up my book exactly where I was on my tablet. When I got home, my table synced to the Cloud Reader and I was right where I wanted to be. I’ll never make the Cloud Reader my primary reader, but it sure came in handy that day!. Also, I have a number of technical books that just don’t read well on a small screen, but with the Cloud Reader they look just fine.

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