back to article Kindle Fire: An open letter to Jeff Bezos

Mr. Bezos, I love everything about Amazon. You have created a world where I can sit on my couch, read War and Peace, listen to Lady GaGa and order toilet paper - all from the same company and now, with the Kindle Fire, from a single device. I have raved for months on Twitter, Google+ and on my podcast, Nekkid Tech that in a …


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  1. jotus2u


    Your article says that gmail is not available on the fire, but amazon's website states that you can access gmail with the fire. When I get my fire, hopefully the post will arrive today, I will make sure that I can get gmail using the device. If not, then amazon is guilty of false advertising and I'll be returning mine as well...thanks for the warning...hope you are wrong and I will be able to check my gmail.

    1. cc7211

      You can access gmail via the included email app, that's what I did and it works beautifully.

    2. wilber

      I don't believe the problem is actually *reading* your gmail. I suspect you could do that by using the web interface. The author wants to load the gmail app.

      1. jotus2u

        thanks for clarifying

        I do not have a fancy cell phone and have not used an "app" unless you count what came on my gateway laptop so my lack of understanding led to a post that had the author not assumed his readers know what one of those app things is and defined it I would have fared better. Thanks for pointing out the difference.

        1. The Cube

          Your "gateway" laptop

          Is that the laptop you used even though the government warned you not to which turned out to be a gateway device? Did the dealer wait till you were hooked on the laptops and then sell you tablets too?

          Oh, sorry, I remember, there used to be a computer maker called Gateway...

        2. Anonymous Coward

          "I do not have a fancy cell phone and have not used an "app" unless you count what came on my gateway laptop so my lack of understanding led to a post that had the author not assumed his readers know what one of those app things is and defined it I would have fared better. Thanks for pointing out the difference."

          Why exactly are you reading a tech site if you haven't bought a piece of kit in a decade? Go to lolCNN or MSNBCroflcopter for your "must haves of the holiday season" garbage articles.

          Or buy a Mac. You're pretty much their target audience.

  2. gaverv

    Find a profession you know

    Your the "Nekkid Tech". I know little about this techy stuff. "you cannot side-load or run any Google app that requires a login on the Kindle Fire". I'm signed on to my google account and get around fine. And you do what as a profession?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Are the apps installed or are you going through the built in browser.

      How do it? Please tell

  3. The Taft Hotel
    Thumb Up

    Put Andoid ICS on it

    I wouldn't worry for too long.

    Take the nice cheap hardware, thanks Amazon. Then look out for the imminent release of Android ICS 4.0 from the ROM cooking boys. You can dump all the amazon spyPad software they have put on it. You'll have all your google apps and still have access to all the other stuff on your new hardware.

    That's what I and many more start people will be doing too :)

    1. A Known Coward

      "dump all the amazon spyPad software"

      "You'll have all your google apps"

      You dislike the thought of Amazon potentially spying on you but you'd welcome the master spies at Google to read your email, documents, know all your web browsing habits, your social circle and much more? What exactly makes Amazon scary but Google completely harmless?!

      1. Windrose


        "What exactly makes Amazon scary but Google completely harmless?!"

        Google told us they were harmless, of course! Sheesh, young people these days.

        1. Armando 123

          Quite right, Windrose!

          If you can't trust mature, level-headed people like the Google founders, you might as well not trust journalists and politicians.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Easy. We trust Google, we trust Amazon less. It doesn't need to be a logical or rational choice, that's just how consumers are. We never trust any of them completely, nor do we ever not trust them at all. If they have something we want, we'll trust them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Easy. We trust Google, we trust Amazon less. It doesn't need to be a logical or rational choice, that's just how consumers are. We never trust any of them completely, nor do we ever not trust them at all. If they have something we want, we'll trust them."

          We trust Google more than Amazon because Amazon is selling things to us, while Google is selling us to other people. There is inherent strain in the relationship where one is trying to sell you something, because we must protect ourselves from "being swindled" by the big bad salesman.

          1. Charles 9

            But doesn't that put the onus on Amazon?

            Since, after all, they're trying to sell things TO US. Which means we hold an important power: the power to say NO. Google will always find buyers because a person is a person is a person to demographics firms. But for Amazon, they have to make sure they provide things that actual consumers want to buy, not just in the Fire but also in the stuff FOR the Fire. After all, if we look at something from Amazon and pass it up, Amazon doesn't get the commission, so they don't make money. See how that would motivate Amazon?

            1. smartashell

              It just puts the onus on Google!

              "Google will always find buyers because a person is a person is a person to demographics firms"

              Here is the thing, google's products are successful only as long as there is a need for them. With Fire's price point and the package on offer --- easy access to media and a brilliant deal, "google's icing products" are actually icing, that's it. Google will be forecd to make their apps available on Amazon's app store, just like they did on Apple's app store, otherwise Google will miss a very large segment of tablet buyers.

              "After all, if we look at something from Amazon and pass it up, "

              That is true only if you cannot do the math and reasoning, and are madly in love and are crazy for Apple and Google products. I suspect Google's offerings are only the icing on the cake, the real things win!

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Lars Petersson

    What did you expect?

    No sympathy here...

    How was this device marketed? As a kindle or a full blown android tablet like the Xoom?

    That's right, a Kindle. If you want the full functionality that comes with a full tablet, then you buy one of those.

    I am waiting for my Kindle Fire to arrive, and I'm looking forwards to a device I can use for the things a Kindle is meant for...

  5. 7inColo


    While I certainly have an opinion regarding the subject matter, this post is primarily about the quality of the article. The author's numerous arguments are made with such clarity and conviction. It's refreshing to read such a well written piece. I look forward to your next.

    1. Chris Parsons


      It baffles me what sort of moron could possibly object to your post and have down-voted it.

      1. Bassey

        Re: Baffled

        Good grief Chris. I know it is early on a Monday but wake up man. He didn't mention WHAT article or WHICH author. This isn't a post. It is a BOT getting in a 1st "relevent" post to try and get around the spam detectors.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Baffled

          It won't be a bot - but it might be a real live spammer.

          We will keep an eye out.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I believe the downvotes are for the astroturfing dear chap. At least, mine is.

        Why on earth would you register an account just to emit that bland nothing?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I assumed it was his Mum.

          I found the article in the style of a letter pretty irritating myself.

          But I do have some fine trainers for sale.

  6. drtom

    Simple solution


    Ever hear of "get what you pay for/'?

    Someone has to say it,,,

    Get an iPad.

