Kindle Fire Update Offers Reprieve from Balky Browsing
Amazon has begun rolling out the promised update for its Kindle Fire tablet.
The *over-the-air software package will help remove a lot of the latency we've come to see in the Fire since it launched Nov. 15 for $199.
The New York Times columnist David Pogue outlined the improvements as such today:
The home screen "carousel," a rotating shelf that holds all of your books, magazines and movies, now stops on a dime when you want it to. It takes only one tap to open something instead of several frustrating ones. When you do tap something, it opens faster and more fluidly. Page turns are smoother, especially in magazines.
The bolding above is mine because I want to underscore that Amazon has apparently fixed my biggest pet peeves about the Fire tablet. In fact, those are the reasons that would keep me from buying it for myself or anyone else I want to introduce to tablets.
You can't have a slow or herky-jerky navigation experience on a tablet -- you just can't. It's death to content consumption. Amazon knows this, hence the fairly rapid upgrade 35 days after the launch.
One other thing that bears mentioning, and this won't be so obvious to the average Joe or Sally Consumer as the navigational quirks -- is the notion that Amazon redirects all Android Market requests to its own Amazon Appstore, as noted by The Verge.
In a sense, this is nothing shocking. Amazon wants people shopping at Amazon, not at Google.
However, there are many who feel Amazon is hurting the consumer by limiting choice. As GigaOm noted, "to specifically hijack a browser URL and redirect it is disturbing and sets an ugly precedent."
I'm ambivalent about this. As long as I get the apps I want, I don't care about redirects, but some obviously feel otherwise.
I'll throw the question over to readers: does Amazon's redirects to its AppStore bother you and why?
Update: GigaOm said the update I wrote about earlier in this post fixes the redirect issue. The Fire will no longer block consumers from the Android Market. Yay!
*A colleague with a Fire told me "over the air update my a$$" Apparently, he did not get the over-the-air update and had to download it from the Amazon site and connect a USB cable to the Fire get the update.
But I imagine that's for those people who try to do it manually and don't to wait to get the OTA update, as GigaOm noted.