Kindle Cloud Reader

September 16, 2021 • #

I use the Kindle desktop app a fair amount, usually for going back to books I’ve already read for reference, or to review highlights and make notes. It’s always been a pretty bad application, with a strangely dated interface and extremely rare updates, but lately it’s gotten unusable. Maybe it’s unstable on the M1 Mac mini. It now crashes constantly and corrupts the local data, requiring purge and reinstall to fix it.

Instead of fighting with it, I went back to their Kindle Cloud Reader, a web-based version of the same Kindle client that Amazon’s kept around for a decade. Like the desktop app, it gets almost no attention that I can tell. But since it runs in the browser, it doesn’t have the same stability problems as the desktop app, and seems to support all of the same basic reading and annotation features as the other clients.

Until Amazon decides to care about Kindle’s software products, I’d recommend using the Cloud Reader for desktop reading. It’s sad to see them flounder around with their massive advantage in the e-reading space. They can get away with this, of course, as the de facto default platform for e-books still, but it seems inevitable that someone will come along and disrupt this position.