    I really don't mean to be snarky, and I am quite critical of Apple in many way. i too was hoping the Fire would be a more affordable solution for exactly the same reason - holiday gift giving. Fact is, that right now, the Fire will only lead to more frustration than appreciation on the part of my donees. i really did enjoy your very creatively written article. Best bet is go back to the gift card for this year.. I'm sure a $250 Apple gift card toward the purchase of the only thing that exists that does it all will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "I'm sure a $250 Apple gift card"

      Don't tell us: if you mention this damned gift card 250 times in Internet forums, Apple will give you one for real. Thanks for the repeat spamming, apparent astroturfer!

    2. wobbly1

      repeatingyour earlier assertion...

      ...does not increase it's voracity.

    3. Jedit Silver badge

      "The only thing that exists that does it all"?

      Clearly it couldn't be that any tablets other than the iPad exist, that are capable of all the same things the iPad can do.

    4. Kay Burley ate my hamster

      Who the fuck gives tablets as xmas gifts anyway. Are you one of these kick a granny to get the last xbox guys?

      Anyway, simply put, The iPad has this exact same problem you are just blind to it. I just need to tick a box to use Grooveshark on Android, I'd need to jailbreak an iPad. The Kindle Fire is in the same position, to get Gmail you need Market, to get Market you need to cheat and flash an aftermarket OS.

  7. Miraclefish

    First World problems...

    It's not of any actual consequence, though, is it?

  8. Tom 7

    What on earth made you think it was yours?

    Its been apparent for a long while now that some companies think you buy the name not the hardware.

  9. emuneee


    I don't think its correct to blame Amazon here given their strategy with the Kindle Fire.

    Foremost, the lack of Google services is not because Amazon is actively blocking them, its because the official Google Android apps (GMail, GTalk, Android Market, etc.) only get put on official Android devices (with the approval of Google). The Kindle Fire is not that device because Amazon forked Android.

  10. Tetractys
    Thumb Down

    Putting out the Fire

    I'm also returning my new Fire after experiencing the same letdown as Greg. But I'll go a step further. It's bad enough that I bought the Fire thinking I'd have access to all my Google apps only to find I don't, but with normal fast page switching the Fire locks up, requiring rebooting. It will scramble Web pages with overlays of thumbnails of your most recent sites tiled across the screen like a chessboard. There's no way out of this fault other than rebooting again. I'm not sure how the Fire was beta tested (or whether the team figured for US$200 a few kinks would be OK), but this isn't an iPad killer or even a good smartphone supplement. I watched a movie last night, and somehow the image became inverted. Again, the only way to right it was to shut down the device, restart everything and reload the movie. US$200 is certainly less than $800, but it's still too much to pay for a broken toy with core features missing.

    1. Tim Cockburn


      If 'inverted' means upside down not 'left to right and upside down' I suggest an easier solution would have been to turn the device top to tail!

    2. AndyS
      Thumb Down

      never smoked astroturf...

      That's nice. I'm sure you're telling the truth too, as one of only 6 or 7 people who signed up specifically to say you're taking your fire back, cos it's not as good as your ipad. I'm sure you're not astroturfing. Honestly.

  11. mewshi

    Except it's not Amazon blocking anything

    It's not Amazon "blocking" anything -- it is a well-known issue among the Android community that certain devices ship without the core Google apps - GMail, for example -- and lack the Google Services Framework that is required to run many of the Google apps. Even CyanogenMod, one of the most-used custom ROMs for Android devices, received a C&D from Google saying "Stop bundling our apps into the ROM you distribute." (However, they do provide a separate package for the GApps.)

    And Google won't allow their apps in a different app store. Again, it's not Amazon being weird, it's Google, understandably, controlling the distribution of the core apps for their operating system.

    And it's actually fairly trivial to get most of the GApps running on the Fire -- all but the Android Market will install just fine without rooting the device as far as I've tried.

    *Enable "Unknown Sources" (under Settings -> Device)

    *Track down copies of the Google Services Framework APK as well as the APK for whatever GApps you want to install (don't try the Android Market unless you want to root the device) and place them on the Kindle Fire using the USB computer (or you can e-mail using one of the other apps, which do work pretty well, which may negate the need for a file manager. Not sure, though.)

    *On the Amazon App Store, track down "Easy Installer" or a file manager.

    *Using Easy Installer or the file manager, install the Google Services Framework APK first.

    *Reboot the Kindle Fire.

    *Install the Google Apps you want.

    *A reboot may be required.

    This is a LOT less painful than it could be. Trust me.

    1. jluros

      It's really not that hard to get around.

      A little searching produced this:

  12. amozillo
    Thumb Down

    This article can be reduced to 1 sentence: "Google Android programs don't run on Kindle, which will present as a hindrance & anti-competitive in long term." What a prolix whiney dissertation; get your own blog.

  13. skywire

    Mr. Knieriemen, I appreciate your speaking to Mr. Bezos civilly, as though he were an honourable man. But the sad reality is that he did indeed want to create this user experience. Some people in the world really have decided to give themselves over to evil for a little more money, and Mr. Bezos is one of them.

  14. MikeSD

    Licensing issues?

    Android itself is open source, but Google's apps (Gmail, Maps, Market) are not, and manufacturers are not allowed to distribute them without Google's consent.

    I'd be surprised if Google was willing to license their proprietary apps (like Gmail) to a competitor like Amazon without requiring the Market app to be preloaded as well. Amazon on the other hand is selling the Kindle Fire more or less at cost and needs to make money by selling content, so preloading Google's Market app on the device is probably the last thing they want to do.

    1. dshan

      It's Google Not Amazon

      Exactly right, the lack of Google apps on unlicensed Android implementations like the Fire is a Google restriction not an Amazon one (though I'm sure in this case Amazon are quite happy to not be allowed to install them).

      Android itself is 'free' and open source but the Google store and other Google apps are not.

  15. cloudgazer

    What part of this being an unofficial android fork did you not understand?

    That you thought it would run the android google app suite is an indication of how clueless you are, not anything else.

  16. lawrence177

    I don't know anything about amazon uk but amazon us says

    "Kindle Return Policies

    You can return any Kindle you purchased directly from for a full refund within 30 days of the day you received it as long as it is in new condition and in accordance with our return policy."

    1. AndyS
      Thumb Down

      Good grief, another astroturfer signing up specifically to talk about returning the fire. Someone at Apple must be very scared.

      1. Armando 123

        Or possibly google.

        1. Ed 11

          Or, possibly, Samsung.

  17. alexh2o

    Wrong company...

    You seem to be blaming the lack of Google apps on an Amazon decision, which if true, I would agree is stupid.

