Friday, November 18, 2011

How to make a full Android tablet of a Kindle Fire

How to make a full Android tablet of a Kindle Fire.
I knew this would happen, but this was fast! Only a couple of days.

The article and video also explains about doing similar things to the new Nook Tablet.

And it mentions how to get a regular Android browser if you don't like Amazon's fancy "cover flow" one (to use Apple's term).
I did something similar a couple days ago: I updated the software on my Dell Streak which I bought a year ago (neat little 5-inch tablette). And after I had done so, the home screen/launcer had been replaced by a horrible interface called "Dell Stage". What it basically did was place the icons on a little stage on the screen, and the net (and so far I could see, only) effect was to reduce useable screen space to under one third! Most idiotic thing I ever saw. So I googled "remove Dell Stage" and I found out I merely had to download a free app launcher from the Market, and I was back to a sensible use of the screen again.

Now we're cooking. iPad is still missing real competition in the full-sized tablet space, but it has very tough competition now in the 7-inch space, the Fire is only 40% of the iPad's price! And it would surprise me if Amazon does not follow up next year with a larger model. Their magazine and video services pretty much demand it.

Talking about the Kindle: the fact that it's running an old version (2.3) of Android which was not meant for tablets (only phones) does not exactly help with the problem of fragmentation of Android. Developers will have to make special versions of their apps if they want in on this popular device.


Bruce said...

If you have two or three Android devices from different vendors, putting the same launcher on each one can be a big help. It's funny how passionate people are about their favorites. ADW vs. LauncherPro vs. Go can get people stirred up like Mac vs. PC vs. Linux does.

I think it's great strategy for tablet makers to work around Apple, rather than competing directly. I'd say get those 7" and 5" tabs out there first and try to get a good reputation with them.

I think that 10 inch Android tablets don't have much to offer over an iPad, other than a lower price. The only 10 inch Android tablet that interests me is the ASUS Transformer because of the unique keyboard dock that adds to battery life and turns into a protective cover.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Interesting. I think on such a simple device, the launcher is not that important. I just got LauncherPro because that's the one people mentioned, and it works nice and simple.

I think you're right about the strategy, and also the relevance of a 10-inch Android. I have a Xoom which I barely use. For people who get used to using the Kindle Fire a lot though, a bigger one could be a meaningful upgrade. And probably cheaper since Amazon knows how to do the razor blade thing well.

I hope the high-rez rumors about iPad 3 are true, and that's about the only improvement I can think of.

Be interesting if anybody solves why backlit screens tire the eyes so, but I'm not holding my breath.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

(Not to have too big a contrast between the screen and the room helps, though.)

Bruce said...

I agree with you that fragmentation is a problem. I think itwil take two years before you can buy most Android devices and be confident that the OS will be upgraded on schedule.

Google did not help by releasing Android 4 recently. It is now the holiday buying season, and it's vital for companies to sell, sell, sell those tablets and phones. How many phones are running the latest version of Android? Exactly one. And every single tablet offered for sale is running an older version of Android. That can't be good for sales.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

On the other hand, I think most customers, especially for phones, don't know or care. Me, except for knowing that until version three it was not made for tablets, I have no clue what differentiates the different versions of Android.