(1) starter imageA few months back, Apple changed how e-book readers could function in the Apple Store. They said that developers could sell reader apps but if they wanted to sell books through it Apple had to receive a 30% cut of the profits.

This forced many e-book reader developers to come up with a new way to make a profit in the growing dominance Apple has in almost every technology market.

Amazon has made the first response to Apple’s new conditions of using its App Store by introducing the Kindle Cloud Reader. While Amazon maybe the first to release something of this nature, they certainly will not be the last.

A First look at the Kindle Cloud Reader

The Kindle Cloud Reader allows you to take the concept of buy one time, use everywhere to a whole new level. Amazon’s Cloud Reader does everything the Kindle itself does, such as sync your library to multiple devices, keep you at the last page read, bookmark pages and gives you a direct link to the Kindle Store. Anything you can do on the Kindle, you can now do through the Kindle Cloud Reader, too.

Amazon developed the Kindle Cloud Reader in a HTML5 environment, this allows it to eventually be used in every browser imaginable. For the moment, the Cloud Reader was only released for the Google Chrome browser, iOS and the Mac Safari browser.

The Kindle Cloud Reader for the iPad was designed separately from the other applications, taking full advantage of the touch screen functionality of the device. Amazon promises to release versions compatible for Internet Explorer, Android and other mobile phone software in the near future.

How does the Kindle Cloud Reader work?

The first step to getting started with the Kindle Cloud Reader is to visit its web site.

From here, you want to click “Sign in to get started.” You will need an Amazon.com account to use the Cloud Reader.

(2) sign in

Enter your e-mail address and password associated with Amazon.com and click “Sign in using our secure server.” If you do not have an Amazon.com account, make sure you click the circle next to “I am a new customer” to begin creating an account.

(3) sign in 2

Once you are logged in, you will be redirected to the Kindle Cloud Reader. In order to use the Cloud Reader, you want to enable Offline Mode. Offline Mode allows you to have access to the books and games you download when not connected to the Internet or 3G service on a device. Click “Enable Offline” to continue.

(4) enable offline mode

Next, you will be given the most basic instructions to use Kindle Cloud Reader. Click “Get Started Now” to start using it.

(6) get started

A pop-up will appear to install the Cloud Reader in your browser if you are using Chrome or Safari. Click “Install” to begin the process. It should just take a few seconds. When finished, you will be redirected to the Kindle Cloud Reader main screen.

(5) install cloud reader

On this screen, if you have yet to use Kindle, you will see no books or games available.

(6) no books in library

There are no real settings to work in the Cloud Reader. However, if you want sync your purchases to multiple devices or check out the limited settings, you can click either icon in the left hand bar at the top of your screen.

(7) sync & manage

The settings only allow you limited options. Since you manage your library more through each title than you do overall, you can check out the help, terms of use and legal notices through the settings. You can also contact Amazon.com’s Kindle service or Sign Out from your account here.

(8) manage settings

If you want to purchase books or games for your Amazon Kindle Cloud, you want to click the “Kindle Store” link in the right hand corner of your screen.

(9) kindle store

This will take you to Amazon.com’s web site and Kindle store. From here, you can search, buy, download for free and find books, games and more to add to your Kindle Cloud.

(10) buying an ebook

Once added, you can sync the Kindle Cloud Reader and when you logon to any other devices with Kindle, you will find them there ready to read or pick up where you started.

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A quick look at the Amazon Kindle Cloud in action

If you are looking to get the Amazon Kindle Cloud on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you can download it via the App Store. Make sure you have signal or are connected to Wi-Fi, then open up the “App Store.”

Search for “Kindle.” It should be the first option that pops up. Click on it, then click “Free” to begin the installation process. You will be prompted to login to your iTunes Music Store account. It will then begin to download, install and be ready to go.

(11) combined getting the app on iphone

Click on the “Kindle” icon to open it up. You will need to enter your Amazon.com e-mail address and password. It will then register your Apple device so that you can sync it to your Amazon.com account.

This allows you to sync titles across the account no matter what device, computer or browser you use to access the Kindle Cloud.

(12) combined logging into kindle app

Once it is registered, you will login in and be brought to the Archived Items screen. If you have not downloaded anything onto your device before, this will be your first stop to start that process.

Simply click on a title to begin the download process. In a few seconds, you will be able to begin reading the title you purchased from the Kindle Store.

Kindle combined archived items

From that point out, you will be directed to the home screen to choose a title. Click on any of your e-books to open it up and begin reading. You can find all the common Kindle features at the bottom of the screen now to enlarge the text, save your spot or bookmark an area.

(14) combined titles availabel

The pros of using the Kindle Cloud Reader:

  • Near instant download of titles, just like on the Kindle itself.
  • You do not need a Kindle device to take advantage of its services.
  • The iPad has its own integrated touch screen functionality.

The cons of using the Kindle Cloud Reader:

  • Not available for a variety of platforms, yet.
  • Text might be too small to comfortably read on a phone.
  • No new breakthrough features.

Does the Kindle Cloud Reader really make reading easier?

I could not find one thing I did not like about the Kindle Cloud Reader. It was easy to sign in, easy to use and I quickly found titles that interested me for free. The Kindle Cloud Reader made it seamless to download titles, sync them and then download then to my iTouch. With Apple cracking down on how e-books are bought, Amazon has turned around and given them a run for their money by introducing the Cloud Reader.

If you are using a Kindle and have not checked out the Cloud Reader, you are missing out on an opportunity to stay connected with all your favorite reading material even when you do not have your Kindle in hand.