Friday, November 18, 2011

The Amazon Kindle (a) Fire

Note: You must have easy access to WiFi for this device!!

This is it.    The best device yet for lots of seniors.   I can say that after only a few hours with it.

It is so good that it is hard to concentrate on the shortcomings, and there are some..

But for many seniors, either traveling or confined, this is it, especially if they are fairly new or green to computers.

Now, I know, I will see it in better perspective once the newness has worn off.    But I also expect its utility to grow with more apps and more user input.   The browser will speed up as its remote supercomputer gathers data from us.

This is the most advanced media access device yet.  It is the right size   It is fast.    It you hands it transforms itself instantly into a book, library, radio, tv, victrola, computer, EMailer, and internet browser.

It leaves phoning and camera to the cell phone, wisely I think.   It has no microphone.  You cannot dictate to it and have it transcribe for you.   Otherwise it is a jack of all trades.

This product is worthy of Apple, Microsoft, and Google.     It makes the fact that it is a computer drop into the background a it should.     It is a no-nonsense appliance.

Of course, the iPhone does it all, and iPod Touch nearly all, even GPS, if you don't mind a very small screen.   Click here to compare to iPad

Shortcomings?     It does not begin to offer the choices of any other computer.    The good side is that you do not need to choose which of 300,000 iPad apps to use.    The bad side is that the choice is limited.   That is a benefit for the inexperienced user.   The experienced computer user gains from size. speed, mobility.  AND LOW PRICE!!!

The bad side may also be that access to functions can be controlled by Amazon   You may become a captive user.    The techie will find many limitations too constricting.  The Fire did not run Google eBooks.   It did run Google Books, just not eBooks.

The browser needs some work to be smooth.   It took some patience to use it.  Pages got scrambled.  (I was able to install another browserwhich does not go through Amazons super cloud computer.)

However, the device has potential to overcome most such limits.   The basic logic is public domain and that can be altered or replaced.   Also, so far Amazon has done nothing to restrict others from adapting it, as all of its competitors have indeed done.*

So, Merry Christmas with your new Amazon Kindle.

My initial app choices:

AK Notepad
Adobe Reader
Audible Books
Documents To Go
Dolphin Browser
Easy PDF Reader
Enhanced EMail
ES File Explorer
German Newspapers
iHeart Radio
Meet the Press
On Air Mediafly
Public Radio International
Quick Office
Read it Later
Reader; Digest
Stitcher Podcast
The New Yorker
The Weather Channel
TuneIn Radio
US Newspapers
Volume Master
Washiungton Post
LangtoLang Translator
WiFi Analyzer (signal sniffer)
World News
Words with Friends

Click for Kindle Fire Users Guide