Amazon.com emailed subscribers about the debut of its long awaited in-browser Kindle Cloud Reader this morning.
For some time, Kindle software has been hedging the market on eReading with mobile and desktop universality applications not available from competitors such as Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Apple’s iProducts. With close to one million books, magazines, and periodicals available (950,000 volumes) through Kindle’s new Cloud Reader application, users can now login to their Amazon/Kindle accounts via Chrome and Safari Internet browsers to read, in addition to smartphone applications.
With desktop computers, Google Chrome, in particular, allows you to install a Kindle Cloud Reader application extension to your browser and computer. This means readers also have the ability to read offline if, God forbid, Comcast goes out on you again. (And let’s be honest, we all know it will.)
Apple’s Safari is also targeted along with an extension available on iOS for iPhone/iPod/iPads to read and purchase books through the Safari browser. Speculators see the move as a bite out of Apple’s exclusive application buying terms, which require users to buy from its proprietary electronic App Store. The workaround allows iPad users to access a Kindle store exclusive for tablets.
In addition, The Kindle Cloud Reader application extension is available for Android and Blackberry smartphones. Amazon also plans for the application to be available for the BlackBerry PlayBook and other desktop Internet browsers, including Firefox and Internet Explorer soon.
Despite the purchase-friendly additives, questions still remain for the use of an application extension for software already as software on PCs, Macs, smartphones. On the one hand, this could be very beneficial to students without eReaders in classroom or otherwise. However, we also believe this will be another great distraction for workers besides YouTube.
Happy reading, book worms.