Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX and Android

J.R. Raphael:

Here’s what it boils down to, gang: The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX products are Amazon media devices — not Android tablets. You lose much of the power and versatility of Android but gain the simplicity of Amazon’s own Amazon-centric vision. It’s a completely different ecosystem and environment — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so long as that’s what you want.

Raphael is exactly right, but it’s been obvious ever since the first Kindle tablet that Amazon had no interest in the greater Android ecosystem. “Android” is just an implementation detail, from Amazon’s perspective. Amazon’s press release for the new tablets doesn’t mention “Android” even once. They call the OS “Fire OS”, and the only mention they make of Android on the Fire OS web page is this:

New Kindle Fire tablets are powered by the latest version of Fire OS — Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”, which starts with Android and adds cloud services, a content-forward user interface, built-in media libraries, productivity apps, and low-level platform enhancements to integrate Amazon’s digital content and improve performance for Kindle Fire tablets.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013