It's been just about a years since Amazon refreshed the Kindle Fire line, and like clockwork, here are some new tablets from everyone's favorite megalithic online retailer. The updated 7" and 8.9" versions are named Kindle Fire HDX, and surprisingly, they feature some of the best hardware available for Android tablets. In addition to new high-resolution displays (1920x1200 for the 7" and an eye-popping 2560x1600" for the 8.9") they've both got 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processors and 2GB of RAM.
Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it was preparing a proprietary virtual currency specifically for its Appstore. Then the incorrigible Eric Ravenscraft spent a few thousand words explaining exactly why Amazon Coins, and any system that substitutes real money for meaningless points, is just a pretense for sucking money out of people's wallets. If you can't wait to pay Amazon's tax on those without common sense, you can now hand over your real dollars for fake ones to spend on apps and in-app purchases.
At the moment, the Amazon Appstore is available in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Japan. But that's hardly enough for Amazon's global ambitions. In a press release, the company announced plans to widen the Appstore to "nearly 200 countries" across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. A specific timeframe was also absent, but prospective developers can manage their international distribution on the Mobile App Distribution Portal.
For each device, the update provides enhancements for viewing textbooks, with the 2nd generation Fire and the Fire HD 7" getting "X-Ray for Textbooks". This feature allows users to access the most important terms and concepts, with glossary definitions and links to relevant pages within books.
If you're a new AT&T U-Verse internet customer (or considering becoming one), listen up – the service provider announced yesterday that it is now offering a selection of devices free when new customers package internet service with either U-Verse TV or Voice. Customers can choose between a Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Sonos Play:3 (with WiFi bridge), or an Xbox 360. What's more, customers will get access to AT&T's WiFi network free of charge.
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
After rolling out CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly builds for three other devices yesterday (along with M2 builds), the CM dev community has kept the steam going into today - adding 7 new supported handsets to the latest version of Android's most popular custom ROM.
It's no secret that Amazon is trying to turn the Kindle Fire/HD into the device that the entire family shares for content consumption, but now they've built a service that makes it even more relevant as such. Dubbed FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat plan is serving up hot bowls of children's content, ready to be consumed day or night.
Among the unlimited content, you'll find books, games, educational software, movies, and TV shows - all just for kids.
According to Amazon, the original (2011) model of the Kindle Fire (KF) captured 22% of the tablet market. Whether or not you believe that figure, it was almost certainly the most popular Android tablet of the year. When compared to the often-times much more expensive tablets on the market, it was easy to see why: the Kindle fire offered 90% of the experience for 50% (or less) of the price.
On September 6, Amazon announced three new Kindles: a 6" non-Android model called the Paperwhite (with or without 3G), the 7" Kindle Fire HD (16 and 32GB), and an 8.9" Kindle Fire HD (16 or 32GB), while updating the hardware and dropping the price of the original Fire to $160.
So, you were thinking about picking up a Kindle Fire HD, rooting it, and throwing a ROM on it for an impressive $200 tablet? Turns out that idea may not work out as well as we initially thought: both the Kindle Fire HD and the second gen KF have locked bootloaders. Bummer.
This may not mean that custom ROMs are impossible on these devices, only that it's more improbable.
For those who may not know, the bootloader is responsible for checking the firmware's signature before a device boots.