Recently Apple began to enforce it’s in app purchase policies which prevents ebook readers such as the Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook from linking out to their own stores and so avoid paying Apple 30% of the purchase. If you had the Kindle app downloaded from the iTunes on your iPad and did the latest update you will have noticed that you can no longer purchase a book from within the app. You actually have to go out of the app and into Safari to purchase a book. This was not something that would work for either the consumer or Amazon in the long run.
So this week Amazon announced that they were offering the Kindle in the Cloud. It is a web page created using HTML5 once you sign in to it using your Amazon account information, You will see a pop up that recommend that you create a bookmark and add it to your Home screen. When you click on the bookmark you will see a beautiful rendition of your Kindle library and in the right top hand corner an icon that will take you directly to the Kindle store. Any book you buy will show up immediately in your library. You library is organized so the book you are reading now is first. Your most recent books are automatically downloaded and available for offline reading.
While reading a book using the HTML5 app I did run into what for me is a glaring weakness, the inability to add notes or bookmarks. You can view them but you can’t add them. I have a regular Kindle and the one thing that the app on the iPad had over it (besides the beautiful screen) is the ability to easily add notes. Adding notes on a Kindle is rather awkward, at least for me. If I am a student and use my iPad as my sole E-reader, then the ability to add notes is a must. Hopefully this is something that can be fixed in an update.
As an end user I am not directly effected by the controversy over the Apple’s in app purchase policy at least not immediately. There is a part of me that says that Apple has the right to have any policy they want it is their store. However I do understand if I was a developer giving away 30% of what I earn to Apple would drive me crazy, therefore I am glad that HTML5 gives developers an option. Some people have complain that HTML5 is great for sites like Amazon who are already well establish, but smaller and newer developer’s depend on the app store to publicize their apps. There are more then 450000 apps, 100000 of them for iPad in the Apple app store, so if you are depending on being in the app store to promote your app, maybe you should rethink your marketing strategy. I like the Kindle in the Cloud, but to be honest since I have a actual Kindle I probably will not use it much.