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Amazon launches Kindle Cloud Reader, snubs Apple

After a spat with Apple over the rules of in-app purchases, Amazon looked to back down when a recent update removed the link to the Kindle store from the iOS Kindle app. However, tricksy Amazon appears to have been working covertly on a way round Apple’s regulations, quietly launching the Kindle Cloud Reader – a web app that looks to make the now less-profitable Kindle App almost irrelevant.

The Cloud Reader is a web portal through which Kindle users can access their ebook collections – without any middle-management from Apple. To get to their books, users need only point their browsers at read.amazon.com, log in with their Amazon account details and presto: ‘streaming’ books, straight to their screen, like YouTube for the literati.

The Kindle Cloud Reader is up and running now, and works with Chrome and Safari (with more browsers on the way) for access from a PC, Mac or Chromebook. The option to purchase new books and browse the Kindle Store has also been restored, and the app comes with a handy offline mode so users can keep reading even if they lose their internet connection. And just to stick it to Apple, yes, this all works in the iPad’s Safari browser.

For the moment, however, iPhone users accustomed to squinting their way through a spot of Tolstoy with the iPhone Kindle app are being left out in the cold, as are Android tablet owners, who on visiting the Cloud Reader page are met with the message “Your web browser isn’t supported yet.” No word from Amazon as to when that support will come, but once it does, will there be any use for the old Kindle app at all?

Link: Kindle Cloud Reader

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