The Google Experience [Opinion]

With the release of the Nexus 7, Google set its sights on Amazon to try and reclaim control of the Android tablet space. Ever since Amazon forked Android for the Kindle Fire there has been some confusion about what OEM software customization means. There seems to be some confusion in the industry about what TouchWiz and Sense really are. More and more often I have seen articles arguing that the Galaxy S III and the Kindle Fire offer the same non-Google experience. Even more shocking, I’ve heard arguments that AOSP is Android and the Nexus line of phones offers the “Google experience.” The question isn’t whether or not OEMs offer a Google experience (they do); the question is if they’ll keep a Google experience.


Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Ported to Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Want to have some fun with that Kindle Fire you have laying around? Maybe you want to put Jelly Bean on it? You’re in luck, a developer over at XDA has done just that. Sure, a few things are a little broken, but this is why we love Android. WiFi works, so I suppose that is all you really need right off. The ROM itself is beta so don’t be upset if you find things missing here and there. It’s a work in progress. If you feel like giving it a go, follow the via links down below.

Via: The Verge, XDA

Bloomberg: Amazon is Planning to Make an Android Powered Smartphone

What would you say to Amazon building an Android powered smartphone? Would you be interested? According to a report out of Bloomberg, Amazon has already pegged Foxconn as the builder, is trying to lock down patents for protection from you-know-who, and would allow them to add another device to their Kindle Fire approach of pricing low, but hoping to make tons of money in the end off of media sales. No other information was given, and as always, the sources are anonymous.

Personally, I’d welcome it with open arms. While I probably wouldn’t buy one myself, since Amazon completely butchers Android as on OS, look what the Kindle Fire did for the tablet market. Nexus 7, anyone? If Amazon were to take a similar approach with a smartphone, and say sell it unlocked for ultra cheap, could that potentially change a part of the industry again? Maybe.


Via:  Bloomberg

Cheers Nick!

Kindle Fire Updated to 6.3.1, Adds Requested Features and Privacy Options

The Kindle Fire has receiving a pretty big update in the form of 6.3.1 and for those worried about their privacy settings they are welcome changes. The biggest change is the ability to outright not use Amazon’s Silk Browser feature that lets pages load faster by letting Amazon do the heavy lifting beforehand. If you don’t want anyone in your browsing history then this is great for you. Amazon also added in content filters for libraries that might not be family oriented.

A Reading View has been added for the browser so if you want to focus on the words without all the distractions you can now do so and a few other tweaks have been put into the movie rental system and a few other applications as well. If you want to update your Fire manually hit the source link below, and they’ll have instructions waiting for you.

Via: PDFDevices

Cheers Wendy!

Deal: Refurbished Amazon Kindle Fire for $139

The Amazon Kindle Fire is today’s Warehouse deal, which means you can nab the to Android tablet (by a mile) for as little as $139. It’s refurbished, but since Amazon apparently did the dirty work, it comes “factory sealed” and is essentially as good as new. Ready to help the Kindle Fire continue dominate the non-iPad tablet market? It already has a 54% share of the Android tablet world.


ComScore: Kindle Fire Holds 54% of the Android Tablet Market in the U.S.

In not-so-surprising fashion, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been announced as the top dog in the U.S. Android tablet market according to the latest ComScore numbers. What is a bit surprising is that the device makes up for 54% of it. The Samsung Galaxy Tab family comes in at 2nd with around 15.4% share and no one else even cracks the double digit mark. So in 5 months, the $199 Fire has taken over and probably won’t bother to look back.

You can imagine that Google is doing whatever they can to prepare their $199 tablet for release, especially since the Kindle Fire isn’t necessarily looked at as an Android slate. Sure it runs Android, but you can’t tell since Amazon customized the heck out of it and uses their own app store. The price point is nice and hard to argue against though.

We covered the Fire a bit when it first launched, but got the feeling that many of you were not all that interested in and cut back. After looking at these numbers, I’d say that people actually are fairly interested in the device. So tell us, are you a Fire owner?  (more…)

Refurbished Kindle Fire Available Today Directly from Amazon for $139

Today’s Gold Box deal over at Amazon features a shiny, refurbished Kindle Fire for as little as $139. Word on the street suggests that it comes with the original manufacturer warranty and all the protection that the new $199 Kindle Fire offers. Not a bad deal, right there. Some would even argue that these OEM refurb’d products are better than the originals as they have been tested thoroughly after being fixed. Not sure I completely buy that a brand spankin’ new product would be worse off than a refurbished one, but in this case, there don’t appear to be any negatives.

So if owning the top Android tablet that would lead you to believe that it isn’t even an Android tablet is on your list of must-haves, might want to consider this deal.


Cheers Jigga_Z!

Report: Google Still Has Plans To Launch 7″ Tablet Later This Year?

According to an analyst over at DisplaySearch, Google still has plans to produce and launch their very own 7″ tablet this year. Back in December, Eric Schmidt talked about Google’s thoughts on bringing a very “high quality” tablet to the market, which were then followed by rumors of a tablet that was to launch in direct competition with the Kindle Fire. The new report states that this Google-branded tablet would have a 1280×800 resolution and of course, ship with Ice Cream Sandwich. What is still unknown is if Google does have intentions on marketing the tab as a direct competitor to Amazon’s extremely popular and affordable Kindle Fire.

The report states that production of this Google slate will begin in April and roughly two million units will be produced. Fingers crossed that once we get closer to proposed production time we can get some leaks on processor specs and other little goodies.