In an effort to avoid Apple’s new in-app purchase policy, Amazon announced on Wednesday the release of the Kindle Cloud Reader, an HTML5 web app that lets users access their Kindle library on the iPad and other supported devices. It allows users to read e-books that are stored on the cloud by using web browsers like Chrome and Safari. Although, support for the iPhone device and other browsers are still in the works.
Unlike the Kindle iPad app, the Cloud Reader, which was reportedly being developed by Amazon since September, lets users make direct purchases from the Kindle store.
“To make it easy and seamless to discover new books, we’ve added an integrated, touch optimized store directly into Cloud Reader,” said Dorothy Nicholls, director of Amazon Kindle, in a press release.
The only downside so far with the new app is that users won’t have the option to make new notes on texts (for now) when using the Cloud Reader, but they can view previous notes made on the Kindle or other Kindle apps.
The recent move by Amazon, which had a comfortable Q2 earnings report, gives us a strong indication that the e-commerce company is going forward in releasing the much rumored Amazon Tablet. With Samsung’s Galaxy Tab currently getting hit by Apple from all fronts, the Amazon Tablet is being considered as Android’s next savior in the tablet war.
Also joining the Apple in-app uprising is The Financial Times as they released their web-based iPad app last month. A gutsy move by FT despite being successful with their iOS app.
But the FT tells paidContent:UK: “We won’t abandon iOS apps (i.e. we plan to continue to have advertising funded apps where appropriate). And we won’t remove the subscription functionality from the existing FT app on iOS. We don’t know how that is going to play out yet.”
According to the FT: “(It) will encourage users to adopt the web app with a marketing campaign, including a week’s free access.”
Amazon’s competitor Barnes & Noble also pulled the plug with its iPhone app update, which removed the option to buy books from their app. Instead, users are instructed to go to nookbooks.com to purchase ebooks.
Apple is surely getting a lot of big companies moving away from their app store. Their new in-app policy could have them struggling to succeed in the digital publishing industry, which is gradually gaining traction as more and more consumers are using tablets.