This story was originally published and last updated .
Android's been around quite a while at this point (Google's Android turned 12 last year), and even Android phones have been around well over a decade now. And while obviously hardware like the HTC Hero matters in terms of where the platform got its start, and ones like the original Moto DROID mark its real entry into the marketplace in a big way, we think there are phones (and even A tablet) that are less remembered or less appreciated for their impact on the larger ecosystem.
After, when's the last time you thought of the Galaxy S2, or the HTC One M7?
Amazon made a bevy of announcements today related to FreeTime, their platform that brings kid-friendly content — such as books, games, and movies — to handheld devices. The most interesting news, however, comes in the form of the Kindle Kids Edition: an e-reader aimed at a younger audience.
I had a chance to spend some time with Amazon's new Kindle Fires today at the company's event in Los Angeles, so I'm going to share a few thoughts about Amazon's newest Android-based slates. Disclaimer: Yes, I only spent about an hour with this tablet today, but I'm going to give you a sense of where I think the Kindle Fire HD is headed, who it's targeted to, and whether or not you should be interested in buying it.
Kindle Fire HD 16GB (7-Inch) vs. Nexus 7 8GB
Wow. For $200, the Kindle Fire HD has set a bar. Granted, Amazon's had a year to refine its original cheap-slate and really hone down the whole concept.
We just received an invite from Amazon to a press conference in Los Angeles 2 weeks from now, and it's sounding like it could finally be time for the company to unveil some new iterations of its Kindle line. No details were provided as to the content of the event, but really, what else would it be?
We've heard rumblings for some time that the new Kindle Fire is on its way, and this seems like as good a time as any to announce it. It'll also mark roughly a year since the launch of the original Kindle Fire last September, so even the timeline makes sense.
Just two short weeks after the Kindle Fire received its first dose of Android development goodness (read: root), the first full custom ROM has made its way to the device. The ROM is question is, of course, CyanogenMod 7, the most widely distributed custom ROM among Android devices.
Basically everything works, though there are a few glitches. The touchscreen was initially on the receiving end of one said glitch, as the alignment was off by 90 degrees. The developer behind the port, JackpotClavin, has since fixed this issue, so touch should be good to go now. Wi-Fi isn't 100% up-to-snuff just yet, though, as it will scan and find networks, but it is unable to connect.
When the Amazon Kindle Fire was announced, we were all pretty excited about its tablet-meets-e-reader form factor, low price, and powerful hardware. Barnes & Noble has fired back this morning with an equally impressive device (and in some aspects even more so), albeit with a slightly higher price tag. As always, both devices offer features that make them unique from each other -- but, at the end of the day, which one is the better choice?
Let's throw both devices in the ring and see how they fare with one another, shall we? First up, specs:
7-inch IPS lamination display
1GHz dual-core processor
16GB storage with SD card slot
9 Hours of video playback, 11.5 hours of read-time
Amazon Kindle Fire
7-inch IPS display
1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4 processor
8GB internal storage, no SD card slot
7.5 hours locally-stored video playback, 8 hours read-time
With specs out of the way, let's take a closer look at each one to get a better idea of which device is the better buy this holiday season.
What do you do if you're a known patent troll and a major company announces a new device that is sure to sell millions of units? Try to sue the heck out of them, of course. That's exactly what's going on with Amazon's upcoming Kindle Fire, the still-unreleased tablet from the online retail giant.
The story goes a little something like this: Amazon announces the Fire for an ultra-affordable price. Everyone is happy and wants this new device, so pre-orders are through the roof. Acacia hears about this amazing new technology and, being an innovation-stifling patent troll, decides to hit Amazon with some patent violations.
There's no doubt that the Kindle Fire is hot commodity right now, and the device hasn't even hit shelves yet. In fact, it's still roughly six weeks away from launch. Still, pre-order sales have been absolutely staggering for Amazon, with over 250 thousand in just a few days. They're averaging around 2,000 per hour, and, if they continue coming in at that rate, this puts the Fire on track to easily top the iPad's record for first-month sales.
The original iPad sold around 300 thousand units on its first day out, with over a million total units sold in the first month.
Amazon's new tablet, the Kindle Fire, has been grabbing all of the headlines following Amazon's press event yesterday, and rightfully so. Priced at an aggressive $199, it has virtually alienated all other Android tablet manufacturers in one fell swoop, offering potential buyers a great piece of hardware and all of the content Amazon has to offer to back it up.
Despite this, there are still a few things that the Fire won't offer. It's running a heavily skinned version of Android 2.3, so the experience will be completely different to other Android tablets currently available. Also, it doesn't ship with the Android Market, instead offering Amazon's App Store (although it will support sideloading of applications).
It has been a long time coming, and even though we already knew basically everything about the device, Amazon just officially unveiled its very own Android tablet: the Kindle Fire.
The Fire is a 7-inch tablet/e-reader with an IPS display running at 1024x600, powered by a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4 processor and a heavily modified version of Android. Of course, it will be lacking any and all Google Apps, including the official Android Market. As expected, the Fire's go-to app store will be Amazon's official Appstore, which will run alongside other Amazon-specific apps like Cloud Player (Amazon MP3), Prime, Kindle (of course), and Amazon Instant Video.