August 17, 2011

Free Kindle Cloud Reader

Amazon recently released a free new Kindle "feature", the Kindle Cloud Reader.
  • Read your e-books in your browser
  • You can access all of your Amazon-hosted e-books, or you can download them locally for offline reading
  • Currently works only in Chrome and Safari
  • Simple, clean interface
  • Can view your entire e-book library at a glance
  • Allows you to keep your last-page-read indication "in the Cloud" so you can start reading on one device, and pick up right where you left off on another device

I've tried it in Chrome, and it works quite nicely.  Fast, responsive, looks good, and makes it trivially easy to synch across devices.  It doesn't do a lot, but what it does, it seems to do quite well.  I expect enhancements to be implemented quickly.

I hear that this feature is targeted at Apple.  The Kindle Cloud Reader is a replacement for their Kindle App on the iPad.  Apple wanted to control the purchasing experience on all iPad apps, so this browser-based approach bypasses Apple's control.  Amazon can have their convenient Kindle Store button go directly to Amazon without Apple being involved, thank you very much.

Now, if the lawsuit against Apple and Publishers over the agency concept can only make some progress, we might see more competition (and reduced prices) for e-books.

To be honest, I'm not completely sure when I'll use the Cloud Reader, other than when I forget my Kindle and want/need to read something at lunchtime.  Still, it's nice to know it exists, and it's free.

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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