Amazon – king of the proprietary – Their own DRM for ebooks, using a modified version of e-Pub just to add their DRM, restricting regions for downloads of music and movies etc. has just done the incredible. Let the Kindle run everywhere!
Because of Apples’ appstore policy of requiring that native iOS applications use only the appstore system for purchasing content, forcing Amazon to remove a simple buttin that let the user go straight to their regions Kindle book store, Amazon rebelled. Rather than loose 30% of their take to Apple, they must have looked at that potential lost income, compared it to the lost sales from iOS users not smart enough to just create a book mark in Mobile Safari instead, and then the cost of just implimenting a web page to access a users kindle library, then viola, the Kindle Cloud Reader was born. They could have just supported mobile Safari and said “Job done”, but no, they implemented it in full HTML5, optimised for webkit features for offline app installs and then that made Chrome a viable target client too, as it is also webkit based. Firefox misses out as the mozilla engine it uses does not fully support all the HTML5 spec right now, or at least not in the same way as webkit, so it mises out on this for now.
Well, what is a geek to do… try it out of course.
On Chrome, in Linux 8)
On going to http://read.amazon.com, I was prompted to enter my kindle account details, it then prompted to allow an extention to be installed. This installed a shortcut in the applications list in Chrome, and I assume set up the offline storage requried, then took me to my Kindle Library.
So what is it like to use? Well compared to the native iOS reader it is a little clunky, has fewer commenting features, doesn’t go into columns in landscape view like it does on my iPad, but compared to not being able to get my kindle library at all on my linux laptop/tablet, it is brilliant.
I selected my current book from the library, and instantly moved to where I was up to, and the layout was crisp and clear. Cursor keys let me quickly flip pages, and nagigating with the mouse was just as easy as the Windows and OSX full clients.
Long live Amazon, however, the only reason this is of note is because of DRM. Without it I could have been reading my kindle books years ago on the laptop I already had. Down with DRM!