As expected in the wake of Apple’s new restrictions on buying content outside the Apple in-app purchasing system, Amazon.com has launched the Kindle Cloud Reader, an HTML5 reader that will allow consumers to buy and read Amazon titles through the web browsers found on almost any PC or mobile device.
Starting today Amazon is releasing The Kindle Cloud Reader software, initially only for the Safari browser for the iPad, Mac desktop and the Chrome browser. In the coming months, an Amazon release says, the Kindle Cloud Reader will be released for Internet Explorer, Firefox, the Blackberry Playbook browser and other web browers.
Apple’s app development guidelines now prohibit the use of links that bypass its in-app purchasing system—and Apple’s 30% commission—and e-tailers like Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Blio and others must find a new way to sell e-books outside of their native Apple device Apps, which are now essentially strictly e-book readers. HTML5 technology allows web browsers to provide an online and offline experience that is comparable to a native app and e-tailers and publishers, as well as others looking to sell and attract readers outside of the Apple system, will likely turn to the technology. Most importantly, now e-book retailers like Amazon can offer and market their titles for sale and readers can read their Amazon e-books—online and offline—much as they had previously through the native Apple apps. By setting up a iPad Kindle Store available through the Kindle Cloud Readers/Safari browser with 900,000 titiles for sale, Amazon is bypassing Apple's cut of the sale. The Kindle Cloud Reader gives the reader access to all of their previously purchased Kindle e-books, provides automatic software updates, synchs all titles to the last page read and allows consumers to see all annotations and notes—and e-books can be read offline as well.
Dorothy Nicholls, director, Amazon Kindle, said, "We are excited to take this leap forward in our ‘Buy Once, Read Everywhere’ mission and help customers access their library instantly from anywhere. The flexibility of HTML5 allows us to build one application that automatically adapts to the platform you’re using--from Chrome to iOS. We’ve added an integrated, touch optimized store directly into Cloud Reader, allowing customers one click access to a vast selection of books.”