Amazon Enters the Android Tablet Fray With the Kindle Fire

Amazon Enters the Android Tablet Fray With the Kindle Fire

Sep 29, 2011

Amazon recently held an event to talk about e-eaders, and as rumored, the online giant is in fact releasing a new Android device called the Kindle Fire, as well as two new Kindle eReaders (Kindle Touch – $99 and Kindle – $79).

So what are the special features of the Kindle Fire? First, the device will bring all of Amazon’s services together for a streamlined and cohesive experience. That means getting music from the Amazon MP3 store, streaming movies from the video store, and of course buying books and magazines. To make this a richer experience, all this will come with Whispersync. Watching a movie on the Fire, and want to watch it on the television? No problem, as the sync will allow the movie to resume right where it was left off. The same setup is true for music and books. Kicking things up a bit more, all people who buy this device will receive a free month of Amazon Prime to receive the full capability of the device. Even better is that all Amazon digital purchases (music, movies, books, and so on) are backed up to their cloud servers.

The next aspect Amazon is tackling is internet browsing. They are using their cloud servers to cache web pages, especially frequently-visited ones, so content is quickly made available, and the user never has to fully hit the website and download all the information. Those that have used Opera Mini before will know just about how this will work.

As far as device specifications, the Kindle Fire has a 7-inch IPS panel (1024×600, 169ppi, 16 million colors), Gorilla Glass coating, a 1GHz TI OMAP dual-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a chassis that weighs 14.6 ounces. There has been no confirmation that there is an external memory card slot, which would make sense if it were missing as Amazon tends to leave that out of its devices. While the cloud storage is nice, 8GB is rather weak and heavy users will most likely destroy that space within a very short amount of time.

The Kindle Fire

Finally, we get to the OS. It is confirmed that this will run Android, The Kindle Fire will not have access to the normal Google Android Market, and it is also missing many of the standard Google apps. Clearly, Amazon wants users to use their services and get their apps from the Amazon AppStore.

The biggest part of this announcement has to be the price, and that is $199. For those people that just want a small form factor device to watch movies, read book/magazines/comics, and listen to music, this will be extremely enticing. The Kindle Fire does not ship until November 15, so it is hard to make calls on how well it will do and how it will compete with the various Android tablets and the iPad.