Amazon today launched touch-optimized Kindle Store for iPad as a standalone web app accessed through the iOS Safari browser. You may remember that the online retail giant released Kindle Cloud Reader in August —also a web app that works great on Apple’s tablet, but this is an entirely different experience. Available on the iPad at www.amazon.com/iPadKindleStore, the web interface totally feels like a native app. It is smooth, natural and supports familiar touch gestures, like swiping left and right to brows the store’s virtual shelves. The design calls for big cover images, large buttons and elegant typeface that’s easy on the eyes, unlike some other HTML5 web apps that feel cluttered on a 9.7-inch screen and cause eye strain…

Some of the more prominent features include search, user reviews, detailed descriptions, many categories, quick links to the store’s various sections, including New York Times Bestsellers, Newsstand, Top 100 seller/freebies and more. Moreover, your bought Kindle books or book samples can be enjoyed either in the native Kindle for iPad app or through the Kindle Cloud Reader available at amazon.com/cloudreader. This is a big thing as opting for the latter means you can now browse the Kindle Store, buy e-books and read them without ever leaving your browser, all the while retaining that nimbleness and responsiveness traditionally associated with native apps. Compare that seamless experience to tapping the store button inside the Kindle iOS app that yanks you out of the program and launches the Kindle Store in Safari (blame Apple for the hassle). Plus, the fact that Cloud Reader syncs with Kindle apps means you can begin reading a Kindle book on the web and continue right where you left off in the Kindle iOS app on your device, and vice versa.

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