Amazon Launches a New Kindle Store for iPad [UPDATED]

Amazon customers are accustomed to finding a book at Amazon.com, identifying the Kindle edition, and then having it loaded into their Kindle cloud. On Tuesday, Amazon introduced a more visually pleasing, if not more convoluted, store just for iPad owners.

As we know, Amazon has been reluctant to sell ebooks inside the Kindle app because Apple will then take 30 percent of the purchase price. That’s no good for Amazon’s business. As a result, Amazon has offered customers the ability to purchase ebooks at Amazon.com, the Kindle edition, and then the purchased item is placed in the customer’s purchase cloud. That library is available in Kindle apps on any device, say an iPad or iPhone, Amazon’s own Kindle products, or the Kindle app for Macs, PCs, etc. (There is also a “Cloud Reader” that works with most browsers.)

On Tuesday, Amazon rolled out a nicer way for iPad owners to browse for Kindle Books. The customer uses Safari, on the iPad, to go to Amazon.com and browse products with an app-like interface. Again, purchased books are placed in the user’s cloud.

There is a restriction on this new method. You can only see books in this app-like fashion from an iPad. It’ll look a little different in, say, a Mac’s browser. Also, when you buy an ebook on a device, it’s, of course, downloaded there, but doesn’t automatically percolate to every Kindle device you have.  You can use “Manage Your Kindle” to direct your purchases to other devices.

This new user interface looks more line an app and makes it much nicer to browse, and Amazon offers lots of recommendations based on what you’ve already purchased. You can search for a title, just as you would in a browser and Amazon’s conventional interface. It’s just one more way to make the buying experience easier and more pleasant — on an iPad — for now.

Here’s how it works:

1. Go to Amazon.com with Safari on your iPad.

Kindle store -1

2. Select Kindle Store.

Kindle Store -2

3. Click on the brown banner: “new Kindle Store.”

Kindle Store -3

4. Select an item for preview or purchase. It will be added to your Amazon cloud, and you can read it with the Kindle app on the iPad.

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[UPDATE: 12 Jan: this article was updated to properly reflect the minor restriction.]