Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader web app includes integrated store; works on iPad, Macs, PCs

“Much has been made about Apple’s recent changes to the iOS terms. At first, everyone was sure that many big players, would be forced to pull their apps, such as Amazon’s popular Kindle app,” MG Siegler reports for TechCrunch. “But then Apple relaxed the rules a bit, and simply said that Amazon and others couldn’t link to their own stores from their iOS apps. Amazon complied. But at the same time, they were also working on an alternative.”

“While Amazon hasn’t said anything about it yet, Kindle Cloud Reader is already live,” Siegler reports. “It’s a web-based version of their Kindle eBook reader app. It allows you to read your books from the cloud or to download your books for offline reading thanks to the magic of HTML 5 (or a Chrome browser extension). It looks and works great.”

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“Amazon says that the app officially supports Chrome and Safari. This means it works on PCs, Macs, Linux, and even Chromebooks. This also means that it works on the iPad,” Siegler reports. “In fact, Amazon plays that up on their site. Bullet point three on the Kindle Cloud Reader page reads: ‘Optimized for iPad: shop the integrated Kindle Store for Tablets.'”

“Again, that’s something you cannot do within the iOS apps due to the new terms,” Siegler reports. “However, while the iPad is supported, the iPhone currently is not. Amazon recommends you check out their free Kindle reader native app in order to read on the iPhone. Something tells me that a browser version for the iPhone is in the works as well.”

More info and screenshots the full article here.


  1. Very clever Amazon! I do think this is an area Apple has abused requiring a 30% bounty from other book stores to maintain a link to their own bookstores on their iPad apps. Really dumb and I’m usually pro Apple on everything. Apple should just worry about being more competitive and loading up their own bookstore with a MUCH bigger selection and improve their reading app. I stopped going there for that reason and how hard it is to find anything. I hate the fact I have to reset the brightness too every I use it, unlike the Kindle app. So I applaud Amazon finding a way around this stupidity.

    1. I’m not sure I agree with your gripes about the iBooks app or iBookstore. I simply prefer the iBook app for reading over the Kindle app on my iPhone and iPad. The text formatting and natural page turning are unsurpassed. The Kindle app doesn’t hold a candle to iBooks.

      As for the number of books in the iBookstore, ever since the last holdout, Random House, joined the fold, I’ve never found book selection a particularly thorny problem. In fact the iBookstore library has grown to such an extent that any recent releases found in the Amazon store are found in the iBookstore. As for searching for books there’s the option of searching by title or author. What’s the difficulty in that?

      1. I agree with Peter but I don’t think he clearly detailed the problem between Kindle and iBooks in regardsing to brightness. Not only is brightness a function that you must leave iBooks and go into settings to fix, so is inverse Black on White reading. This is a convenient function available in the Kindle app that iBooks does not have. I find that I do a lot of reading at night and the White on Black reading is far easier on the eyes and far less bright when reading at night in bed (which is when I do most of my iPad and iPhone book reading). For this reason alone I prefer the Kindle app over the iBooks. I too wished Apple would spend more time adding features and competing. I applaud Amazon for this clever move, even I am a die hard Apple fanatic.

        1. The brightness slider can be accessed within the iBooks app itself without leaving the app to go to settings. When you tap in the middle of the page to invoke the ‘menu bar’ on the top of the page, there is a ‘bulb’ icon beside the text size adjustment icon. Tap on that to bring up a slider. Slide to your heart’s content to adjust brightness.

          As for inverting black text against a white background to the reverse, I’ve never felt the need to invoke this function in the Kindle app so can’t comment on the efficacy of this. I find the default black text on white background perfectly adequate for my needs regardless of the level of ambient light. Makes reading easier as it mimics text on a real book.

          But to each his own.

    2. What is this “Stupidity” you speak of?

      Is it stupid for apple to demand a payment for using the app store? It is the same as a brick and mortar guy demanding a cut from selling something from his high street store. What’s the difference?

      If you don’t use the app store then fine….Apple has no problem with that….go right ahead and sell it from your own store. You will pay zero to apple in that case and Apple is fine with that. BUT if you want to sell through the AppStore it is only right to EXPECT a fee for that, and 30% is more than reasonable and less than what a brick and mortar store would have charged. The only stupidity here is people failing to see this.

      1. What part of the App Store is Amazon accessing when it links to it’s website from within the app? NONE! This is an artificial limitation put upon by Apple to protect services like iBooks.

        1. Apple does NOT inhibit you from adding a link to your website/store outside the AppStore. So whats the belly aching about? And whats your point?

          If its still not simple enough for you heres another way of looking at it:-

          You can sell with 0% fee in a web browser independent of Apple servers and echo system, but you will pay 30% if you perform a transaction that requires Apple servers to process that transaction.

        2. Furthermore, adding redirections (links inside the APP itself) to another store is tantamount to walking into BestBuy and sticking up posters about merchandise at Fry’s. If you don’t think that’s stupid then I don’t know what is.

    3. If Apple sets a precedent for wide open and free commercial access to the iOS marketplace, then it will be hard to go back. In addition, Apple will be forever limiting itself to profiting only off of the iOS hardware and not the commerce that it engenders. Sooner or later, the hardware becomes a commodity with thin profit margins. But the value of the content – old and new – lives on.

      If you go back to the early days of the personal computer, IBM made a similar arrangement with Intel and Microsoft. Consider who came out best in that arrangement.

  2. I haven’t missed the Kindle store being gone from the iPad app. When I think I want to buy a book, I just go to the website shop, and book downloads. It’s not that big of a difference. I am not forced to use Apple’s Bookstore.

    The Amazon media system is one case where the competitor is clearly offering at least a slightly superior product to Apple.

  3. I’m sorry I dont get this innovation at all. How is it any different from buying a book for your Kindle app. You’d visit the Amazon website, select the book you wanted to buy, then synchronize the book into the Kindle library over the air through a WiFi connection. What’s the novelty in this? In neither case would 30% have to go to Apple.

      1. As far as I understand it, you can no longer shop within the Kindle App. Apple no longer allows outbound links to external stores from WITHIN the app. Kindle app users have to leave the app entirely to make purchases now. Hence, the Cloud app which allows for shopping and reading within a single interface.

  4. The risk of Apple tightening up their store rules is that they may drive developers back to web apps. If in competing markets, though, Apple may not care. This will be interesting to watch.

    1. Ironically, this was Apple’s original vision for apps in the first place. Remember in 2007 (pre-launch) how much they hyped the supposedly advanced browser technology in Safari that made native apps unnecessary? They envisioned a mobile world where apps would be in the browser space. Yah, that landed like a thud.

  5. I actually really like this app and think Apple should develop something like this at least for its Mac and PC users. It widens the iBooks ecosystem. I think originally they were hoping that the absence of an e-reader app for computers would drive people to buy an iPad. But now there’s so much momentum in iPad sales that’s hardly necessary.

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