    But I think this is not a case of Amazon blocking them, but rather Google! In which case, Amazon can do pretty much nothing about this problem.

    Amazon have "taken" Google's OS but not conformed to Google's terms, and instead made their own unique build. Hence the lack of rights to use the Android brand and the lack of access to Google apps.

    Google are pretty clear about their stance on this. As Android is open source, to maintain a form of control, the Android brand and Google apps are closed.

  18. drtom

    Simple Solution

    Simply a case of "You get what you pay for" The Fire is not an iPad killer... yet.

    Frankly, I am not a fanboy, am often very critical of Apple, and I also hoped to buy several Fires as holiday gifts. However, I really did enjoy your creative way of expressing the same disappointment I felt at the dearth of "in-house" features in the Fire. (all of which can easy be accessed on the iPad).

    Solution: Go back to the gift cards with a $250 Apple card to help they can buy the only device that they will not be frustrated with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Solution: Go back to the gift cards with a $250 Apple card to help they can buy the only device that they will not be frustrated with."

      The guy wants to combine walled-gardens and fails. The solution is not to dash to another walled-garden where the guy will immediately find that it too is not compatible with one of his walled-gardens of choice.

      When all the spoilt brats are hoarding their toys, don't whine about not being able to combine the Action Man belonging to one of them with the Barbie belonging to another. Just go and hang out with some decently behaved kids instead.

    2. Ammaross Danan


      The Fire has been rooted. Install base Android on it. Easy.

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Great for the average consumer that isn't it?

        It's like saying to a person who has just bought a car that they can access the ECU with a special cable and tweak the settings. Great for geeks but your average consumer struggles to replace their IE browser with something else.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the iFan Simpleton Solution

      I respectfully suggest that you take your $250 Apple card, roll it into a cigar shape, then use it on yourself as a suppository*.

      * - Means 'Work it up your dirtbox' (just in case you are not a real doctor and don't know what a suppository is).

    4. smartashell

      You got more than what you paid for

      I do not see much sense in whining about a missing native gmail app, when he gets tons of native media apps, single-touch access to tons of stuff at fantastic price. You still have a native email app that supports reading your gmail and ofcourse you can read gmail on your browser or install 3rd party email apps that look better (the other walled garden btw didn't have a gmail app until like very recently, and yet who cares). I would rather have a simple interface to my email and watch/read tons of content at the best price, than fuss over how good my email client looks like.

    5. Anomalous Cowturd

      Anyone else noticed... many people appear to have registered at elReg today JUST to post a comment on this article.


      Or is it just me?

      1. Paul M 1


        drtom, Tetractys, anamik, sykottik and no doubt others all felt the need to register (and all within 30 minutes of each other!) to tell everyone that they either now won't be buying a kindle Fire presumably on the basis of this one article, or are returning the Kindle Fire they've already bought.

        Do astroturfers really have such little respect for us now that they don't even put in the basic effort anymore?

        1. kb

          Astroturf is the new marketing

          And as we can see Apple and many others have embraced it. i'd love to see what their budget is for such things, as it is pretty obvious that in at least the last year and a half (when i first started to really notice the blatant ones) that astroturf by corps is the order of the day. Here is just a list of a few I've seen doing it, Apple, MSFT, Oracle, EA, Dell, Intel, HP. But as you pointed out they have gotten lazy about it, creating an account for a single post followed by promptly tossing it and then making another next time. I don't know if we should be insulted or happy the PHB astroturfing is so easy to spot.

          1. smartashell

            Shouldn't he write an open letter to Larry Page?

            The article sounds like the author was under some wrong impressions and clearly does not understand how licensing works and what platforms mean. Kindle fire is a fork of android, as such it is not Google's platform. It seems Amazon would have had to pay Google for the proprietary Google Applications, which are not available with the open-source distribution of android. This is Amazon's platform, Google apps have to be available through the Amazon Appstore, just like the kindle app is available through google's marketplace or apple's app store on android and ios. It is upto Google to make their proprietary apps available on Amazon's appstore. Having said all that KF lets you access gmail in the native email client. There are also 3rd party email apps on Amazon's appstore which provide a better interface and access to gmail and ofcourse you can browse gmail on the web browser. KF lets you share stuff on facebook because facebook has opened its API for 3rd party developers, Google+ I am not sure has done that. Google in general aren't every good at providing APIs to 3rd party developers. In short, he should write an open letter to Larry Page.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          An open letter to El Reg

          Please can you not use any articles from this Greg bloke again as it appears he brings along a lot of astroturfers and his article is generally inane.

    6. Michael Hutchinson

      Anything beginning "I am not a fanboy"...

      is inevitably posted by a fanboy

  19. miknik

    I thought it was Google

    who decided which devices could run Google apps. Android maybe open source (or not depending on your outlook, but that's another story) but Google apps aren't. I can appreciate your frustration at not having these apps on your Fire, but I think you should be writing to Google, not Amazon.

    source -

    1. mewshi


      That's correct. And it's actually trivial to get the majority of Google Apps installed. But, that doesn't make as big of a story, so...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An entirely google free Android tablet? I believe I've just chosen the Kindle Fire as my next must-have device.

    Personally I just don't understand this rant, if you want Google there are countless other tablets on the market right now which are loaded with their apps. It's like writing an angry letter to 'Linux Pre-loaded' because you really want a Windows machine instead ...

    Google and Apple are the ogliopolies in the market, between them they've created a toxic environment for consumers that is every bit as bad as a monopoly. Amazon are trying to force a wedge, to create space for themselves and other newcomers. As ironic as it might seem, the way to break the stranglehold is to exclude the competitor from your device otherwise you're just subsidising another platform for their business. Consumers just won't see the alternatives otherwise and that is bad for everyone, even those who given a choice would still choose Google.

    1. Ramazan
      Thumb Up

      being Google-free is actually a plus!

      Thanks for the article, I've just chosen a Christmas gift for myself

    2. Paul Shirley

      same business plan as Google, with even more lock in

      <<Amazon are trying to force a wedge, to create space for themselves and other newcomers.>>

      No. Amazon are creating a sales channel for Amazon services, one meant to be more tightly restricted than Googles similar Android business plan. This does fsck all for any other newcomer, unless you count giving sellers another choice of middleman to bend over for.

      Frankly Amazon must be laughing at Googles no-compete restrictions, they *want* Google cut out of the deal and the Android licence requirement does exactly that! Laughing because they get the benefit of Googles investment but still get to lock them out of the sales channel.

    3. Gordon 10


      Just because Amazon is a newcomer doesn't make them any less toxic.

