Amazon Kindle Fire Improvements: 10 Must-Have Fixes for a New Version

News Analysis: Amazon's Kindle Fire received generally glowing reviews before volume sales started. Now it has been criticized by some observers for several flaws. Amazon must address those problems in a new version of the device that launches next year.

Although initial reactions to Amazon's Kindle Fire have been glowing, as of late the 7-inch Android-based tablet has been taking heat from critics who say it suffers from several problems.

Those critics point to the device's lack of physical volume buttons, software quirks and other issues that, if left unaddressed, could have a profoundly negative impact on the device's sales over the long term.

The fact is, like any other device, the Kindle Fire does have some flaws. There also are some areas in which Amazon could have done a better job of delivering features customers really desire. But the device is done. And for the most part, it delivers on Amazon's promise of becominga cheaper alternative to high-powered and high-priced tablets already on the market, like Apple's iPad 2.

So, complaining about the Kindle Fire now won't do anyone any good. Instead, it might be a good time to consider some of the things that Amazon can do to improve the next Kindle Fire iteration when that device hits store shelves sometime next year.

Read on to find out what Amazon must bring to the second-generation Kindle Fire.

1. More physical buttons

The Kindle Fire has been criticized recently for only coming with a single physical button that controls whether the screen is on or off. It's a fair criticism. As nice as tablets are with their touch-screen functionality, physical buttons are needed to do basic things like control volume. The Kindle Fire 2 shouldn't come with too many buttons, but one or two more to serve essential needs would detract from the tablet's sparse design.

2. Improved sound quality

The Kindle Fire lacks the sound quality found in the iPad 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, so Amazon should deliver better-quality speakers in the Kindle Fire 2. Sure, it'll push the price up, butthe Kindle Fire's speakers are a real problem right now.

3. A touch-screen reboot

If Apple does anything right, it's that it delivers outstanding touch screens. The iPhone 4S' touch screen is nicely responsive, and the same can be said for the iPad 2's. To make the Kindle Fire 2 an even better iPad competitor, Amazon must make the device's touch screen more responsive. Sluggish touch-screen performance on theKindle Fire might be partly due to software quirks, but better hardware will always address such issues.

4. More screen sizes

The Kindle Fire launched with a 7-inch display. However, it's competing in a market dominated by much larger alternatives, including the 9.7-inch iPad 2 and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab. Therefore, Amazon should bring new screen sizes to the next Kindle Fire to offer customers more choices.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...