Amazon releases Kindle Fire update

The fix appears to address some, but not all, user complaints.

By Kim Peterson Dec 21, 2011 1:36PM
The excitement around Amazon's (AMZN) Kindle Fire release has been dampened by a number of user complaints, and Wednesday the company unveiled some fixes.

Amazon has issued a free software update that "enhances fluidity and performance." The update is also supposed to improve the tablet's touchscreen after complaints that the screen was slow to respond.

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Perhaps most important, Amazon now allows users to choose which items display on the Kindle Fire's carousel. That should quiet some griping. The update should appear automatically.

The company didn't address every problem, however, and some -- like no physical volume control buttons and an off switch that's too easy to flip -- will remain until the hardware gets upgraded.

For more complaints with the Fire, see usability expert Jakob Nielsen's recent writeup, in which he calls the device "a disappointingly poor user experience."

But credit Amazon for moving quickly to address some problems. The update shows the company is responsive and willing to get fixes out when it can.

Amazon said it sold 1 million Kindles a week for three weeks in late November and December. The company wouldn't specify how many were the $199 Kindle Fire -- there are three other Kindle versions as well -- but it did say the Fire has been its best-selling product for 11 straight weeks.
Tags: AMZN
5Comments
Dec 21, 2011 4:48PM
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You have to be at leasta little literate to operate any of these devices. If your still trying to figure out how to use a toaster, dont bother ordering a Kindle Fire. Or a calculator.
Dec 21, 2011 5:34PM
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Fire may not be a perfect device, but at least Amazon listens to its customers and was quick to react.  Remember how long Apple took  to address reception/antenna problems after iPhone 4 came out, saying it was operator error?

As for the power button thing on Fire?  I'm sure they'll address it on the next version, but meanwhile all you have to do is turn your tablet around the other way and presto, the power button is on the top.  Since the internal gyro automatically flips the screen, problem solved.  I also don't get the "no volume control button" complaint - if they had put buttons on there, people would have complained they kept accidentally pressing them and changing the volume.

I wonder how many of the complaints about Kindle Fire are being generated by Apple loyalists knocking the competition, or from people who wanted a $600 iPad, but liked paying $200 for a Fire better.  Either way, it's apples and oranges (no pun intended).  The Fire is an e-reader that does some tablet-type things - but it's NOT a tablet.  It's like the difference between an iPad and a laptop... they have some some similar abilities, but the laptop is far more powerful.
Dec 21, 2011 5:39PM
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I bought 4 Kindle Fires for Christmas.  Two for my grandchildren, one for my son and one for me.  My son doesn't know about his yet, but he set the grandchildren's up and he loves them.  He's an Apple guy and not easily impressed but the Fire really impressed him for the money.  I think we will ALL be happy on Christmas Day.
Dec 21, 2011 7:09PM
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I bought mine a while back and love it.  The only problem I have is no way to block the purchases. After you put your password in it the kids are free to purchase whatever they wish!  As for it being hard to use, it's not at all.  Doesn't take rocket science to use one!  I did see where porn was easily accessible on them and it is, found it on accident.  So those of you with children like me, watch what they are doing and you should be just fine!
Dec 21, 2011 4:17PM
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We have already returned our due to mandatory  wi fi and difficulty to use
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