Last week Amazon introduced a cloud reader solution for the Amazon Kindle. The motivation for this development was specifically for the Apple iPad due to Apple's new money hungry in-app purchase rules, Amazon need to find a solution outside the Apple App Store. Since Apple has a hate-on for Flash and directing all of their effort to move the world to HTML5, Amazon took advantage of this and developed the HTML5 Kindle Cloud Reader. The big news for us BlackBerry people is that the PlayBook fully supports the HTML5, therefore the Kindle Cloud Reader works quite nicely with the BlackBerry Playbook.
I was really down on my PlayBook up and till recently because the apps were trickling out a little to slow for my taste. Specifically the Kindle reader, Amazon you may recall was the first partner to announce that Kindle would support the PlayBook. To date no app has materialized, but when the Android player leaked I jumped for joy because I could load Kindle books on my beloved PlayBook. Now with the Cloud Reader it only deepens the PlayBook love.
To begin hit up http://read.amazon.com and sign in with your Amazon credentials. Some advice to note run in portrait mode and for best results run in full screen mode. Once you're logged in you are shown your full Kindle library. From your library just press and hold a book, you'll be given a popup giving you a choice of downloading the book for offline reading or simply opening the book to read.
After you've downloaded one or more books for offline reading, at the bottom of the screen there will be a toggle between "Cloud" and "Downloaded".
It appears to work quite nicely and the WhisperSync functions as designed allowing for furthest page read and bookmarks remain synced in the Kindle ecosystem. The only real challenge I've encountered is if you try to launch the browser with no WiFi coverage it will error out. This is not a Kindle error but a PlayBook issue, the browser checks for a network connection when you launch it and if there isn't one you are presented network error. If you lose connectivity while reading the offline works well, just don't close the browser.
So far this is not 100% perfect remember it was designed for the iPad, but it's better than the alternative of no Kindle reader. Personally I've invested too much money in Kindle books to start over again with the Kobo reader pre-installed on my PlayBook so until they perfect the Cloud Reader or better yet make a native app this will have to do.
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