Yesterday Amazon launched their Kindle Store for iPad as a standalone web app. You can browse to it now on the iPad at http://amazon.com/iPadKindleStore. The first time you open the page it will prompt you to create a home screen icon shortcut to it (and annoyingly it will keep doing so even after you’ve done so).
The new web app is quite impressive. It features big, bold images, typography that’s nicely optimized for the iPad screen, and easy navigation. If you sign in with an Amazon ID it will offer genius-type suggestions based on your purchase history. You can browse by featured areas (New York Times Bestsellers, New & Noteworthy, Kindle Singles and more), by genres, by Top 100 lists (with lists for the top paid and free titles), or search for whatever you’re after.
The details pages for individual books look as good or perhaps a bit better than they do at Amazon on a desktop browser. You can buy with one click on those pages, and also have one tap access to a sample of each title. The samples can be opened up in the browser using Amazon’s Cloud Reader companion app, or you can choose to open them in the Kindle app if you have it installed on your iPad.
This web app, which has not been added to the native Kindle app for iPad or iOS, is the result of Amazon choosing not to comply with Apple’s stricter App Store policy (implemented last year) that requires that Apple get a 30% cut of all in-app stores. It’s a good response and a good web app. With its links to the Cloud Reader you can have the whole Kindle experience – buying, reading, access to your library, all within the browser.
If you’ve tried out the new Kindle Store web app, let us know what you think of it in the comments.