BGR's Zach Epstein seems to have the scoop on what Amazon plans to launch in (now) "late September," saying that Amazon is reported to be "on track."
Today's news include details added to the information on very high display resolutions described July 15 and repeated as background in their current report
Their headline is "From kindling to inferno: Full specs for next-gen Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets"
The specs (that unexpectedly include the very fast SpeedDragon 800 processor, etc.) look very similar to today's new Google Nexus except that the Kindle Fire HD would likely be keeping its popular HDMI-out port for direct connection to HDTVs (which some complain is missing from the Nexus), and their new back-facing camera is set to be 8 megapixels. That camera is said to be included only on the 8.9" model (which will likely make it more popular than the first larger Kindle Fire HD) but not on the 7"HD model -- this is according to BGR's "multiple trusted sources" who provided "the devices’ complete specs."
BGR is uncharacteristically exuberant in its descriptions. Examples:
' [Subtitled] Amazon to combine powerhouse specs and affordable prices in bid to scorch the competition '
. . .
If you think the new Nexus 7 is impressive, just wait until you see what Amazon is preparing to debut this fall.
If the current tablets are kindling, Amazon’s next-generation Kindle Fire HD tablet lineup is a full-blown inferno.
. . .
We’re told the tablet will be powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) system on a chip, which includes four Krait 400 CPUs and Adreno 330 graphics. Prototypes are said to be clocked at about 2GHz.
As with the Nexus specs, BGR's sources describe a device with 2GB of RAM, similar storage capabilities, though it seems they'll offer an additional, 64GB option in addition to the 16 and 32GB ones.
As said July 15, the tablets are said to be both smaller and lighter.
Again, they're reporting that Amazon is trying to keep similar price points to the current models' non-sales pricing.
The big difference with the Nexus
That would of course be direct access to the Google Play store apps (instead of getting them from places like 1mobile.com as we do now for apps not in the Amazon Appstore).
Barnes and Noble, in May, was in a position where they needed to agree to Google's terms. The Nook tablets were just not selling, due - partially - to a very limited ecosystem for multimedia tablets and also very limited customer support. I don't know what Google's device customer support is like, but their Nexus users have seemed pretty happy, in general. For most things, Google company humans are not easy to get on the phone, so this will be interesting to watch.
What's not generally described was reported in an ABC news story about the kinds of terms Google requires for competing bookstore and app vendor access to the Google Play store.
' Typically Google requires official Android devices with the full app store to preload Google's own suite of apps, including Gmail, YouTube, Google Play, Music and Chrome. As such, Barnes & Noble had to remove some of its own store apps to gain access, including its own music app.
[B&N VP] Hilt wouldn't comment on the terms of partnership when asked. Barnes & Noble's Nook Store, which has millions of books and magazines, will still come preloaded on the tablets. '
For those who want Google Play Store access, can we imagine Amazon giving up its own Music app or even its own browser, or appstore? As it is, Kindle Fire owners can get the Chrome browser easily as a secondary web browser. Apple and Amazon have cooperated in the past, so it's not totally impossible Google and Amazon could do a deal that's better for both of the companies.
It's not likely, though, as Google books, Cloud, and Music are in competition with Amazon, and the Kindle Fires have been the 2nd most purchased tablets next to the iPad, while using an operating system built on top of Google's Android system.
I've also read that the current Nexus doesn't yet have as robust a parental control setup. The Kindle Fire interface is easier for most of its target consumer audience, which seems generally not much into setting up their own layouts and with a family-sharing focus. The Google Play Store does make it easier for anyone to get those Google apps though. I personally find it easy to get any apps I want from the secondary Google-apps stores like 1mobile.com, iapknew.com, and others noted in blog entries on installing non-Amazon apps.
It's good that Google will provide the device competition Amazon customers lost with the current halt of production on the Nook tablets.
I like the Amazon ecosystem, its customer support, and recent improvements like the Cloud Photo feature this week that, on 2nd Gen Kindle Fires, automatically stores in your Cloud (by the Photo feature's default setting) any photos on your Kindle Fire. Amazon customers get 5 gigs of free storage space for any type of file. See the Cloud data storage page. This is in addition to the 5 Gigs available, to Kindle owners, for 'Personal Docs'
Cloud Photo Storage and Viewing
You can now view, on your Kindle Fire, all photos stored in your Amazon Cloud (the first generation Kindle Fire requires the Android app for that.
In Landscape mode, the thumbnails are in varied, larger, sizes and easier to view. In Portrait mode, they're smaller and are all the same size. You swipe left or right to see Album contents and click on individual pictures to view those. Again, the Kindle Fire 2nd Gen tablets automatically send copies to your Cloud area, by default, but you can change the Cloud Photos setting to avoid that if you prefer.
Importing all your photo albums from Facebook to your Amazon Cloud so that you can view those at anytime on your tablets or phones is now lightning fast.
Viewing those albums on your Cloud is also a speedy, ultra-clear experience (at least on a cablemodem ISP). I have tons of images on Facebook, and the transfer of umpteen albums of many photos to my Amazon Cloud area finished in a couple of minutes.
Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
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