Skip to main content

The Amazon Cloud Reader – A Web App For Your Kindle Books

 

Amazon has recently released another version of its e-book reader called Kindle Cloud Reader. Unlike the iOS mobile Kindle app, the Cloud Reader is HTML 5 web-based in which Amazon members can access all of their Kindle library books via the web.

This new reader comes partly in response to Apple’s 30% sales tax requirement for iOS app publishers selling content-like e-books and magazine subscriptions via their apps. Due to this tax requirement, Amazon disabled its Kindle Store link in its reader, which now means that iOS users of the Kindle app need to take an extra step to access the Store. However, the Cloud Reader includes a direct link to the Store.

Accessing Cloud Reader

The Kindle Cloud Reader is currently optimized for the Safari and Chrome web browsers, and for iPad users.

Screenshot939

You can access, through sign in, your entire Kindle library via the Cloud Reader, in the same way you do in the Kindle app. Notice also, the Kindle Store button on the upper-right side of the browser interface.

Screenshot941

When you sign in, the Cloud Reader requests up to 50MB of disk space on your computer or iPad to store ‘K4Wbooks’. Fortunately, the Cloud Reader doesn’t automatically download all your e-books.

Screenshot940

Sample Books

Interestingly, while you can download your purchased book on the Cloud Reader, it seems you can’t save sample versions of Kindle books to the Reader. But you can read them from within the store, though you are given the impression that they can be downloaded and archived.

IMG 0615

This is unfortunate because not only can’t you read sample Kindle books offline, but you must re-search and open those books each time you want to review them.

Reading Kindle Books

For purchased Kindle titles, you can press and hold on a title and select to download it on your computer or iPad, which means it requires no Internet connection to read after it’s downloaded.

To read Kindle books, you simply click (or tap in the iPad) the left or right margins to navigate back and forth between pages. You can also enlarge text, bookmark pages, and change the background color of pages as you can in the Kindle e-reader app. This web app version also includes Whispersync features that syncs to the furthest read page in a Kindle book between each version of the Kindle app or device that you’re using.

IMG 0608

However, for those of us who like to annotate our reading with a highlighter, that option is not available in the Cloud Reader. Highlights, bookmarks, and notes that you add in the regular Kindle app and Kindle device will show up, however, in Cloud Reader. The annotation tools and features are pretty rudimentary on the regular Kindle app and device, and not being able to make basic highlights in the Cloud version will be a major drawback for say students and other readers of non-fiction.

The only real advantage I see for using Kindle Cloud Reader is for reading Kindle books on a computer – and offline. While the web app allows you to more easily access the Kindle Store, it’s not to me a sufficient enough reason to switch from using the existing iOS apps or the Kindle for the Mac and PC versions, where you can also access your saved annotations.

For other MUO articles about Kindle related apps, start with these posts:

The Kindle Cloud Reader is certainly well designed, but in terms of features, it is undeveloped. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know what you think. Will you be using it or not?

The Amazon Cloud Reader – A Web App For Your Kindle Books
Bakari Chavanu
Wed, 24 Aug 2011 17:31:26 GMT

Popular posts from this blog

Apple Launches Web Tool to Deregister Phone Numbers from iMessage

Apple today released a new web tool for users to deregister their phone number from iMessage in the event they switched to a non-Apple device. To deregister a phone number from iMessage, users simply enter their phone number in Apple's web tool, receive a free text message containing a code, and submit the code to complete the process. Users who still have their original iPhone can also transfer their SIM card back to the device and go to Settings -> Messages to turn iMessage off. 


Users switching from an iPhone to another device were often unable to receive SMS messages from another iPhone due to their phone number still being linked to iMessage. These specific errors with iMessage have been a well-known issue since 2011, which is when the messaging service debuted with iOS 5. They were also made even more apparent this past May, where a server glitch caused widespread message delivery problems. Apple was even sued over the matter in a California court, although the company cla…

Microsoft acquires iPhone email app Acompli

After accidentally announcing it a little early, Microsoft is officially confirming it has acquired email startup Acompli. The surprise acquisition means Microsoft is picking up a powerful email client for iPhone and Android in another move that further cements CEO Satya Nadella’s focus on cross-platform technologies. The Verge’s Casey Newton called Acompl "the Outlook for iPhone that Microsoft hasn’t yet built," and it seems Microsoft was equally impressed with the powerhouse email app. "We’re excited about what’s possible as we build on the app’s success and bring it together with work currently in progress by the Outlook team," the company said in a statement. "Our goal is to deliver fantastic cross-platform apps that support the variety of email services people use today and help them accomplish more." Recode first reportedthat Microsoft would make its latest acquisition official today; the company is said to be paying over $200 million for Acompli. A…

Apple will disconnect ‘obsolete’ first-gen Apple TV from iTunes in May

Apple has announced today it will drop iTunes support for some older devices from May 25. This includes the first generation Apple TV, and also any PC running Windows XP or Vista. The company is introducing new security changes which will prevent those devices from using the latest version of iTunes.
Apple says that the original Apple TV is an "obsolete Apple product" and will not be updated to support security changes. Only those with the second generation of Apple TV or later will be able to access the iTunes store.
Windows XP or Vista users won't be able to use the latest version of iTunes, but older Windows computers can still use previous versions without support from Apple. Those who do so, however, won't be able to make new purchases or re-download previous purchases on that computer. If you're on on XP or Vista, you'll need to upgrade to Windows 7 or later to continue using iTunes normally.
The writing was already on the wall for these devices: Wi…