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iOS5: Apple's Web 'Reader' is Awesome. But Also a Trojan Horse for Ads?

It's been a year of chess moves between Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter. For example, look at the last few weeks alone:- Google+ launches as Google's social effort (and its good) - iOS5 is announced with Twitter as a key integration - Facebook is rumored to be working on an HTML5 app store of sorts And is this yet another? One of iOS5's little-discussed features is the web "Reader" tool. When clicked, it converts a webpage to an optimized, stripped page for easier reading... think iBooks for the web. It's great and I find myself using it all the time.

The obvious thought is that it is a way to better integrate the web with iBooks and iTunes. But the next thought is: this is a way to boost iAds throughout the mobile web. They have stripped everything but the text / images and have created a clean reading experience with plenty of room for ad units. Strikes me as another chess move... this time directed at Google and Facebook's ad businesses.

regular page:

and using Reader:

Amazon Pushes Kindle as Applications; Grows Titles by 20% in Two Months

Being squeezed by Apple's iPad and Barnes & Noble's Nook, Amazon's Kind promotion has moved from hardware to software.

Before the iPad was released, I noted how Amazon aggressively ramped Kindle promotions. The marketing seems to have shifted to platform / application: regardless of the device, Kindle can power your reading experience. Additionally, the same core messaging applies: Amazon's selection in unrivaled. As an iPad owner and iBooks user, this is resonates.

They marketed 420,000 titles on March 1 and less than two months later that number is 500,000+ - a 20% gain.