  21. Sykottik

    Thank you

    Thank you for your letter. You just saved me from the exact same experience. I was about to order a Kindle fire for for each member of my family, including myself, but now I won't. It seems to be like buying a t-shirt to advertise someone's product and paying them for the privilege. Something else I refuse to do. Thank you again for saving me a lot of money, but more importantly a lot of disappointment.

  22. nanodeath

    Reasonable Explanation

    Well, there's a good (sorta) reason for it. Because Google gives its operating system away, but still wants some say in the user experience of the device, Google needs a bargaining chip, and that bargaining chip is the Google Apps (including the Market and GMail). That is to say, unless you (a device manufacturer) coordinate with Google, your device *cannot* have the Google Apps. Evidently, Amazon did not do this coordination with Google. I don't know what the reason is, but it's possible that Google doesn't /want/ to cooperate with Amazon because Amazon has created its own appstore and is thus undermining Google somewhat (perhaps?). Further, the Google Apps don't really fit into Bezos' raison d'être for the device, which is to enable consumption of Amazon's media. The Fire is not really *for* checking your email or your documents -- you wouldn't do that on your old Kindle, would you?

    Still, I'll admit as well that having Gmail and Maps would be great additions to the Fire device.

  23. anamik


    Thank you so much for your research and for this article. I was about to buy Kindle Fire, but I am mostly a Google user, and gmail is my primary email account/gateway of communication. Most probably I will go with Nook Tablet now. Thanks again for your information.

  24. butchyon

    Yeah, real bummer, huh? But never fear, a root for the K-Fire is already out there! Amazon brought this on themselves by releasing such a restricted device. Oh, I realize there may be business reasons for doing so, but people just like you are gonna be disappointed.

    Here's the kicker. Probably 95% (conservative estimate) of the folks who buy the K-Fire will not be geeky enough to accomplish the root, so now there's a new market for thousands of teen-geeks that will be glad to root your K-fire for you. I heard there are already many inspiring entrepreneurs advertising their K-Fire rooting service ($39.95 US) in newspapers across the US! Gotta love free enterprise, huh? ;)

  25. jameswatson3
    Thumb Up

    A Yahoo Mail App - Cool I'm in!

    Still don't need Google. This rocks.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Web Apps

    I don't get it; aren't google services available as web apps?

    [disclosure: I work for Amazon]

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Web Apps

      If you want your Google Talk messages to appear in the notification screen as they arrive so you can use it as a free SMS replacement, the web app isn't much use.

  27. jcurtis01

    This article is WRONG.

    After having my Fire for about a day, I already have all of my Gapps on it and they all run great. Android Market, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Maps (no gps, but still useful). You have to install the Anrdoid framework apk before you install the rest of the apps. Its that simple. Also if you root your device you lose access to Amazon prime streaming. To solve this problem all you do is root and get your device the way you want then unroot and your golden. This is a solid device, I just wish the author of this article would have spent more the 15 minutes with his device before posting such an ignorant article.

    Here is a link for info on how to do this.

    Have fun all!

  28. Ilgaz

    have to troll yahoo?

    add 249.999.990 to the number you got, that's the number of active yahoo users. check some professional stat reports before you get published in a pro IT portal, this isn't your blog.

  29. Phil A.

    It's not a "with google" device

    Android on the fire is not a "with Google" version, which means none of the core Google apps are available. It has nothing to do with Amazon blocking the Google Alps, but rather they were too tight to pay for the Google licenses (like a lot of cheap Chinese tablets).

  30. Matt Fowler

    Blame Google, not Amazon

    The Google apps are not part of the open-source Android platform.

    Device makers have to get in to contracts and so on with Google to get to include the Google Android Market and the Google Apps (gmail et al) on their Android products. Equally, Google would need to submit their apps to the Amazon App Store for them to be available over that channel.

    Google is the one stopping you from running the official Gmail app on the Fire, not particularly Amazon.

    1. Ilgaz

      Blame google?

      Asking for official app support for a forked operating system is a bit much don't you think?

  31. Allicorn


    302 million Yahoo users last quarter, I believe. Mocking anyone who relies on a different vendor than you do is the #1 sign of fanboi-ism y'know.

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Indeed. Are they still the largest email provider, slightly ahead of Hotmail?

    2. Scaine

      You don't see the humour there at all? Really? 10 users and all that? <sigh>

      Hotmail is still the world number one, then Yahoo, then Gmail. The author probably had a tiny inkling, I think.

  32. Daf L


    The author can't really be this dim can he?

    Why do you think it is Amazon blocking Google Apps? I would take a guess that the device isn't Android certified and so isn't allowed to have the Google portfolio of Apps installed on it (such as the Google market).

    Would that've made more sense? Would it have more sense to spend 2 minutes researching before writing an article?

  33. Jodo Kast

    Strange omission

    That is bizarre, and I have warned my facebook friends...

    The Fire has promise. Here's hoping they open it up a little.

  34. halfbeer

    Who cares?

    If you dug even a fingernail deep into the reviews before rushing off to buy one, you would have seen that (1) the Fire runs a branch off of Android 2.1- Amazon's own branch of the code- it is not an "Android" device, although apps that run on Android 2.1 would be compatible if Amazon decides to let those apps into their store, and most importantly (2) Amazon's app store is much smaller than Google's and more restrictive.

    Also- the things you failed to mention: (1) the Fire is cheaper than an Android tablet, (2) if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of movies, (3) it has games like Angry Birds, etc., (4) it can be used as a color e-reader for Amazon books, (5) Kindle has a new e-book format that will work on the Fire that will support more immersive ebooks, and (6) you mentioned that the Fire uses Amazon cloud services, but you fail to mention that this can mean nearly unlimited storage of music, etc.

    It really makes me upset to see such an unintelligent editorial on the register. It really looks to be paid for by Google, and it is blatantly pointing out only well-known holes in the Kindle Fire vs. all of the strongpoints. I'm glad to say that my family bought a Fire, and we have a Kindle 3 also that we are both quite happy with.

  35. Cashel

    When the headline of this article appeared on my google news page, my spirits rose in anticipation, thinking that the author just might be a techie with a social conscience, about to lampoon Amazon for its abominable labor practices at its warehouses. What better use of an open letter to Jeff Bezos than addressing that issue? But I was wrong, and so I am left to mull the issue on my own, how to make my displeasure felt in the tiniest manner, perhaps by buying only from their second-hand book dealers who are my favorite suppliers anyway.

  36. DrXym

    Why are you surprised?

