Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindle Fire - First Impressions

I've probably played with my Kindle Fire for 2 hours or so. By far my biggest complaint is lack of apps. For example, I couldn't find Google Sky Map in the App store. This is a killer app and I'll be tempted to return if I can't get it.

But that's not the only app that's lacking. I had terrible time finding free apps for my daughter, even just trial versions. Amazon needs to quickly beef-up their app store.

Here's what I've found so far:

-Screen is nice and bright.
-My eBooks automatically showed up.
-Easy to use.
-No lag so far (others have reported sluggish performance).
-Multitasking! On my iPod and iPhone when I exit Pandora, the music stops. On the Fire, I can read, surf, etc and still listen to music.
-Feels well constructed.

-Not many apps to chose from.
-Hard to configure. For example, I can't figure out how to require the password for app purchases (to keep my daughter from buying apps.)
-Lots of fingerprints on the glass.
-Music purchases over 90 days old can't be auto loaded.
-Unlike my K3 Kindle, I can't condense text (which means more page turns).
-No mic, camera or SD slot. You can't even run Amazon's own price-checking app.--No cable to connect to your PC, you have to purchase a micro-USB cable separately.

-Battery seemed to run down fast, but after a recharge, it seems better.
-Heavier than I thought. Might be too heavy to read in bed for long periods.
-Speakers aren't really loud. Couldn't listen in a car or in public.

I need some more time to play with it before I can decide if it's a keeper.

Update: I was able to load Google Sky Map, doing something called "sideloading," but it only works in manual mode (no digital compass). Oh well.

Update 2: Made some more observations in bold.

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