Kindle on the PlayBook – Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader

Amazon Kindle Cloud Reader is now available.  While it’s clear that PlayBook support was not a first priority, with a couple of tweaks the PlayBook is supported.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a fair bit better than the love Amazon has shown for PlayBook to date (that is to say – none at all).

To get started visit the link below from your PlayBook and sign in with your Amazon credentials:

https://read.amazon.com

Some issues and the workaround for them:

  • When you first run, you must view in Portrait mode or else you won’t be able to get off of the initial screen that instructs you to increase storage size when prompted.
  • The default cover view does not seems to scroll properly on the PlayBook.  If you tap the list view icon, it works correctly; and scrolling in list view also works correctly.
  • The web app does successfully detect your offline/online state for viewing “cloud” books.
  • If you are viewing a book and lose connection/disconnect, you can continue reading without any problems.  But if you launch the browser with no connection it does not appears to work b/c the browser reports a connection error before checking to see if the content is available offline.
  • In my brief testing so far, “Download and Pin” (appears when you tap-hold on a book) seems to work well – but again with the caveat from above.  You must load the initial reader page prior to losing your connection/disconnecting.  Once a book is downloaded for offline viewing, the “Downloaded” tab shows it and allows you to view it even if you have no connection.
  • Best viewed in fullscreen mode.

I’ll see if I can’t whip up a “Kindle App” for the weekend, which will give us a launcher separate from the web browser and true full-screen.  (If somebody else doesn’t beat me to it – I’m limited to my laptop for the next couple of days as I’m attending the BBM Hackathon, and don’t have the full PB dev environment set up.)   Hopefully I can find a way to force an “offline” mode as well, so that you can launch it with no connection at all.

Some first impressions:

  • Landscape mode is usable after the first screen, but I have found that text in landscape mode is oddly blurry at any font size, even though the interface resizes well.
  • Font and color options are standard Kindle fare, it’s good to see that they’re all present.
  • Annotations can be read but not added as far as I can tell.

While I can’t help but wish it was a little better integrated with the PlayBook’s features, this effectively fills a gap many of us have been waiting for since the PlayBook launch.

21 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Great news! I tried launching the new site before reading your post and figured it just didn’t work because I couldn’t see prompt the in landscape mode. I’ll have to try it again now that I know how to get around this. I’ve been looking forward to Kindle on Playbook for some time. While this isn’t a native app it is certainly a very positive development.

  2. Hey this is cool; thanks for the news and the hopeful development of a launcher that forces offline mode.

  3. I think it works great! Good luck with the launcher Marc, that would make it almost perfect!

  4. Thank you! I’ve been running Kindle which is awesome in the Android bootleg app but the Android emulator takes up the entire memory of the playbook more or less. Can’t wait for the real version to come out. This multi tasks beautifully and is a completely workable short term solution.

  5. I got in, was able to scroll the cover view screen. Clicked on my current novel-in-progress and it loads (downloads too), but I can’t scroll the page up to read the bottom. Seems to cut off pieces of pages displayed, so I’m not sure I’m seeing everything in a particular view.

  6. Cool thanks Marc! Will have to try it this evening when I have some more time to play with it. I’m totally psyched, can’t wait to see your tweaks on it as well.

  7. found sometimes it doesnt load right, if you refresh the page while it’s in portrait mode it will load correctly and work fine. Still pisses me off that amazon’s motto of buy once read everywhere doesn’t seem to apply to the playbook.

  8. Thanks Marc, it was just yesterday that I was b*#$?ing about the absence of a Kindle app. I was just about resigned to using Kobo. Thanks for the heads up and hopefully you get some time this weekend to whip up the app for offline viewing

  9. Works great. Good find and glad to see it finally available.

  10. Build it and build it well and charge 5 bucks, you got a sale right here.

  11. I will absolutely pay for it, and I am sure a few other people would also. btw how do you get it to full screen?

  12. Yes an app needs to be made, but what’s the justification to charge $5 for it. It’s like those that charge for a flashlight app.

  13. Hey Marc, works great on my PB. Yay! I got the two books I wanted thru cloud that I can’t get on KOBO. Thanks for sharing. :)

  14. cool your jets scuebydue. Marc never said he was charging $5 for it. That was somebody’s suggestion. But if he makes a cool app that we can use offline, I think he deserves some compensation for his efforts and time. How much compensation? I don’t know…

  15. Haha. Oh my jets are cooled. It was just a statement.

  16. :-)

  17. Glad to find this. I was able to get things working. Now I can let go of my ipad envy…

  18. Thanks Marc you have made my daughter one very happy girl

  19. So…… Marc were you able to whip anything up?

  20. just a blank screen for me here in the uk

  21. Thanks SO MUCH Marc! I just got a PB and have been trying for the last week to find a way to use my large Kindle library on it.
    Much gratitude for sharing your knowledge.

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