    Amazon forked Android so they could keep the entire cake to themselves. They want to do with their tablet what Apple does with theirs - take a 30% slice of everything and exercise arbitrary and total control of what apps people may install. Why are you remotely surprised that "competing" apps are absent?


    The only solace you can take is if the device does turn out to be hackable that dollars to donuts, it will have a Android 4.0 build from CyanogenMod or similar before long. Then you can install your Google apps, and if you wanted to, stick the Amazon appstore on there too.

  37. Laxman

    Perhaps the author will realise...

    It's Google which has blocked its app from the Amazon Kindle and not the other way around - I don't think they want them on a device with the "Amazon Appstore" as the primary app market.

    PS: I also think it's Google's default for making an OS that deals with all e-mail cept GMail in that horrible manner - lock in much?

  38. UBfusion
    Paris Hilton

    What are "Google Apps"?

    Is it perhaps time to get rid of the so-called "Google apps" that apparently are ruining your internet experience?

    I am online since the web was discovered and never had to use any them - in fact and in total honesty I really don't understand why people find them necessary.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "since the web was discovered"

      Just wandering along one day, just out and about minding your own business, tripped over something, "Bugger me! It's the internet! I must tell mankind about this. This could make some people a little bit of money if only they can work out how, hmmmm."

  39. davew_uk

    Easily solved

    Kindle Fire now rocking Android Market and the rest of the google apps:-

    There, now that wasn't so hard was it?

  40. Sloppy Crapmonster

    How stupid are you?

    Nope, no mention of Android.

    Two mentions of Android: "curated Android app store" from the cnet review quote, and "Additional email apps are available in our Amazon Appstore for Android" which doesn't mention "sideloading" anything.

    So what the fuck were you expecting? We've been in the bad old days of "you can't do anything with your smartphone that we don't want you to" for years now, and people are eating that shit up, encouraging the computer companies to dump general-purpose computers for locked down bullshit like this.

    Y'know, Stallman may be a bit of a wierdo and not the most photogenic of people, but he's very rarely been wrong about the state of computing.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what?

    So you do what we have always done on a desktop: use the web app. Gmail as a web app was the only way for quite some time. Come on. This makes fun reading, but not a lot of sense.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really? I'm sure Jeff Bezos is so sad he can't sell this device to you at a loss on the chance that you'll use their website just because Google won't put their app on his store. How dare he. How dare Amazon make a device that does more than any other at a comparable price. What a sense of privilege they must have. So, complain away, the internet weeps with you, I assure you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Loss , what loss in the UK it's £200, yes $315, even with tax that seems a bit steep.

  43. This post has been deleted by its author

  44. Alan Denman

    Are these people real.

    Despite it stating that it curates all the APPS people seemingly buy it in order to complain.

    A great buy for all who know what they are doing,

  45. alun phillips

    Wow, and your surprised

    The Fire always appeared to me to be a supercharged kindle, running a bastard offspring of Android. Which to my mind makes it too expensive if you want a cheap android tablet there are better alternatives if you want a better ereader there are better alternatives, so why anyone would buy one is a mystery to me?

  46. pcsupport

    What an eejit

    Quote "I should have carefully researched the Amazon app store before I bought the Kindle Fire. I falsely assumed that since you built the Kindle Fire to run Google’s operating system, Google apps would not be a problem to run."

    You went out, bought it and just ASSUMED that because it had Android under the hood that it would be 100% compatible.

    RTFM in future :)

  47. Drew V.

    As you say, Amazon wants to rule the world. So does Google.

    The Kindle Fire therefore is a bit like Lex Luthor having to team up with the Joker.

  48. Ian Stephenson

    Stanza was a Kindle killer -

    Until Amazon bought it and broke it. The final maintenance release (3.2) "fixed" Stanza for iOS 5

    It also stuffed it completely (as in Crash to desktop) for anything other than iOS 5.

    So everyone with a 1st or 2nd gen Touch or early iPhone is stuffed.

    Guess what Amazon's fix is? Use the substandard Kindle software they are hawking on the app store rather than a much the much more flexible Stanza.


    Sorry, just needed to vent over this.

    Managed to restore v3.1 from iTunes with a bit of judicios delete and restore from trashcan.

  49. Feralmonkey
    Paris Hilton


    Every person that thinks that the kindle fire was an Ipad competitor is a twit, and compared to the Nook tablet the fire is out.

  50. Jeremy Chappell


    The motivation is surely to create a "soup to nuts" experience, with no "bumps". How do you do that with an open market for apps? If the market is unregulated, uncontrolled and unmanaged then there will be "bad stuff". This is three kinds of "bad stuff":

    1) Stuff that is just bad, not very well written, not of merchantable quality.

    2) Stuff that for whatever reason doesn't work well with the Fire, maybe it need more horsepower than a $200 tablet can muster, maybe it clashes with the modifications Amazon have but in.

    3) Stuff that's deliberately bad, steals your stuff, rips you off, infects the machine.

    So assuming you don't want "bad stuff", then you have a curated store, products are selected and and tested.

    But this means vendors have to submit the products, so if Google's apps aren't there - isn't that Google's fault?

  51. Mage Silver badge

    Google Apps

    I try to avoid them

    I have a gmail address I can send and receive, but do web mail on other accounts. Mostly I use a regular Imap & PoP3 client.

    When I have to use a "creepy" Google App I use a standard browser. I don't use Chrome "spyware" either.

    If I was buying something especially for Google Apps, I'd make sure and buy a Google approved device. Archos and others AGES ago had devices not support by Google so no Google Apps.

    You sir should not have been given space to blow your ill-informed Trumpet on El Reg.

    If I bought a "kindle" anything though it would have to support technical PDFs. Or maybe I'd buy two, a big one for PDFs and paperback book sized one for novels.

    However I'm happy with my laptop (1600x1200 so allows A4 PDFs) and paper novels. Maybe when price drops for an 10" to 11" approx kindle I'll buy it and a small one.

    Google apps would be irrelevant. As would iPads.

  52. Natick4


    "Hello, McFly?"

    In California, we received our Kindle Fires early, so as an actual owner of a Kindle Fire I must completely disagree with this editorial. For starters, you can easily set up to receive your Google (or other major provider) email in the Fire settings - it's build in to the product! (Albeit, Microsoft Exchange is not yet available.)

    Secondly, the product is a KINDLE not an IPAD - Kindles are e-readers, you use them to READ material not crunch code, video teleconference, or edit photos. As an e-reader, it is spectacular - I can not only read ebooks and watch video (granted, through Amazon), but I can also email myself articles in PDF format to read at my discretion, in comfort of my home, car, Starbucks, etc. As a college professor, I have just discovered the joy of emailing scientific articles in PDF to my GOOGLE MAIL ACCOUNT, which I can then access on my Kindle Fire; a portable literature library, no paper used, and I save a bundle in toner.

