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Kindle Cloud Reader puts books in your browser

Amazon has a new way for you to read your Kindle ebooks, via a Web app. It works in Google Chrome or Safari on a computer or iPad, and is a cunning Apple dodge...

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

As if having access to your Kindle library on your iPhone, Android phone, tablet and, er, Kindle wasn't enough, you can now read your books in your browser. That is, so long as you're using Google Chrome, or Safari on a computer or iPad.

The new Web app from Amazon is called Kindle Cloud Reader, and it works like this. Once you sign in with your Amazon account, it'll put all of the ebooks you've bought with that account in pleasing rows. Click on one (or tap it if you're using an iPad) and it'll open, spilling rays of literary light directly into your lobes.

Impressively, you can also download books from within the browser, and save them for offline reading.

It works remarkably well, and would suit a little recreational reading in front of your PC, if you're bored on your lunch break and fancy procrastinating. Because it works on Google's Chrome Web browser, you could use this service as a Kindle app for your Chromebook, if you own one.

Apple dodging

We love the idea of accessing our Kindle books from just about anywhere, but there's a sneakier reason for Amazon introducing a Web-based reading app.

Apple recently changed its terms, so that app developers are no longer allowed to provide purchase links to outside sites within apps. Instead, anything you buy must be purchased within the app, and Apple takes a 30 per cent cut.

By letting people access books through the Safari browser, iPad users no longer need to go via the actual app, and they can purchase books without Apple taking its 30 per cent. It was predicted that Amazon would perform such a dodge as far back as February.

Sneaky stuff, though we'd rather there was one clearly defined way for consumers to buy Kindle ebooks on an iPad, rather than several different methods popping up as a result of Apple workarounds.

Still, we're impressed by how well the Chrome app works, and we're not complaining about more ways to access our Kindle library.

Are you into ebooks? Or do mobile games do a better job of holding your attention? Publish your literary genius in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall.