Amazon builds Kindle for the Web, eyes Android tablet?September 28, 2010: 11:42 AM ET
This morning Amazon released a new Kindle Web interface, but their plans don't stop there if recent rumors are true.
It makes perfect sense. You can read your Kindle books on your iPad, your Kindle, your Android device and your PC or Mac with a dedicated app. Why not just make a Kindle reader for your browser? That will be a pretty important feature if Google's ChromeOS, which doesn't let users install local applications, takes off.
Amazon today released a beta version of the reader that will open in any HTML5 compliant browser. The interface doesn't use Adobe's (ADBE) Flash so installing the Adobe Player won't be a prerequisite. It works on all of my browsers, Firefox, Safari and Chrome, although I didn't see the option to open the Kindle for Web view from iOS devices or Android phones.
A bigger play may be marketing. Amazon (AMZN) now allows publishers to easily post the first chapter of a book on its website with a few lines of embedded code. Once posted to the website, they've created an easy way for readers to buy the book from the embedded chapter. If publishers are Amazon Affiliates partners, they receive the standard 6-8% referral fee from those purchases. That's good for publishers and authors because it brings in more sales. Website owners and readers get more content to read as well.
Everyone is motivated, everybody wins.
In somewhat related news, Amazon is also rumored to be building new hardware based on the Android platform. Yes, like everyone else, they are building a tablet iPad competitor, the rumor goes. Along with the new hardware, Amazon is rumored to be building its own store for Android Apps.
Amazon does a great job with Kindle, with an user interface that's intuitive for non-techies, so I'm interested to see what they do with Android. The dedicated lab in Silicon Valley, Lab 126, builds user interfaces, and has been rumored to be up to much more, including designing new color tablets.
As for the Amazon Android app store, I don't know if this will confuse buyers (with Android Market and Verizon coming soon) or if it will be an advantage; buyers will have more payment choices (Amazon gift cards to buy Android apps?) to purchase apps in more countries and currencies.