    Third, for the vast majority of people who do not work in the tech sector, being able to read their email, read, surf, and listen to music (Pandora anyone?) the Kindle Fire gets you the 99% solution.

    Finally, I find it very curious that this editorial is linked to Google News, but is in fact factually incorrect. In the UK, isn't that considered "slander'?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think on balance this is Amazon's decision, not Google's.

    The Kindle Fire is an Android 2.3 (not 2.1) device. In order to preinstall Google's free-of-charge but nevertheless closed-source copyright proprietary apps, an Android 2.3 device must meet everything in this compatibility definition document:

    Surprisingly, the lack of telephony and GPS are no longer dealbreakers like they were in 2.1.

    So, if the device also passes the compatibility suite, Google cannot refuse approving the device and giving them Google's copyright apps for free.

    So why didn't Amazon do this? The only reason I can think of is because Amazon can't selectively install Gmail and Maps without also installing Android Market.

    So, on balance, I think it's Amazon's decision, not Google's.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does the slimmed down (or forked) OS make the Fire a bad mobile e-reader? I mean, that's what it's supposed to be in the first place.

    Not every flat mobile device that is larger than a mobile phone and equipped with colour display and touch screen is per se a competitor to the iPad.

    Strictly speaking, you can throw any OS on a huge range of different devices, yet you cannot really compare the devices with each other, because they have entirely different aims.

    The author of the article cannot blame Google or Amazon for his own assumptions. I don't see the word Android being mentioned on Amazon's own Kindle Fire details page either. If it was fully compatible and unrestricted in its use, do you really think they would keep this "minor" detail a secret? If they were allowed to and it was en par with other Android tables, they would have Android logos all over the place.

    (I expect to be downvoted again, but this open letter is a farce.)

  55. Scott Mckenzie

    And people question why..

    ....Android is so shite.

    So many versions, so many restrictions.... it's a complete joke.

    Amazon should buy WebOS and turn it into something good.

    Roll on the Apple Fanbois Massive!

  56. Knieriemen

    Great Comments, Thanks

    I love all of the comments, thanks.

    First, you cannot simply sideload a Google app... have to first install the Google Services Framework apk first. I have instructions for this here:

    The problem is, your typically Kindle Fire user is probably not tech savy and probably won't want to take these extra steps to sideload apps.

    I also have a post on 'must have' Kindle Fire apps here:

    Ultimately I think this is an Amazon AND a Google problem and it's all about control and licensing for the app market... be it Amazon's or Google.

    Shame on Google for putting hooks in stand-alone apps like Gmail that require Google Services Framework (you don't need the Google Services Framework for the iPad). Shame on Amazon for not making popular Google apps a part of the Kindle Fire user experience.

    One other note - the Kindle Fire OS is a "wrapped" version Android and not a "fork" as Linux users understand forks.

  57. jim 45

    what a drag..

    ... to have to evaluate a product so carefully before buying, trying to find out if it will actually do the things that it so obviously looks like it should be able to do.

    I guess we need a new product catgory name, since we can't call these things 'tablets'. They're actually captive devices, more like thin clients for specific applications run by the companies that sell them.

    Who has the time or energy to figure this all out in advance? I'd advise Best Buy to get ready for a lot of returns.

  58. Jonathan White


    Actually, having read the thread, I suspect for the majority of people who are going to be bought a Kindle Fire this Christmas, it probably is 'so hard', yes. The majority of the population don't understand terms like 'rooting' and 'sideloading'. They're not techies. Most of them would propbably do exactly what the writer did, which is box it up and send it back to Amazon, because they'll assume it's broken.

    if you're making consumer tech, it has to work as consumers expect it to work. They won't faff with it. They'll just get their money back and buy something else. Be interesting to see what the post-christmas Kindle Fire return rates are.

  59. SilverWave

    Wow what a moron this guy is - LOL do some research dim boy :-)

    The good news is that reading the comments has provided me with links on how to enable Gmail et al. without having to go searching.

    Mine is the one getting shipped from the states and delivered Tuesday :-)

    This article is embarrassing and thereg staff need to give this guy some training.

  60. JDX Gold badge

    Why doesn't he just go to What am I missing here?

  61. rbryanh

    "I love everything about Amazon…"

    And therein lies the problem. Do you know anything at all about Amazon? It's history? Its tactics? Anything beyond that fact that they'll give you all the landfill you can pay for without your having to move from your couch?

    It's easy to understand why Amazon - were it not an abstract legal entity incapable of feelings - might love you: from your descriptor of yourself, you sound a perfect consumer dupe. What's baffling is what sickness compels you to such passion for a corporation about which you appear to know little or nothing, to the point where you reflexively buy its products a six-pack at a time without even reading the hype, much less doubting it.

    There are reasons why the expression "caveat emptor" has along and venerable history, whereas "shop 'til you drop" is merely the trendy snark of the ethically, spiritually, and financially bankrupt.

    P.S. Does it occur to you that people who've intelligently structured their virtual lives to suit themselves might welcome the gift of a Kindle about as much as they'd appreciate being given a puppy with a big red bow around its neck?

  62. blackjack205

    IT'S. A, KINDLE.

    it's a 200 dollar, touch-screen, colored, e-book reader with additional features --these promises WERE delivered, so i don't really understand all the disappointment. it's doing what it was advertised to do, so i don't really see any cause for complaints, an appeal should've been made instead. but then hey, it's a kindle and it always will be.

  63. meehawl

    Nook Color Good, Nook Tablet Better

    I am surprised that the new Amazon Fire fails to out-do the ancient Nook Color. It's thicker and chunkier, the screen is dimmer, it lacks an expandable memory card, and the UI stinks of beta. By comparison, I can install Android 2.3.4 onto a memory card with a couple of clicks, pop it into the Nook, reboot and I have full Android (yes, with Google Apps) and no rooting required (and I can run AMazon Kindle of the Nook). Pop out the card and reboot and I can have stock Nook again. I expect even greater things from the Nook Tablet! Hoping Kindle Fire is not the Macintosh/DOS to Nook's Amiga...

  64. Martin

    Every tenth time this happens, I waste my time wondering...

    ...why is it on the internet that people are so damn RUDE?

    If you didn't agree with someone down the pub, would you call them a "moron" and "dim boy"? No, I suspected not. Then why on earth do you do it on the internet?

