Sure the Amazon Kindle Fire might not be at full fledged Android tablet, but that shouldn’t stop you from having the full experience including Jelly Bean 4.1.1. XDA member Hashcode just posted an AOSP based Jelly Bean ROM. This is a beta so there are some issues like the HD codecs (YouTube and Netflix). The good news is this will be fixed shortly as Texas Instruments is updating the libion code. Other oddities is the screen over rotates and the dev is having an issue turning on UMS. These are all issues that will be fixed shortly.
Amazon is reportedly briefing developers on specifications for the forthcoming update to the Kindle Fire unit. A major change includes the display used in the unit. Currently running at 1024 by 600 resolution on a screen with a 1.71 aspect ratio, the unit supposedly will run at 1280 x 800 resolution with a 1.60 aspect ratio. This change will make the unit a little shorter and wider compared to the current model and give it specifications similar to units like the Nexus 7 tablet from Google.
Along with the upgrades to the display, the new Kindle Fire will be lighter, thinner, have a built-in camera, and possibly a faster chip to go with an update to Amazon’s fork of the Android operating system. Despite all these changes, battery life should not be significantly impacted. These improvements are in addition to the previously reported body combining a metal frame with a plastic body.
Is an upgraded Amazon Kindle Fire a tablet you would be interested in?
While most of the buzz around Amazon is that they will produce a larger version of their Kindle Fire (presumably a 10 inch version), Bloomberg’s “people with knowledge of the matter” claim that a smartphone is actually in the works. The rumor centers around a supposed chase for wireless patents so that Amazon won’t have the same problems that other companies like Samsung is having now. There are no details about the device nor a timetable of when it will be released, but we do know that Amazon has partnered up with Foxconn to aid them in the manufacturing process.
What do you guys think about an Amazon manufactured phone? I can see this as a win for consumers as we can never get enough of good and affordable devices.
Even though HBO GO was made available for the Kindle Fire last month, full Android tablet support was still lacking. For a streaming video app, this was nearly inexcusable. But the latest update has changed all that. Any Android tablet running any version of Android up to 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich should be able to install and run the latest HBO GO.
Interestingly, the app will not run on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean yet, but considering there aren’t many tablets that are officially running the days-old version of Android, there’s still time to catch up. To be able to use the app, you need to already have a subscription to HBO with your cable company. If you do, and you also have an Android tablet, grab the update from the download link below and start streaming.
Our buddies over at CNET received an anonymous tip stating that Amazon is intending to release its successor to the Kindle Fire in a little over a month. Nothing official has come from Amazon at this time but rumors of the next Kindle Fire have been floating around the net for quite some time already. Everything from screen size changes, competitive price points and new standout features have been the talk of the e-reader community. If this rumor pans out, we wont have to wait too much longer to see what Amazon has in store for us.
Earlier this month we reported that the Amazon Appstore may finally expand itself past American shores. Well we can finally confirm that it will indeed find its way to several European countries this summer. I know it has been frustrating for many European Android users to not be able to use the Amazon Appstore and take advantage for what it has to offer. But with the emergence of the Kindle Fire it would be a huge mistake if Amazon were to not take advantage of expanding it. Amazon is currently eyeing the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain as the first to use their appstore with more “in the near future.” Any of our European readers out there excited for this? Or bothered that it took this long?
Full press release after the break:
Could it be that Amazon’s ultra-cheap Android tablet is about to get even cheaper? With strong rumours that Amazon is planning to launch a refreshed 7″ Kindle Fire as well as brand new 8.9″ and 10.1″ models, it would make sense that the current model will see a reduction for a final push before it becomes yesterday’s news. Recent reports had already suggested that the once fast-selling tablet has seen a sharp decline in sales with rival budget models such as B&N’s Nook overtaking it in recent weeks. With the Google I/O around the corner where there’s a high expectation we’ll see Asus launch an aggressively priced Nexus tablet it would appear that Amazon’s window for additional Kindle Fire sales is closing fast.
The question is, will a $50 drop to $150 be enough to convince you to jump on-board the Kindle Fire bandwagon at this late stage? Personally I’ll be waiting to see what Amazon has in store for us and what Google has up it’s sleeve before considering a new tablet purchase. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Kindle Fire owners should be pleased to know that the HBO Go app is now compatible with the device. Starting today, you can grab the HBO Go app from the Amazon Appstore and stream videos without having to use your browser. Unfortunately the app still doesn’t support other Android tablets but I imagine that future updates will slowly bring more tablet compatibility. For those of you Kindle Fire owners who also have a HBO subscription you can grab the app from the Amazon link below. Full press release and promo video after the break.
You can say what you want about the Kindle Fire, but it’s clear that Amazon made the right decisions when it came to pricing and marketing. Their Kindle Fire e-reader tablet is now one of the most successful and popular tablets around, thanks to it’s uber competitive pricing against Apple’s iPad and other comparable Android offerings.
Word on the street is that Amazon is now planning to directly take on Apple’s iPad line of tablets by presenting a 10.1-inch Kindle Fire in Q3 of this year, while simultaneously canning plans for their suspected 8.9-inch model. If this rumor pans out, then we can only assume that the internals of this big brother Kindle should be fairly strong to compete with the fruits of Apple’s labor. Amazon just recently announced plans to continue offering tablets at low cost in exchange for advertisements in their devices, so perhaps we will see this 10.1-inch super reader at a great price point as well. Only time will tell what Amazon has in store for us in the coming months.
In a smart and most likely controversial move, Amazon has just announced the ability to purchase ad space on their popular Kindle Fire tablets. For $600,000, your ad will be displayed on the boot-up screen of every Kindle Fire for 2 full months. This business model could prove to be a great way to offer high-end tablets at a much lower price given the manufacturer is willing to make up the costs of production in ad sales. It’s surprising that Google themselves have not already put this into action, but with Google I/O 2012 just a little over a month away, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the big “G” follow suit.
The details have yet to be fully ironed out and many questions and concerns have already made some noise on the matter. So is Amazon going to incorporate this change on all existing and new tablets or will this just be for the new adopters? I kind of feel like it’s a little late in the game for Amazon to all of a sudden make this change for current Kindle Fire owners. You have been enjoying an ad free experience this whole time and all of a sudden you are going to be bombarded with ads, something most of you I am sure did not sign up for from the start. Sadly, this is the new reality if we are to get products at low cost or even free. Take apps in the Google Play Store, for instance. We all have downloaded a free app in the past that was ad free and then updated to a new version with sneak attack ad incorporation.
The Kindle Fire aside, I would certainly like to see more options for consumers in the future and I believe that selling mobile devices at a cheaper cost in exchange for advertisements is a nice start. Let us know what you think in the comments below.