Well Done Amazon, Kindle on Linux Finally

A lot of people have been praising Amazon’s new Cloud Reader, an extension for Chrome and Safari which allows you to do pretty much everything you do on a Kindle or Amazon’s iPad app but using only your browser. They have (quite correctly IMHO) assumed that this was an attempt to evade paying the 30% fee Apple demands for in-App purchases on the iPad and iPhone by letting users read their Kindle books in their browsers and make purchases from there too. I don’t own an iPad so I can’t personally attest to how well it works on Apple’s magical device. What I can say is that this has one very useful side effect for those of us who use Linux. The Cloud Reader extension works just as well on Chromium as it does on Chrome or so my brief tests this evening lead me to believe. This means that effectively the Kindle reader has finally come to Linux, courtesy of the magic of HTML 5. Well done, Amazon. I salute you.

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Comments

  1. Aleksi Karukka says:

    Yay for doing stuff… Correctly!

    The apple products are also not all that magical when you have gotten some time with them to be honest… I have grown tired of the iPad quite some time ago. Only good for high quality YouTube watching. Everything else can pretty much be done on the computer anyways.

  2. To tell the truth Aleksi, just after I wrote this it occurred to me that I could easily enough have installed the Kindle App using WINE. Duh! That said the Chromium extension is very elegant and so far has worked really well.

    I have friends who own and love iPads but so far I have remained immune to their charms despite having a huge weakness for gadgets. I cannot say the same for the MacBook Air however. I really like the look of it.

    • Aleksi Karukka says:

      It looks thinner than an White Dwarf issue!

      • It’s the weight that appeals to me. I wander around a lot when I am writing these days so the lighter the better. On the other hand I own an Alphasmart Dana which weighs even less and which is tough enough to throw across a room and bounce off a wall so I guess I don’t really need another computer just yet.

        • Aleksi Karukka says:

          Keep experimenting with the throw it across the room thing and you might need one soon.

          • I could fire it from a bazooka and it would survive. It is that tough. It was designed to be used in classrooms. Mine is seven years old and still works perfectly, despite my extensive attempts at testing it to destruction. If I want to get rid of it I will need to decapitate it, drive a stake through its heart and bury it at a crossroads. And even then… Damn, there is either a short story or a blog post in this somewhere :).

  3. As you know, I’ll buy most things with an apple on the front (although not an actual apple, since apparently that has vitamins in it).
    Kindle on the iPad works well. I doesn’t look or scroll as nicely as Apple’s own iBook application, which handles colour pictures and animation, embedded video and music, but that’s not what the Kindle was ever made to do. It’s also harder to read books on the iPad outdoors than on the Kindle. OTOH, the iPad is backlit, so you can read it in the dark, whereas in low-light the Kindle needs an attached lamp, or a reading light.
    Taking it a bit wider on the iPad, I find it useful for consuming content – it’s very handy on the couch or on a train or bus. It’s probably the nearest thing to a Star Trek tricorder we’ll ever get, too. Not good for generating content, though. Even with external keyboards, it has too many limitations to be a good word processor.

    Right now, Antje is using the iPad to show cake designs to potential clients, while I type on the Mac Book Air – I think that shows up the distinction pretty well.

    And speaking of the MBA, after using it for a couple of weeks I can say it’s the best laptop I’ve ever owned. Obviously, that won’t apply to everyone, but it suits my type of use perfectly. Nice stuff first. It’s very, very fast for general browsing, word processing, playing music and watching video. Which is probably 80% of my computer use. The 13 inch screen is crisp, the keyboard very responsive with a positive key movement. Bad things, the hard drive is solid state and 128 Gb, which seems ridiculously small. My old MacBook had a 500 gig drive. Apparently, the graphics card is not up to snuff for games playing (and here I profess ignorance – I’m happy with Age of Empires and Civilisation). Those aren’t limitations that concern me – I can see most of my content being in the cloud soon (I’m curious about Apple’s implementation, which is due this Autumn) and I’ll never be a gamer.
    I’ll let you have a proper play with this one when I see you next.
    Um. You can have your blog back now.

  4. I really like the sound of the MBA. My own preference would be for the 11 inch version simply because it’s lighter and I have a bum shoulder. I stuck a 128 GB SSD in my MacBook Pro and it is actually more than enough for me. (I have a 30GB Windows 7 virtual machine on it!) I suspect you probably have an enormously greater number of media and music files on your Mac than I do. I don’t mind about not being able to play games on the MBA. This would be a machine purely for work on the move. I have a games rig at home that I play World of Warcraft on. To be honest, I am pretty certain an MBA would run WoW perfectly adequately for my purposes if I wanted it to anyway.

    I do not doubt for a second you are correct about the iPad being more for media consumption than reading books. I think all the people last year who predicted that the iPad would kill the Kindle missed the point of both machines. The iPad is a general purpose device which can be used for a lot of other things than reading books and is good for them all. The Kindle is a dedicated device really only intended for one purpose which it fulfills superbly– although a backlit screen would be nice!

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