Amazon Announces Kindle Cloud Reader, Ditches Apple App Store
Amazon recently announced their Kindle Cloud Reader that will allow you to read over 950,000 Kindle books on your web browser. The Kindle Cloud Reader is a web app created using HTML 5 that can be access using any modern web browser including those installed on tablets like iPad. The Kindle Cloud Reader will give user the ability to read books and other downloadable content through the Web (including offline reading), without the use of any native iOS apps. The Kindle Cloud Reader is also integrated with the Kindle Store that allows you to browse new books and purchase them online without going through the in-app feature of the Apple’s app store.
The announcement comes after Amazon remove the BUY link from it's native iOS Kindle app in compliance with Apple's new guidelines which say; "Apps can read or play approved content...that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content,". The new HTML 5 web app is also an effort to escape Apple’s 30 percent sales tax by not using the in-app feature of the Apple’s app store.
Amazon is not alone in trying to by-pass the in-app feature of the Apple’s app store, Walmart and The Financial Times all have abandon or atleast disable their iOS apps keep the whole pie (money) then giving Apple’s 30% of their sales. Of course creating your own HTML 5 app to by-pass in-app feature of the Apple’s app store is never without it's advantage and disadvantages; Developers who rather create an HTML 5 app will no longer need to port or rewrite the app, since it is compatible with tablet running different OS like Android, webOS and iOS, and in different sizes; it also gives them more control over their app, since they can push update whenever needed and they don't need to rely or wait for Apple's approval.
While the disadvantage still depends on developer's resources and user base, by not going through the Apple App store and it's easy to use payment system developers will have to work on marketing their app, since we all know Apple help developers in marketing their app and exposure in the App Store and Apple's web site. Of course if your Amazon and Walmart that already have a large established user base the 30% cut from all your sales does not justify the help Apple is giving you in marketing your app.