Amazon announced the launch of the Kindle Cloud Reader – a web-based version of the Kindle Reader. The web app takes advantage of HTML5, and can be used online or offline without having to download anything.
The app will sync the user’s Kindle Library, along with the last page read, bookmarks, notes, and all of that good stuff. it also comes with a touch-optimized version of the Kindle store. It can be used with Safari on iPad/desktop and Chrome.
Features, as described by Amazon:
- 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
- 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
- Sync your last page read across your Kindle and free Kindle apps so you can always pick up where you left off
“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 Amazon Kindle Director Dorothy Nicholls. “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. To make it easy and seamless to discover new books, we’ve added an integrated, touch optimized store directly into Cloud Reader, allowing customers one click access to a vast selection of books.”
Kindle Cloud Reader is available today for Safari and Chrome, but will also become available for IE, Firefox, and the BlackBerry Playbook browser (as well as other mobile browser) in the coming months.
In Amazon’s latest earnings report, the company reported better revenue than expected, suggesting that the Kindle played a significant role in this.
“Low prices, expanding selection, fast delivery and innovation are driving the fastest growth we’ve seen in over a decade. Kindle 3G with Special Offers has quickly become our bestselling Kindle at only $139,” said CEO Jeff Bezos. “Customers love the convenience of a 3G reader — no hunting for or paying for Wi-Fi hotspots. Amazon picks up the tab for the 3G wireless, so you have no monthly payments or annual contracts.”
The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 950,000 books – 800,000 of these books are $9.99 or less.
Reports indicate that Amazon is gearing up to produce tablets to take on the iPad 2.