Amazon scored against Apple by launching its Kindle Cloud Reader, which is a Web-based app that helps it steer clear of restrictions Apple has placed in regard to its Appstore subscription rules.
Put simply, the Kindle Could Reader will allow users read e-books on their desktops or tablets, by using the Kindle library through Safari or Google's Chrome browsers.
The Kindle Could Reader, which uses the HTML5 Web standard, will work also on Apple's iPad. Amazon said Support for Internet Explorer, Firefox and the Blackberry Playbook will be launched later.
“We have written the application from the ground up in HTML5, so that customers can also access their content offline directly from their browser," Dorothy Nicholls, director of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement. "The flexibility of HTML5 allows us to build one application that automatically adapts to the platform you’re using – from Chrome to iOS.”
Amazon's move came in response to Apple's restrictions on the use of its App Store. It had forced rivals like Amazon and Barnes and Noble to remove buttons from iOS apps that link to their ebook stores.
Apple hadn’t allowed developers to install any external links for purchasing digital books or subscriptions in the app. If they wanted to sell goods through iOS apps, they had to pay Apple a 30 percent commission.
The new Cloud Reader works around Apple restrictions and snatches more control from it. "We are excited to take this leap forward in our 'Buy Once, Read Everywhere' mission and help customers access their library instantly from anywhere," said Nicholls.
Other publishers and retailers have also been developing Web-based HTML5 apps to sidestep Apple's restrictions, CNET has reported. The Financial Times, Kobo and video-on-demand service Vudu have recently launched their HTML5 app to avoid paying Apple the 30 percent cut, the report says.
It is not clear how Apple will respond to Amazon's move, but it could disable Web apps in the iPad's Safari browser. "It would be easy enough to do (for instance, we set Safari to "Private browsing" on a Mac, and the Cloud Reader would not launch; we got a blank page), but Apple would certainly face some backlash," the CNET report says.
Apple and Amazon have battled over the use of the trade name "Appstore." In July, a U.S. court denied Apple's request to force Amazon to stop using the "Appstore" title for its digital download shop. However, Apple met with success in its effort to block Amazon from accepting app submissions from developers in Germany.
With Kindle Cloud Reader, users get an immersive view of entire Kindle library, with instant access to all of their books. They can also start reading over 950,000 Kindle books instantly within the browser.