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.
As promised by Hugh Hefner, Playboy Magazine has hit the iPad. It hasn’t been released in the App Store, where it might have been rejected or watered down; but instead as a web app.
It’s available today at i.playboy.com via the iPad’s Safari browser. The app provides access to current issues and all of the Playboy archives dating back decades. To access this content, you need to subscribe / become a member. There are currently three membership plans available: Monthly at $8 per month, Yearly at $60, and a 2-Year membership at $100. All are auto-renewing.
I took a look at the app this morning and I think it’s pretty well done. It feels a lot like some of the native magazine apps I’ve used on the iPad. It’s easy to browse back issues by decade and year, or search for specific content. Pages load reasonably quickly, though obviously not as fast as within a good native app.
Although it’s touted as having all its content optimized for viewing on the iPad, I found that article text (which is what I’ve heard everyone goes to Playboy for) is not rendered as well as images are. This definitely needs work – though I imagine for some it may not be a dealbreaker sort of issue.
Fans of Playboy should be happy with this iPad version of it. It has avoided App Store censorship and offers access to every issue of Playboy ever published. It’s also a good example of what can be done in an iPad web app even with no Flash support.
This week Google Docs has added a little love for the iPad. When working with Google Docs in the Safari browser on the iPad you can now switch into Desktop mode – which provides a good number of style and formatting options (things like changing fonts, aligning paragraphs and so on) that you don’t see in the standard Mobile mode.
The desktop mode also allows you to insert formulas into a spreadsheet document, via Spreadsheet View.
I’ve only tried out these new features very quickly on my iPad – as I tend to work with Google Docs via the excellent Office2 HD app most of the time. If you’ve been using the new Desktop mode a lot, let us know what you think of it in the comments.
News Via: Google Docs Blog
I very rarely write about web apps for the iPad or iPhone – largely because I rarely see one that stands up well against native apps. OnlineWordsearch – or more specifically the onlinewordsearch.org web site – is a happy exception. The creator of the app / site was kind enough to email me about it last week, and I’ve been trying it out a fair bit since then.
It uses the alpha jQuery Mobile framework (http://jquerymobile.com/) so that you can use the site on your iPad.
I like the app enough that I’ve found myself leaving its page open in Safari almost continually of late. It’s just a very easy, gentle game to spend time with between doing productive things or playing more taxing games. If you have kids, it’s a nice, free resource for keeping them entertained as well; I know my daughter is always up for a go at wordsearch.
If you – or your kids – enjoy wordsearch games, give this one a look here:
Google has announced today that it will soon be adding editing to Google Docs on the iPad.
Second, today we demonstrated new mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs on the Android platform and the iPad. In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices.
You can already edit Google Docs files on the iPad via Office 2 HD and other similar paid apps, but many people may prefer to see the ability built right into the Google Docs web app, which is free of course. I’m quite happy with Office2 HD – but I’ll keen to see how well the web app works for editing and co-editing once these changes are implemented.
Source: The Official Google Blog via Mashable
DashPad is a new (ish) web app that uses a tagline of ‘Dashboard for your iPad‘ – and carries a huge (for a web app) price tag of $9.99. The web site for the app also claims that Apple is rejecting any native (App Store) apps that are ‘Dashboard like’.
In the interest of research and to be able to report to you here, I laid out $9.99 for this web app and have given it a go. I have some thoughts on the app, and also a Dashboard-like app that somehow slipped through those App Store rejections.
Good news if you’re an iPad owner and a fan of using Gmail in a browser rather than a mail app. The good folks at Gmail have worked up something special for the iPad already.
With today’s release of the iPad, we’re launching an experimental two-pane user interface to take advantage of its large touchscreen and tablet form factor. Building upon the Gmail for mobile web app, this new interface displays your conversations on the left and your messages on the right hand side.