Kindle goes cloud with Kindle Cloud Reader, works great on the iPad

Screenshot of web app courtesy of @drbuk

As reported by TechCrunch, Amazon has released a new Kindle Cloud Reader service. The service allows users of both Macs and PCs running either Safari or Google Chrome to read their Kindle books online. Better yet, the service works on iPad’s Mobile Safari. A feature that owners of WiFi-only iPads will enjoy is page caching for offline reading.

Notably, this is a great solution for Amazon to work around Apple’s in-app-purchase requirements for applications that offer purchases. In fact, what better way to spur Web innovation than to force people out of the store?  Good job Apple!

Full Press release follows:

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Facebook releases Messenger app for iPhone

Facebook has released Facebook Messenger which is an extension of Facebook’s Messages service and will allow you to send a text message to your phone’s contacts and a Facebook message to your Facebook contacts.  Bonus: You get to send pictures as well.

The app obviously competes with Apple’s iMessage, Blackberry messenger and all of the other silo-ed messaging apps out there but with a user base of 700 million+, it is well positioned to be a contender.

Messenger is available in both the iTunes App Store and Android Market and is based off the Beluga technology which the company recently acquired.  With all the Google+ noise of late we’ve forgotten about Facebook’s assault on mobile.  They’re back.

Update: Oh, and there is video conferencing hidden in the app.

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Boxee releases iPad app that features Mac to iPad video streaming

Boxee has just released a free iPad app that allows users to stream almost any video type from their computer. Streaming features aside, the app is focused at helping users find content to watch online from their friends and what’s popular. Sharing is done through the Friends tab, which is a queue of everything your friends are sharing through Boxee’s social service. There is a also a Popular tab showing what the world can’t get enough of.

The social features are cool, but we really love the Watch Later bookmark you can use to bookmark videos from around the web. The bookmark takes an Instapaper approach and will queue up the videos on your iPad for viewing later. To go along with their Boxee Box, you can also send a video that you were watching on your iPad to your big screen — almost Air Play like.

Check it out in the App Store.

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Cablevision/Optimum update iOS apps to work on iPhone and iPod, now include remote control


Optimum today released an app for iPhone and iPod touch which will allow Cablevision users in the US to watch and control their content from home on the 3.5-inch screen.  Users of home VPN solutions will be able to take these services on the road with them as well.

“Our new Optimum App for iPhone and iPod touch extends Cablevision’s leadership in offering our full cable television service on new devices, functioning as televisions in the home,” said John Trierweiler, Cablevision’s executive vice president of product management.

“We are also pleased to maximize the value of our Optimum App as a navigation and programming discovery tool by incorporating controls for home TVs as well.  The introduction of this remote control functionality will make it even easier for our customers to locate and view all of the content they already receive as part of their television subscription, whether they want to watch on conventional TVs or these Apple devices.”

Besides the iPhone and iPod touch functionality, Optimum’s iPad app also gets the following updates:
• Ability to schedule and manage DVR Plus recordings
• Your favorite channels (“Favorites”) now automatically appear in the Optimum App on all of your devices
• Parental controls automatically get re-applied when the Optimum App is re-installed – no need to re-setup your parental controls
• Use your device as a remote control and control your iO digital cable boxes

Optimum began full in-house iPad streaming in April but was subsequently sued by Viacom and others.

Full release below: Read more

Google Plus updated with iPad and iPod touch support, (not yet universal)

Google has just pushed an update for the official Google+ app for iOS, bringing with it support for iPad and iPod touch, two devices the app was previously unavailable for, among a few other features including aggregated circle add notifications, huddle settings, and the usual “Performance and stability improvements”.

Unfortunately, this iPad support is not completely native as the app will just be a pixel-doubled iPhone application. This choice by Google is still better than no iPad support at all, though. You should be able to update the app now via the App Store or swing by iTunes and grab the new version now. We’ll keep you posted with any other discoveries we might make in this latest update.

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Skype launches HD video calls for Mac OS X Lion with 5.3 update

Today Skype announced the 5.3 update for Mac OS X which brings HD video calls to Lion among a handful of other UI enhancements and bug fixes. The official Skype blog explains:

With Skype 5.3 for Mac OS X, you’ll also be able to send and receive HD quality video when talking to your friends and family. You’ll need to use the Mac’s built-in webcam or choose from a variety of webcams from our Skype Shop, such as the Logitech C910, to make video calls in crystal clear HD quality. To receive clear HD video calls on your Mac, we recommend an upload/download speed of 1.5Mbps.

While previous versions of Skype, even 2.8, seem to run rather well on Lion, official support should iron out any bugs you’ve been noticing since upgrading. The new update is not only available for Lion users, however, Skype’s blog post notes it is also compatible back to Leopard.

You can grab Skype 5.3 for Mac OS X here. We’ll let you know if we find anything else interesting in this latest update.
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