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Amazon to update Kindle Fire in face of early backlash

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    How about

    Parental Controls?

  1. SunSeeker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPad Mini

    Apple's iPad mini has parental controls and much more at around the same price

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Buyer beware....

    for $200 bucks what were people thinking they would iPad equivalent?

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Electronic Tsunami in 2012 will sweep them away

    The Fire is a flawed product. The return rate is something that Amazon is not going to talk about. I decided to return mine after just 10 minutes with it.

  1. ASathin8R

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @Paul Huang

    It took you ten minutes before you decided to return it? Why did you even bother with it in the first place? It's a piece of junk. The equivalent of using a netbook when you could be using a MacBook Air.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Get a Kindle Fire for the holidays

    and we wish you many unhappy returns. Amazon has said that they should be able fix the problems with the greatest of ease. Things like slow screen response and program loading. Good luck with that. It probably either has to do with substandard touch panels and the basic nature of using an Android OS that wasn't designed for tablets in the first place. I'd really get great pleasure of seeing lots of consumers returning their Kindle Fires but I'm sure that won't happen. The best I can hope for is that consumers get fed up with using them after a month or so and Amazon is unable to recoup their tablet hardware losses when Fire owners don't bother to pay for premium content. Then we'll see what Wall Street thinks of Amazon's supposedly brilliant tablet plans.

  1. DerekMorr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    would ics be helpful?

    A number of reviews of the Galaxy Nexus have commented that ICS has made major progress in eliminating lag on Android. I have to wonder if Amazon will port ICS to the Fire in the future to improve responsiveness. Granted, it would still be heavily skinned, but it's an interesting thought (and it makes me dubious of those folks who claim that the Fire will stagnate Android tablet at Gingerbread).

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Volume control

    So the software update will magically have real volume and mute controls? Magazine that are perfect for the iPad screen size will magically fit perfectly on the 48% less screen size, and tap and zoom perfectly like on the iPad? Good luck... LOL

  1. facebook_Kindle

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Dec 2011


    love it

    My husband and I love our new Kindle Fire. It's lightweight, easy to use and has a great interface. The first thing I recommend anyone with a new Kindle do is install the nook app. We got our instructions from through google. It basically unlocks all the Android marketplace apps and unlocks the device. I am one very happy Kindle owner!

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