The Kindle Fire left us with both cold and hot feelings. On the one hand, by introducing the device at a low price, consumers will be able to purchase an innovative media, gaming and reading tablet. On the other hand, the Fire will add to Android’s fragmentation issues, making it more difficult and costly for developers to bring out cross-platform apps.
There are many reasons for this. Firstly, because the Fire runs a heavily modified version of the Android OS, developers will need to programme apps for Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Amazon. This will also add to the amount of time and effort that will need to be put into the testing process to ensure that consumers benefit from the best experience from their favourite apps.
Secondly, there will be an increase in the submission process due to Amazon introducing an approval, which many developers will not be familiar with. While this is a good thing to ensure the quality and safety of apps, it will add certain costs to the development process. Finally, as the Fire doesn’t link to a Google account, many of the features Android developers currently take for granted, such as Google’s free push notifications, will not be there.
Due to the price point, and the wealth of content Amazon is making available to buyers of the Fire, it is easy to presume that this will be a hugely successful product. It is evident that the Fire is firmly a media consumption device.
With the Silk browser appearing to be highly advanced, the development of web-apps may be the best way to overcome the fragmentation issues and deliver the best cross-platform experience.
You can read a preview of the Amazon Kindle Fire on our sister site, ITReviews.