updated 11:30 pm EST, Sun December 11, 2011
Amazon Kindle Fire update due in two weeks
Amazon in a response to criticism has promised an impending update for the Kindle Fire. Spokesman Drew Herdener promised the New York Times a rollout "in less than two weeks" that addressed many of the common complaints, including performance and multi-touch responsiveness. Owners will have the chance to cull their usage history for the sake of privacy.
The patch may be necessary to sustaining demand in the face of early criticism. A look at the product page and elsewhere shows a number of common complaints, such as the slowdowns and unresponsiveness.
Some elements wouldn't be fixable without a fundamental rethink or a new version. There are no hardware volume buttons, creating problems if an app doesn't allow access to volume. At seven inches, it also sits in an awkward mid-point between smartphones and full-size tablets like the iPad, being more than enough for a mobile page but too little to properly show the desktop page.
Amazon may not have to worry in the short term. Although it has only said it was adding "millions more" Kindle Fire shipments, unofficial sources have it shipping as many as five million for the last several weeks of 2011. The sales could make it the only genuinely successful Android tablet to date and could give it a cushion from early criticism until a rumored 10-inch tablet arrives early next year.