Amazon is the latest company to launch an HTML5 web app as an alternative to a native mobile application. Kindle Cloud Reader goes live on Wednesday, and will enable iPad users to read their Kindle ebooks in the Safari browser rather than the native Kindle app.
The new site also works on the desktop, via the Safari and Chrome browsers. Support for Internet Explorer, Firefox and the BlackBerry PlayBook will follow later this year.
One of the new site’s key features is the ability to store the user’s latest book locally for offline reading. Amazon follows the Financial Times in launching an HTML5 web app for its flagship mobile service.
The motivation is likely to be similar too. An HTML5 site can quickly be converted to run on new devices – a help on fragmented platforms like Android, and also a way of mitigating the risk when supporting newer devices such as HP’s TouchPad. However, the more immediate effect is to work outside Apple’s App Store ecosystem, where there are now strict rules on subscribing to or paying for content without using the iOS in-app payments system. Stuart Dredge/The Guardian.