Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kindle Fire Review--First Impressions

The Good
  • Simple. Only one button
  • Easy set up.  Once I connected with WIFI and went through initial setup, the Fire was ready to go and all of my Kindle books were preloaded.  I have no intention of using this for book reading but it was nice to see them there.  Because of size limitations, you could see the Apps in your Library but you have to download them manually.  Otherwise, they hang out in your cloud until you are ready for them.
  • Very easy Evernote setup.  This is more a reflection on Evernote than Amazon, but I appreciate it none the less.
  • Amazon Prime free videos and TV shows.  I only took a short glance at the offerings but there seemed to be some good selections.  More on this later.  I doubt I’ll be watching many videos on this thing but you never know.
  • The graphics are really good.  Just flipping through some of the knitting patterns in my Evernote account made me smile.  I will definitely be using this as I knit/crochet.
  • Easy Audible integration.  I was never really fond of using my e-Ink Kindle to listen to Audible books but the Fire is great for that as I can listen to a book while viewing a knitting pattern or while playing a game.
The Bad
  • A little heavy but I couldn’t imagine how it would feel if it had more bells and whistles like the front and rear cameras.
  • No widgets. One of the things I have always loved about Andriod over iOS is the ability to run widgets on a home screen.  With the firs you only get one bookshelf screen and no possibility of running widgets.
  • Too many games in the App store. I still need to spend more time in the App store but like some of the others, the early developers are all about the games.  I’m looking more for productivity apps at this point.
  • Some Apps are taking FOREVER! to install.  Right now, I have 10 just sitting in the queue with no indication that progress has been made.
  • Installation of outside Apps is possible but not the installation of the Android marketplace.
  • No Native Google Apps.  Really I just want Google Music Beta (no out of Beta I understand).  Amazon’s music upload is too cumbersome so I opted to use Music Beta for my cloud music storage.  I’m not as happy with Apple’s iTunes/Ipod offerings as I used to be.
  • The screen. Great for graphics but your use will always be dependent on lighting--no different than the original Kindle or the iPad or any cell phone. The fluorescent lights in the office make using the Fire difficult to use unless I want to hold it up for all to see.  I can’t just discreetly leave it laying flat while using it.
So, I think this device is a keeper but I have to find its use in the following ways to really make it useful.
  • RSS feed reading.  It came with the Pulse app which seems to be great but you are limited to 60 feeds.  I have much more than that in my RSS reader.
  • Crafting.  So far, so good on this but I have some more testing to do.
  • Work. I need a good email, calendar and to do system that syncs with my google accounts.
  • Evernote.  Viewing is great but what about creating notes and/or editing or sending notes to Evernote fro other applciations.  (this si more dependent on the Apps available and not the device itself.
  • Blogging. I want to be able to post on the WIFI-go.
  • General notetaking outside of Evernote.
  • Google Docs
  • Research.  Broswer searching, web clipping, etc.

Stay Tuned.  Much more to come.


  1. Thorough review. Hmm....still thinking. Thanks!

  2. I agree with the previous post as to how thorough this is. I've been tempted to get one. I have a Sony Reader, though, and can't justify getting another reader.