Online retail giant Amazon.com has unveiled Kindle Cloud Reader, which is its latest Kindle reading application that leverages HTML5 and enables customers to read Kindle books instantly using only their Web browser - online or offline.
The move is considered as a direct take on Apple's iOS app rules, which forced rivals like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles to remove buttons from iOS apps that links to their ebook stores.
Apple's strategy is simple. It wants to prevent readers stick to its iOS app stores. Else, one needs to pay 30 percent commission to Apple on all goods sold through iOS apps.
But, Amazon has other ideas. It launched Kindle Cloud Reader that allows iPad users to read their Kindle ebooks in the Safari browser rather than the native Kindle app.
Amazon developed its app based on HTML 5 to clinch more control from Apple, which must approve every app that ends in the Apple App Store.
Kindle Cloud Reader automatically synchronizes your Kindle library, as well as your last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights for all of your Kindle books, no matter how you choose to read them.
The striking feature of the app is allows offline reading.
"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 Dorothy Nicholls, Director, Amazon Kindle.
"We have written the application from the ground up in HTML5, so that customers can also access their content offline directly from their browser.The flexibility of HTML5 allows us to build one application that automatically adapts to the platform you're using - from Chrome to iOS," Nicholls added.
The features of Kindle Cloud Reader include:
* An immersive view of your entire Kindle library, with instant access to all of your books.
* Start reading over 950,000 Kindle books instantly within your browser.
* An embedded Kindle Store optimized for your Web browser makes it seamless to discover new books and start reading them instantly.
* Sync your last page read across your Kindle and free Kindle apps so you can always pick up where you left off.
* New Kindle Store for iPad is built from the ground up for iPad's touch interface.
* Your current book is automatically made available for offline use, and you can choose to save a book for reading offline at any time.
* Receive automatic software updates without the need to download new software.
* Select any book to start reading, customize the page layout to your desired font size, text color, background color, and more.
* View all of the notes, highlights, and bookmarks that you've made on other Kindle apps or on Kindle.
Kindle Cloud Reader is available for Safari on iPad, Safari on desktop and Chrome starting Wednesday. Amazon said Kindle Cloud Reader will be available on additional Web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, the BlackBerry PlayBook browser, and other mobile browsers, in the coming months.
Amazon's Kindle is an e-book reader, which uses wireless connectivity to shop for, download, browse, and read e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, and other digital media. The device became a runaway hit. In May 2011, Amazon said its customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books - hardcover and paperback - combined.
Amazon has unveiled Kindle apps for various devices and platforms, including Microsoft Windows, iOS, BlackBerry, Mac OS X, Android and Windows Phone 7.
In late 2009, Amazon released a "Kindle for PC" application, which is available as a free download for Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Amazon later released a version for the Macintosh in early 2010.
In June 2010, Amazon released a "Kindle for Android" app and released Kindle for Windows Phone 7 version in January 2011.