If you are a Kindle user disappointed by the lack of a dedicated desktop application for Linux, there’s good news for you. Amazon.com has just launched their new HTML5-powered cloud-based web app called Amazon Cloud Reader. The webapp runs flawlessly on Linux with support for offline reading and much much more. Here’s what it has to offer.
Amazon’s Kindle ebook store is one of the most popular websites prowled by bibliophiles worldwide. The ebooks, once purchased, can be accessed from a variety of devices including iPhone, Android, PC and Mac thanks to the beautifully designed native applications that are available for each of these platforms. These apps also sync with the user’s Kindle device (affiliate link) to offer a seamless and connected experience across all devices. The Kindle desktop app, which is available for Mac and PC, but not for Linux, had left many Kindle users like me disappointed. Well, thanks to newly-released Cloud Reader, looks as if that’s about to change.
The HTML5-powered web app boasts of almost all the major features the desktop application provides. What’s more, you get offline support, so that you can keep reading your favorite book even when your connection betrays you. Amazon Cloud Reader, is actually target towards iPad users, who, thanks to Apple’s restrictive policies, aren’t able to purchase books directly from the app. But as a Linux user, this Apple-Amazon rivalry doesn’t concern me at all. What matters to me is the fact that the app runs perfectly on my Linux desktop.
Cloud Reader allows you to browse your Kindle library, which is a collection of all the books, magazines and newspapers you have purchased from Amazon. Just click on any book to start reading it immediately. Your reading progress will automatically get synced your Kindle account so that you can continue reading the same book on your other devices. If you’re cursed with a flaky connection, you can right click on a book and pin it to your local collection. The book will download in a few seconds and you can start reading it even if you have no connection. While reading a book, you can change the fonts and the margin width. Also, there are three color modes you can choose from : White, Sepia and Black. Furthermore, if you find something interesting, you can bookmark the page and it will get synced across all your devices.
On the downside, you can’t download the ebook directly to your computer and transfer it to some other device. Also, the app, for now, works only on Chrome, so Firefox users will have to wait a while to try it out. Some features like dictionary and popular highlights are missing; however, for now, that’s not something I desperately need. What matters most of all is that the app works on Linux, and it works without any major problems. For Chromebook owners, Cloud Reader is easily one of the best apps for their devices. Overall, the app provides what is perhaps the best ereading experience for the web and for Linux.