Kindle Cloud Reader takes ebook reading to the browser

Apple changed their in-app purchase policy that forced ebook vendors to close their integrated stores. Amazon is the first out of the gate with a solution that includes a store and a web browser-based ebook reading experience with the Kindle Cloud Reader.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the Apple in-app purchase policy forcing ebook vendors to shut down their integrated ebook stores. Kobo then came out and said they were working on a web-based reader and store, but it seems that Amazon beat them to it with the Kindle Cloud Reader shown in my image gallery.

Image Gallery: Check out some key screenshots of the Kindle Cloud Player on an Apple iPad.
Image Gallery: Kindle Cloud Reader
Image Gallery: Kindle Store

The iPad 2, HTC Flyer, and HP TouchPad currently in my collection all have Kindle apps, but the iPad one doesn't have an integrated store. It is easy to visit the site in the browser to get books, but this new Kindle Cloud Reader makes the experience better and gives you the ability to read ebooks without the app. The Kindle Cloud Reader currently supports Chrome, Safari (Mac/PC), and Safari on iOS 4+.

As you can see in my Kindle Cloud Reader image gallery there is a pop-up that shows you how to set aside 50MB on your iPad to store ebooks for offline reading. You are prompted along the way so after tapping and holding on an book cover you will be told what you need to do. Many of the great features in the dedicated app are present in the Kindle Cloud Reader, including:

  • Font sizes (five are available)
  • Background colors (white, sepia, and black)
  • Jump to Table of Contents, beginning, or custom location
  • Manage bookmarks

The primary reason to use this over the app is the integrated store experience and as you can see the store looks great in the Safari iPad web browser. You can still purchase books and then jump back to the dedicated app and have them appear in your library, which is what I will likely do and am not sure why you would want to spend much time reading in the browser when there is a dedicated application available.