Cloud Reader is a replacement for Amazon’s desktop PC/Mac Kindle software and iPad Kindle app. (Sorry, not for iPhone, at least not yet.) It’s implemented in HTML5, and it is feature complete. I spent some time with it today, and while it’ll never replace my Kindle 3, I do have to admit that it’s a great reading experience whether on the PC or iPad.
Visually it looks very similar to the iOS app or the desktop software suite, and it works pretty much the same as well. The main difference you’ll find right away is that all of your Amazon book purchases are listed right away; they don’t download to the device until you open or pin one.
Pinning a book is a handy feature required for offline reading. When you open a book or specifically tell it to pin a book, it’s downloaded to the computer or to your iPad. At that point you’re able to read it whenever you want, with or without an internet connection.
It preserves the presentation options you’d expect, with options to change the font size, background color, etc.
Performance in Google Chrome is really fast and snappy, and the iPad’s Safari was just as good.
And of course the really great feature – yes, there’s a big, prominent Kindle Store button in the upper right. You can shop for new books right from the web app, even on the iPad. Take THAT, Apple.
For my fellow Canadians, it works just fine up here, making Amazon’s cloud services that much more useful to us.
I have very little to list here. On the PC side, you can’t move through pages with the scroll wheel, and I found I instinctively wanted to do that. This isn’t an issue on the iPad, of course.
There’s no page flip animation. People who are addicted to that may miss it. I do not; I always disliked that effect.
It’s not a real Kindle. Your mileage may vary on this one, but I remain convinced that eInk is the only way to read eBooks. It’s great to have a backup means of reading if my Kindle should ever get lost, stolen or damaged though.
Have you tried out Amazon Cloud Reader? What platform did you use it on? What’d you think? Let us know in the comments!