Owners of the Amazon Kindle can now access their purchased ebook collection online, using any computer equipped with a web browser.
Kindle Cloud Reader, found at read.amazon.com, is a web-based version ebook reader that works in the same way as its Kindle device and iPad/Android/PC apps.
Once signed into the service using your standard Amazon login details, Kindle Cloud Reader provides access to your full set of Kindle ebooks, complete with any saved bookmarks and last-read positions in ebooks.
Although internet access is required to access the service initially, it is possible to sync ebooks for offline reading.
The site also offers a built-in method for buying new ebooks, which makes it particularly appealing for iPad owners who are using the Amazon Kindle app.
Amazon was recently forced to remove the app’s built-in ebook buying option by Apple, which meant iPad owners have to first buy ebooks from Amazon using a web browser before returning to the Kindle app to sync them to their device.
The new Kindle Cloud reader restores this all-in-one ebook buying and reading experience, although using the site is a little bit slower than the dedicated app.
Since it requires no installation, Kindle Cloud Reader is ideal for using someone else’s laptop or iPad for ebook reading in a pinch, but the way the site works (using HTML 5) means that it’s currently only available on Mac and Windows PCs that use either the Apple Safari or Google Chrome web browsers, as well as the iPad. Versions are planned for Internet Explorer and Firefox at a later date, though — as is a version of the site for the iPhone.