Amazon's cloudy vid-tablet breaks cover: Not an iClone
Early fondlings suggest serious Apple slab rival
Early reports are emerging on the new Android-based Amazon Kindle, and the indications are that the bookstore has done well in forking Google's baby into its own likeness.
A colour Kindle has been widely anticipated, and close integration into Amazon's cloudy offerings comes as no surprise, but with a $250 price tag and completely customised user interface, Amazon is pitching its colour Kindle as the ultimate media-consumption device.
TechCrunch claims to have played with a prototype and to be pretty impressed with it too, though the blog has no pictures.
Buyers of the new Kindle, which is apparently remarkably similar in form to the 7-inch-screened BlackBerry Playbook, will get an interface which puts books, films and albums on the same parity as apps. Those apps will have to come from Amazon's online store. Importing other content should be possible but (just as on the Kindle), the path of least resistance is to buy from Amazon.
Google's Marketplace is entirely absent, as is the normal suite of Google apps (Google Maps, GMail, etc) that accompany the usual Android distributions. That's not surprising, as those apps aren't open source in the way that Android is and it seems Amazon wants complete control over its own platform.
Few Kindle users today realise how locked down their devices are: they can get at the books they want and so don't seem to care if the device itself is locked down. It might annoy purists, but Apple has demonstrated how ease of use trumps openness in the minds of the majority.
The device will be launched in November, to be followed by a 10-inch version if all goes well. Older Kindles will survive as cheap alternatives that will still work better on the beach (e-ink is just better in bright light).
Amazon's much-anticipated slab is being touted as a proper competitor to Apple's iPad: not because of the hardware but because only Amazon has the back-end services to support it. It also helps that it sports an interface that won't instantly trigger letters from Cupertino's lawyers. ®
I thought the new Kindle would be e-ink with colour. If this is _just_ a tablet, I don't want one as a Kindle replacement... I bought a Kindle precisely because it's great for reading on.
Who cares? I don't want an iPad clone, I want a cheap Kindle book reader with great battery life and nothing more. If I wanted an iPad clone I would buy an iPad.
Do not want!
I have almost 400 books on my Kindle , of which five came from Amazon. "Thank you Calibre" I did a Jailbreak on my Kindle right away as well.
The Kindle 3 is perfect for me, its purse sized, unlike the tablets, and its viewable when I'm out and about. My Kindle goes with me everywhere. And I only have to plug it in 2-3 times a month.
I also love the FREE 3G, "Yes my phone does that too I know" I often read The Register on my Kindle. This new Pseudo Kindle will not have that.
The new "Kindle" is a big pile of DO NOT WANT! I do not want to read for pleasure on an LCD! I like the E-ink screen. I'm told repeatedly that its not better, but I'm told it by younger people who are NOT wearing bifocals. The large clear fonts and neutral background are untouchable on a tablet.
I like how the Kindle takes me away from the urge to read blogs, do my e-mail, play games, or otherwise just vegetate online.. I can focus seriously on my reading again. Something that for a lot of us slowly faded away over the last 15 or so years. I own three Macs and I'm constantly told I should buy an iPad. I didn't buy one for the same reason I'll not be buying this new "Kindle" tablet.
I want an e-reader, not a tablet, and I'm not the only one. If Amazon will not listen, someone else will. Thought I doubt I'll get the free 3G anywhere else
The point of a Kindle
When you buy a Kindle, it's made pretty obvious that it's designed as a device for buying and reading books from Amazon, but that you can send your own documents to it if you like.
Maybe its success is because of that, rather than despite it.
It'd be like buying a Mag Lite and then complaining that it's locked down to using D cells to make the bulb emit light.
"don't seem to care if the device itself is locked down"
In my case at least it's "really, actually, don't care". I bought my Kindle for the specific purpose of reading books, which it does a very good job of letting me do. Non-DRM books for other sources can be copied in and read too, so it's not as though it's utterly tied to Amazon and its store.
Given the hardware limitations of eInk and the Kindle's pokey keyboard, there aren't that many things you _could_ do with it if it wasn't locked down.
(That said, I have done a teeny bit of cracking to let custom screensavers be installed.)