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Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader Avoids Apple Restrictions

This week Amazon released Kindle Cloud Reader, an HTML5-based app that works with Safari and Chrome web browsers. This new reader, optimized for the iPad, allows Amazon to circumvent Apple’s recent restrictions on their native iOS apps, preventing companies from linking directly to their online stores. Users can now login to read.amazon.com to access their Kindle library and purchase new books. They have the option of reading eBooks in the cloud or downloading volumes to read offline. Along with iPads, the web-based app will also work with Safari and Chrome on Macs and PCs, however the Firefox web browser is not yet supported. According to an article on TechCrunch, the iPhone platform is not supported either. But, an iPhone friendly version is presumed to be in the works.

Most tech experts give Kindle Cloud Reader high marks and find much of the web-based app’s functionality comparable to the native iOS app. Though the reader does have a few flaws, starting with the inability for users to make new notes or highlights, or to access any magazines or newspaper subscriptions. Despite these issues the strengths of the Kindle Cloud Reader still outweigh the weaknesses. “Cloud Reader’s main strength is its integrated Kindle store, which is one of the elements that makes Cloud Reader more suited for the iPad than, say, for the computer. The Cloud Reader’s Kindle Store is not at all designed like Amazon’s normal website—instead, UI elements are laid out in big, touchable areas and navigation is designed for the touchscreen user,” writes Jacqui Cheng for Ars Technica.

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