dear readers!!! i am BACK! back from the land of solitary seriousness and here to discuss the major announcement (before the major announcement about the iphone 5), that is.
the announcement from amazon!!! i know you've heard. don't tell me you haven't heard.
jeff bezos and the amazon team have knocked...it...out...the...box. not only did they create new kindle e-readers (keyboardless, also known as TOUCH) but they created a mobile browser (amazon silk) AND a new tablet called the kindle fire!!
i'm sorry, i should have warned you to take a seat before all of this. but this is even bigger than when i said library lending with overdrive and kindle was big. because this is amazon telling you that they are all you need if you wanna read on a mobile device. of course, a mobile device that doesn't have a camera or a microphone or is an actual phone. but other than that, amazon is the one-stop-shop you need.
the graphic above (yes, i created that one myself) illustrates what i call the trinity that is amazon fire. amazon's entry into the tablet market is a slight departure in terms of power and capability so in that sense it is NOT (i repeat, NOT) an iPad killer. but their foray into the touch e-reader market could be a barnes & noble nook killer and here's why:
FIRST - price. the original nook (which is touch) is currently priced at $139. the new kindle touch wifi is $99. yes, NINETY-NINE dollars. but wait, the kindle touch 3G (always on, download from anywhere) is $149. so, for only $10 more, i get free 3G. mr riggio?? hear that whooshing sound? that's profits being sucked away by amazon. i won't even mention the non-touch kindle wifi that's jut $79. oops, i mentioned it.
2ND - selection. not only do amazon kindles have access to the largest selection of books (i'm talking "to purchase") in the world (i daresay) but coupled with their partnership with overdrive to enable library borrowing, the selection and convenience are hard to beat.
but now for the big show. drumroll, please...
the amazon kindle fire, which is amazon's entry into the tablet market. the kindle fire is a 7" tablet, it's wi-fi and it's color which is comparable to barnes & noble's nook color. that's pretty much where the similarities end. because what sets the kindle fire apart from everyone else are the 2nd and 3rd pieces of the trinity - silk and cloud, or as i like to say, the silky cloud.
amazon has created a dedicated browser for the kindle fire, called amazon silk (which, of course, is now rumored to soon be available for PC and Android). this browser is optimized to work with the other two pieces of the trinity, the fire and the cloud. so don't let the fact that it only has 8GB of internal memory (enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books) bother you because the third piece of the trinity, the cloud, comes into play right here.
you won't need much internal storage because you will be using the cloud (cue angelic harp ahhh sounds). the amazon cloud to be exact. this is where you will be able to store hundreds and thousands of things. but, in addition, the cloud is a machine that is processing your kindle fire actions so that the kindle fire doesn't have to. hence, it doesn't need major processors or internal storage. it's all happening in the cloud, freeing up the kindle fire to do what it does for you. so your browsing and e-reading are as fast and seamless as possible. (i sound like an ad for kindle fire. hmmm....jeff bezos are you listening. i could use one of those fires...)
how is amazon using this cloud technology to boost its browser? heck if i know, but the folks over at tom's hardware website do a pretty good job of explaining it.
so, in essence, what jeff bezos has done is change the landscape of consumer expectation for tablets. sy syms used to say, "an educated consumer is our best customer." i'm not sure that amazon's competitors will agree. once they figure out that my side of things will be smoother and faster, that will be the new level of service expected from every piece of computer hardware.
however, cnet news answers a question comparing the kindle fire to an apple iPod Touch. interesting. she gives a great breakdown on some of the downsides of the kindle fire.
fiery silken clouds. the future of reading? i have no idea...google it!
happy reading . . . no matter the format . . . even on fiery silken clouds.