    It's perfectly possible to disagree with someone - even to tell them they are wrong - without resorting to abuse.

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are you kidding ?

    Amazon is just pulling Apple, but lacks the reality distortion field. If you don't like companies treating you like a clueless sheep, and telling you what you should be using, and not using on your device, (for your own good of course) then don't buy Apple or Kindle.

    Get an inexpensive tablet for few more dollars (like Accer iconia)... Install Kindle software, or whatever you want...problem solved.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Kindly add me to your christmas shopping list, thanks.

  67. Gordon 10

    I bought a fire the other day

    But I returned it as I couldn't load FaceTime, Keynote or sync with iCloud.

    Imagine my surprise the other day when I bought Garage Band and it would run on my Dell Laptop.


  68. Doug Glass

    Another idiot ...

    ...failing to do proper research before buying and now blaming a machine for his poor choices. Pathetic little bugger.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forked up.

    Android devices shipped 60 million last quarter between a bazillion hardware manufacturers, and about about half of them from samsung.

    But it appears not all Androids are equal!

    And this is just another case of Android not being quite Android.

    Heck yes, you can crack it and put Google apps on you want, but hey, the same is true of any Ipad. but it's not what average users will do.

    Android might well sell billions of devies, but only a fraction of them are truly comparable with what Apple offers.

    Android devices sell because they are cheap and often free on many contracts, like the Galaxy Ace or HTC Wildfire S - but cant run half the decent apps out there.

    Then you have decent hardware but forked Android strands that wont run everything because it's not true aproved Android.

    This is why Android will never usurp iOS as the best platform for mobile computing.

    I'd rather stick to my iPad thanks

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: "I'd rather stick to my iPad thanks"

      Stick your iPad.


  70. davew_uk

    @Jonathan White

    I have a feeling that the target audience for The Register have no fear of installing a few apps on their Kindle Fire's without needing their hand holding. As a Brit, a this particular device would be rather a useless lump of plastic to me without access to the Amazon cloud content, so pretty much the ONLY reason I'm reading about the Fire is to find out how hackable it is.

  71. Bluenose

    One other thing

    The author says he went out and bought Kindle Fires for all his friends/family. Did any of them actually ask for this?

    I use technology regularly in my life but it is not my life. Whilst people may believe that they cannot live without Google apps on their Kindle Fire or any other piece of technology my view is I can live my life perfectly well without the Kindle Fire and would be very upset if a friend/relative bought me one without asking first since it would imply that they thought my life was unfulfilled without it.

    So my advice is forget whether it runs google apps or not and pick up the phone arrange to meet your friends/family and go meet for lunch or a drink in their local restaurant/pub/home.

  72. Steve Renouf


    I must have missed something over the last 20 years or so... Yet all my email addresses work just fine on all my devices without a GGGLE in sight!

    No, I don't have a google email address. Why would I possibly want one? I have enough personalised email addresses for different things to be getting on with thank you very much. All of which are accessible via any email client or webmail in any browser. Duh!

    1. Lucky2BHere


      ...the impressive integration of applications and access of the kind Google has revolutionized - and there's no denying that! - are what you are missing, sir. Give it a try for a few months, then write us back.

  73. Kevin Bailey

    Creative are making the same kind of mistake

    Creative sell Android tablets with Apt-X built in - so you can stream music to Bluetooth/Apt-X speakers or adapters plugged into your stereo - at CD quality. So it's a multi-room hi-fi without the massive cost of existing systems.

    BUT - the tablets don't have Android market place. Why would anyone in their right mind buy or recommend an Android device with no Android market place.

    Creative are even the main sellers of docking stations which can receive Apt-X - so they'd get all those sales as well.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What exactly makes Amazon scary but Google completely harmless?!"

    Google told us they were harmless, of course! Sheesh, young people these days.

    "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist"

  75. Mikel


    It seems all that's required to get folks in a lather is utter the words "Kindle Fire".

  76. Fran Perks
    Thumb Down


    Just as Greg said. I also was excited to get a Kindle Fire. After all, it was my 1st Kindle.

    Having lot's of trouble with WyFi connections. Can't get signal sometimes even when I'm sitting beside my computer looking at the page...

    Difficulty managing options, buttons so small, it's a hit and miss game.

    Not impressed. Have downloaded User's Guide to get help. Imagine, no book, nothing.

    Spend your money folks then you're on your own.

    Cha Ching!

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kindle Fire 2

    I'll defer purchasing a tablet until the Fire2 comes out with no access to Googleshite at all.

    As an added bonus, Farcebook and Twatter will also be blocked.


  78. Suprbeast

    Not that I like the Kindle Fire, but to be fair this was likely more Google's choice than Amazon's. To have access to Gmail / Youtube native apps you have to be certified by Google to do so and in all likeliness Google didn't want to do the certification for Amazon or stonewalled them in some manner, so Amazon said screw this and created their own appstore. Amazon would probably LOVE to get gmail on their appstore, but I bet you a million dollars that Google makes that impossible.

    Make no mistake, if any android device does not have the google native apps on there, it's because Google doesn't want them on there.

  79. Shark? what shark?

    A plan for self publicity?

    1. Write a sarcastic article exaggerating a perceived defect in well known brand, and it's current prodigal child

    2. Syndicate (push to anyone who will take it)


    4. Your name in lights

    The author is not the first, and won't be the last to use this shape of paddle.

  80. Keep Refrigerated


    On reading TFA I had to scroll back up the page to check the familiar red banner of Vulture Central was there. Yes, it is. So why does it feel like I stumbled onto a Grauniad Technology article?

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where the blame lies

    I read all these posts hoping that some of the well read Interweb surfers would be able to add 2+2.

    Google is not at fault here. You can place this squarely on Amazons' shoulders... they are the ones that signed the "patent" agreement with Micro$oft.

    Take a trip over to Groklaw and look at the Agreement that Micro$oft wanted Barns & Nobles to sign... (BTW they told M$ to pound sand).

    The agreement says that Micro$oft gets to decide "which features" can be supplied on an Android machine. So a cheap, crippled (read not true Android) Kindle Fire would be perfectly OK with Micro$oft. It will leave people with a bad taste for Android... which is exactly what Micro$oft wants.

  82. Lucky2BHere

    And so it goes

    The Kindle was not created to be an open device. It was created as a front door to the world of Amazon. Getting Gmail from the Web should be good enough for the millions who will own one. And, no - get over it - this is NOT an iPad competitor. In a year's time, I would love to see the stats on who owns both, and the profiles of who owns only one. I will bet my last dollar (coming soon, thanks to our last president and his merry band of emotionally disturbed ostriches) the impact on anything Apple will be negligible, and Kindle sales will be seriously good.

