I’ve been playing with my new Kindle Fire for a little while and I have to admit that I was really excited about the device. My excitement tapered off after I opened the box and was immediately prompted that an update was required. Still, that is not too bad and I’ve come expect, though I stand by the assertion that it is a terrible user experience, that pretty anytime I buy something new that has network connectivity I will be required to sit through an update or patch of some kind.
Ok so I was finally able to use my new Kindle Fire after the update, so the first thing I did was poke around the main screen and settings. Once satisfied with that, I decided it was time to take a look at what I could with the device. I started by doing some reading in the built in Kindle app, which was good, but nothing spectacular. I then took a look at streaming my Amazon Prime content to the device. Again, it worked very well and just as expected but didn’t bring anything new to the experience.
Finally, I decided to take a look at the Amazon App Store on the device. This the worst part of the experience for me. I could not find really anything unique for the device that was worthwhile; if you know of a good Kindle Fire apps please let me know, particularly if it is an SSH terminal. To be fair, it is hard to blame Amazon for the lack of good Kindle Fire apps at launch. For starters, it has been out for one day and it takes time to develop an ecosystem. Additionally, I have to empathize with developers who decided to not focus on the Fire, given how cagey Amazon has been about actually committing to Android; there are also rumors about Amazon purchasing Web OS and using it for future versions of the tablet.
I don’t want to sound too negative and I do intend to not only use the device but also develop apps specifically tailored to it This is still the very beginning of the Kindle Fire and I am holding out hope that the app ecosystem will improve. As long as Amazon remembers that its developer ecosystem is at least as important as its content ecosystem, the Fire could be to the iPad as the IBM PC was to the Apple II.