Amazon hasn’t publicly announced it yet, but they have quietly launched a new web app called “Kindle Cloud Reader” that allows Chrome and Safari users to access their Kindle eBooks through their browsers. The entire app was created with HTML5 and offers offline reading. In addition, the Cloud Reader supports the iPad version of Safari, enabling Amazon to workaround Apple’s new subscription rules requiring in-app sales. However, the app currently does not support the iPhone.
The iPad version is especially good because the store is fully optimized for the device. And you can easily switch back and forth between the store and your own library. It feels like a native app, but it’s not.
Since the web app supports local storage, you can read your Kindle books even without an internet connection. Also, the cloud versions of the Kindle books are still limited to a set number of devices. Meaning that if you have your books downloaded to your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc, you may be over the limit and will not be able to read them in the cloud.
Apple is probably having a difficult time getting many content providers to implement their new subscription rules which prevent native iOS app publishers from selling content outside of Apple’s own in-app system. Amazon decided to obey these rules by removing the Kindle Store button from their native app, and for now the iPad now has this web-based option that integrates with their sales system.