I have just received for my birthday the newest addition to Amazon’s array of e-readers– The Kindle Fire. Sent to me via Fedex, I patiently waited for my second Kindle. Compared to my old Kindle 2, the Kindle Fire has far more features than my handout from my sister. The Kindle 2 is powered by Whispernet, which contrary to Amazon’s claim is available in the Philippines. This has caused a wee bit of inconvenience to people who has just bought any new ebook from Amazon. Instead of your ebook being “pushed” to your Kindle, you’ll have to manually download your ebook file to your PC or Mac and connect your Kindle via micro USB and transfer that file to your Kindle 2 . For more detailed instruction on how to do this, click here.
Unboxing. The Amazon Kindle Fire comes in a nice looking easy to open box. It did not come with any manual apart from a small cardboard that tells you how to turn on your Kindle Fire. Once turned on, it walks you through the settings etc. Nothing complicated.
Weight and Size. The Kindle Fire is a 7 incher tablet. It is considerably smaller than my Kindle 2, however it is heavier. The back is rubberized which makes holding your Kindle Fire easier grip-wise. The screen rotates as well, which is pretty cool. The screen is responsive to touch and scrolling is fast. Not bad.
Wifi and Syncing. The Kindle Fire comes with 8GB internal storage, of which 2GB is allocated to the OS and 6GB is usable. However, if you run of out of local space then no worries. Amazon offers you free cloud storage for all Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. This allows you store Apps, books, movies, and music which will be available instantly to stream or download for free, at a touch of a finger. Once you have set up your wifi connection, you will be asked to register your Kindle Fire. Syncing is swift and I was happy to see all my ebooks purchased months ago.
Browser. The browser is fast although I have read about some people complaining that their Silk Browser is slow, mine was fast and navigation is pretty easy to follow.
My only complaint about the Kindle is its inability to connect to the Amazon App Store. Why the heck not when I have an active account in Amazon? I asked. Well, apparently, the Amazon App Store in not available in my region. There were some applications pre-installed in my Kindle Fire like, Amazon’s Email App, Pulse, The Weather Channel and Audible. It sucks not being able to download even premium applications. I have scoured the Amazon Forum and found people from Canada, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia even Ireland, complaining about the Amazon App Store restrictions.
I have read about other Kindle Fire owners “jailbreaking” their Kindle Fires and by installing the Android sdk and rooting their Kindle Fire. The process is not easy and alot of modifications have to be made. I am still trying to find out more information about this, but so far, I have read that the most recent Amazon update has removed the rooting functionality although the applications downloaded were said to continue to work.
It looked like we just have to wait until the Philippines is fully supported by Amazon. Might take a year or another– who knows? But so far, as e-reading goes, the Kindle Fire is a winner. I am still able to connect to Twitter, Facebook and all websites using the browser anyway.