Android KindleDamnit I was wrong and Simmons apparently was doing fine without those meds. Here’s the deal, according to Tech Crunch (who was hands on with it) the Amazon Kindle is…drum roll please…essentially a Nook Color. It’s a 7” color touch screen running Android that’s said to look just like a Playbook. It’s multitouch but possibly only up to two fingers. It’s full color, and backlit so it’s not e-ink. And the release target is November for $250. But it doesn’t have Google apps on it. See, they are really looking to sell Amazon services so it has a Kindle app, music is through Amazon’s Cloud Player, movies through Amazon’s Video player and apps are through the Amazon store. What build of Android is it? Proprietary. Apparently they took Android 2.2 and built on top of it and have now forked off of Android. If it were to ever get upgrades they would be within the OS but the UI and apps will always be Amazon. And Google has not had their hands on this. It’s an Amazon project.

And the interface is unique. Here’s how they describe it:

The interface is all Amazon and Kindle. It’s black, dark blue, and a bunch of orange. The main screen is a carousel that looks like Cover Flow in iTunes which displays all the content you have on the device. This includes books, apps, movies, etc. Below the main carousel is a dock to pin your favorite items in one easy-to-access place. When you turn the device horizontally, the dock disappears below the fold.

Above the dock is the status bar (time, battery, etc) and this doubles as a notification tray. When apps have updates, or when new subscriptions are ready for you to view, they appear here. The top bar shows “YOUR NAME’s Kindle” and then the number of notifications you have in bright orange. It looks quite nice.

There are no physical buttons on the surface of the device. You bring up a lower navigation menu by tapping the screen once. This can take you back home, etc.

Storage is said to be 6gb because they plan on it being cloud based and it’s wifi only. No camera. You get Amazon Prime (normally $79) which gives you two day shipping from Amazon and Amazon’s Instant Video Service) with the tablet.

So why do I call this a fail? You can get this right now…in fact you can get better than this. Just go get a Nook Color and root it and call it a day (Nook Color is Android 2.2, 800mhz ARM A8, 8gb storage that’s expandable to 32, 7” display and wifi for $250 and you can get Android on it easily). So ultimately this isn’t bog news. It will still sell well because it’s Amazon but real fans of reading will stick with the regular e-ink Kindle.

In the end, yhis is less Android and more Kindle so the theory that this is an iPad challenger are off base. In fact, even if it outsells the iPad (which it won’t but let’s amuse every fan boy here) it’s far closer to a Kindle at heart than a tablet at heart. I mean, the Nook is running Android in its belly today (without rooting) but it’s hard to consider that an Android tablet since you really buy it for books. It’s like thinking about all those Windows CE devices and calling them Windows devices.

Anyway, if you want to out shine this now just hit up Amazon now, go to the tablet section and go for less than $300 and you’ll see plenty of Android tablets that hit these specs already. Hell the Dell Streak 7 is about the same price with better specs. Blah…I’ve wasted too much time on this already. Amazon, you missed the mark here.


  1. I think Amazon is smart to attack the Nook Color. It was never going to slow the iPad down and it is wise to not fight a war on two fronts. Eliminate an immediate threat first then turn your attention to the big fish.

    Did Amazon ever say they were going after the iPad or was it just us wishing so hard for the iPad to be dethroned that anything with a heartbeat gets the distinction of being thrown in the ring with the king?

  2. @TheJackofClubs: Seriously didn’t they read what TC had to say?
    “First of all, before every commenter asks, no, sadly, I don’t have any pictures to share. That was the one condition of me getting this information. So instead you’ll have to rely on my prose to draw a picture of the device in your head. Or you can just look at a BlackBerry PlayBook — because it looks very similar in terms of form-factor.”
    See they should have used the PlayBook;)

  3. As a prime member, I might get one if it locks me in indefinitely. But if it’s only a year membership, the tablet still works out to be $170 more than I’m willing to spend on something that is so limited.

  4. i imagine it will be no better than any other 7″ android tablet running the kindle app. im definitely not going to replace my touchpad which has a beautiful kindle app.

    however i can see the kindle tablet doing quite well if they release an updated e-ink version along side making it clear than the eink one is for serious novel and textbook reading while the lcd one is great for magazines and web browsing and playing games.

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