More than 3000 engineers find our updates useful. You can get them at your mail box!
Search your paper presentation and project titles:

Department/Area of interest: ( To list the projects / paper presentations)

Mechanical               Scada technology              Communication             Computer science           Alternative energy
Electrical                  Robotics                        Biometrics                     Artificial intelligence             Electronics

How Amazon made the new "Kindle fire" a massive hit?

It has been more than a week since kindle fire was made available to public by Amazon, and it’s a huge success. It’s not the question of iPad vs. kindle fire or just saying that “kindle fire is not just a product but it’s a service”, but the actual question is all about what was the change that was made to the android code used in kindle fire.

We need to understand several things about the hardware of the kindle fire and how it actually affects the apps provides by android. Device access for apps is extremely limited in fire either by design or by the fact apps require device access. There is a large variety of Android apps request device access to things like the camera, accelerometer or location services which is not found in the Amazon Appstore.

Fire has resemblances to the gingerbread flavour of android and one would think that Amazon has just taken gingerbread and has added on top of fire but that’s not the case, Amazons’ build of android is similar to the addition by subtraction principle. There are several device access capabilities that are taken out of the platform such as location. The Fire is built from a stripped version of Gingerbread that more or less just runs the kernel of the device.
The purpose for this is twofold is to drive the users to the Web and to Amazon's cloud services. The prime example of this is location. Apps do not have location access from the device. Look at how the Fire handles both Facebook and Twitter. The dedicated apps for Android from Facebook and Twitter are missing. In the Amazon Appstore, the Twitter app is Twitter for Mobile Web. It is a redirect. For Facebook, there is not even a redirect. The reason for such fold is that both the apps, twitter as well as facebook asks for device access which fire don’t support, if there is any app that is not supported by fire is mainly because the kind of device access permission it requires. So if you want to use Facebook and Twitter, you have to do so through the browser, of which Amazon provides with its "Silk" build.
Once the Appstore was developed the code was submitted to normal Android Market apps for approval to the Appstore. Yet, without device access components, this is impossible because those apps will not work with the Fire. Developers have to strip certain permissions from the app to get it to work with the Fire. The subtraction is a way for a peculiar kind of control unique only to Amazon.

Users cannot reach the Android Market from the Fire. It is basically impossible without rooting the device. If you type the URL for the Android Market ( into the Silk browser, you get redirected back to the Amazon Appstore.
Amzon also allows you to load apps form third party apps repository. It can be easily done using the settings in fire. For instance, you can access Getjar apps through the browser. Through Getjar we installed the Dolphin HD browser to see if going straight to the Android Market URL would work. It did not and still redirect to the Appstore. One app that is one of our favorites is NHL Game Center 2011-12. It is a dynamic app that can show in (almost) real-time what is happening on the ice of an NHL game. We downloaded it through Getjar in hopes of checking scores and the download process was smooth. Yet, the thing with NHL Game Center is that it requests location services after registering what the user’s favorite team is. A message pops up along the lines of, "NHL Game Center could not find the location of the user, please turn on location in the settings" and promptly closes. There is no way around it. This severely curtails the type of apps that Amazon will allow to be used with the Fire.

If someone needs a tab only for web purposes then fire is a service to them but for those who require cellular connections, the Fire is not going to work in the same way that it does for Ali (a cellular connection would also give it location services). Amazon has told consumers and developers that fire will not stop them from rooting the device. If you do not like the user interface and restrictions of the Appstore, rooting it will be the best thing to be done. There will be certain limitations with what can be done on Fire without the device hardware necessary, to support app functionality, but it will give access to the Android Market. Moreover  $199 is not an easy money to spend on fire.

Intense Debate Comments