    As well written as this article was - and it was - the primary point is most weak, and was a waste of good time. I suppose, just like this comment .

    Indeed, what of the harsh employee treatment? That story now occupies a place in the 55-gallon drum of great-but-untimely stories, and will never see the light of day again; to be replaced, as it were, with whining such as this.

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not a bad person

    But I do like to hear fanbois squeal in the morning.


  84. packetguy

    An Open Letter to The Register

    Dear The Register.

    Please do not let Greg Knieriemen write anymore. He is a whiner. He doesn't make sense. And he does The Register no favors by writing a rambling obsequious "open letter" to a person of intelligence and substance.

    According to your "Get more from this author", this is the only thing Mr. Kneiriemen has written for "all The Register sites." Keep it that way while you still can.

    1. Rob

      I second that montion...

      ... more so cause I said the same but it never got approved?!?

      I think I used the word inane to describe Greg's writing though.

  85. HairyArsenal

    For someone who was so looking forward to a product, and raved about it for months, it seems strange you didn't actually read about it beforehand? The fact it was doing nasty things in the app department was pretty common knowledge...

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a very poorly-research article

    The GApps aren't blocked, they are omitted. You aren't allowed to include them without permission from Google. They require some infrastructure services to be run, too. If you get those running on the machine, you can install the GApps.

    So, apart from asserting that the apps are "blocked" by Amazon in some sort of scary conspiracy (they aren't), and can't be installed (remedial-level Goggle-fu shows you that they can), this is a great article.


  87. Tom 38
    Thumb Down

    Hah, he has commented on his 'podcast'


    Technically I was incorrect by claiming Amazon was blocking Google Apps. However, by not giving users access to the framework or the apps, they were making it difficult for users to get common apps like Gmail, Voice and Plus.


    'Technically' incorrect? Perhaps you mis-spoke?


    Is that Google’s fault or Amazon’s fault?

    I’m blaming Amazon since they built the Kindle Fire, created the App Store and clearly want to control their own ecosystem. I suspect (but don’t know for certain) the issue is about control of the App Market whether it’s Google or Amazon. The reason doesn’t really matter, it’s about the common user experience and I don’t believe Amazon’s limited access to commonly used apps is going to satisfy your average Kindle Fire user.


    Nope, it's Google's choice and your fault. Blame Amazon all you like, they cannot do something that they cannot do. You on the other hand had a choice of what you bought, _you_ chose that device.

    If it didn't do what it was supposed to do, you would have been able to return it.

    The point is that you bought something that you thought you wanted, and you bought it over the thing you really wanted (a high end Android tablet) because you're cheap and were attracted by the price tag. Boo hoo, poor you.

  88. Southern

    Regardless of the astroturfing going on, what else are you supposed to expect from a trumped up ebook reader? Yet again, I'm still happy with my netbook as it can do all of this and more.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Follow this link for details of how to install Google apps on the Fire:

  90. agricola

    thanks for the heads-up.

    Here's the way I handle stupidity and arrogance like this, Bezos: I don't buy your product.

    Bezos, you'd better hope that someone doesn't take this story and make a major internet article/issue out of it.

    Hey, there's an idea...

  91. Anonymous Coward

    A poverty of knowledge

    Let me start off by saying, "longtime subscriber, not a first time poster." I also don't have a dog in this fight because I don't own a smartphone or tablet of any kind. After 60 or more hours a week tending multiple application server farms, installing and using Java apps on electronic devices is really not high on my list of things to do. To me even myhumble feature phone is just another tether work can use to reel me in on a moment's notice (when I get home the cell gets turned off and thrown in a drawer).

    This was a very well-written and entertaining article. A real testament to the literary talent of the author. Unfortunately it is also factually ... incomplete. Not sure exactly what link jcurtis01 intended to share (it is cut off in his comment) but there are a number of threads over on the XDA Developers forum that discuss how to get it done without having to root the Fire. So it is doable, although not without some effort to initially learn the technique and track down sources. But that's not nearly as amusing as the story in the article.

  92. Penti

    Real email apps

    TouchDown runs on Kindle fire if you need enterprise features like EAS support, exchange tasks, S/MIME encrypted emails, proper calendaring with all the meeting functions and all that, remote wipe, on-device encryption, a user interface for tablets and just a good email application, but it will only work on Exchange and other compatible servers though. If you want gmail you will have to hack in the Google market which would allow you to run the gmail app.

    Also third party apps such as K-9 mail, Enhanced Email and MailDroid is available albeit not tablet versions and I'm sure many more will come and eventually be optimized for it too.

    Of course it is not Honeycomb or the like though. But it is the best selling Android tablet software, so more optimized stuff will come.

  93. Jonny F

    Want gmail? Use

    I love my Kindle Fire. When I want to use gmail I use The fire has a great full-web-page browser.

    The kindle fire does everything it claims to do.

    If a gmail app is a deal breaker for you, great, don;t use it.

    Then, please, stop moaning and complaining about it.

    Some device doesn't do what *you* want it to. Too bad.

    As to why, developers get to choose how their apps are distributed. Ask google if they distribute them in the amazon app store. Complain to the developer.

    ps - Now my android phone does have a gmail app, but man i hate my android phone for so many reasons.

  94. Not Elvis

    OMG.. what a whine bag

    I am sure the Kindle Fire will not become a complete failure due to your whining. I can see the biggest lines for Black Friday will be all those at Best Buy returning their Kindle.

    Get a life.. read a book.

  95. allie912

    Not password protected

    Bought a Kindle Fire for my school library but soon discovered there was no way to keep borrowers from accessing settings or store. Had to set up new account with no credit card attached. Will buy ebooks from a second account and "gift" them to this kindle. Also saw from Amazon kindle forum that currently there are no parental controls to keep kids from accessing store. I assume they will eventually work these issues out, but you should be aware of that.

    I agree with the poster, if you didn't have an iPad this would be great value for the price -- just not as great as the iPad.

  96. Tetractys

    Just responding

    I did register to comment on the Fire I recently purchased, but certainly not as part of any organized commercial effort. Maybe the many comments at once was due to a reference in Google News that captured the essence of a gripe. I was disappointed in many aspects of the Fire, and it wasn't a matter of getting what you pay for, but failed design compromises that could have been better done at no added cost. The article spoke to one of them. Not everything fits a neat 'Net conspiracy category. Google News plus hot promising consumer item plus holiday season plus mediocre implementation equals registering to comment. That's about it for me, anyway.

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