The Kindle Fire has been recharged enough times that the newness has worn off, and some of the tablet’s shortcomings as pointed out elsewhere have had time to test my patience.
Honestly, as an electronic book reading device that allows wifi connectivity to the internet at $199 – I still believe it delivers on all promises. I will admit to frustration as web pages failed to load, the keyboard and menu navigation proved difficult, and the very prominent home-screen carousel displayed every little thing ever visited. Forever.
Tuesday evening, after pressing the off-switch, I walked away briefly and returned just as the screen displayed a message about a download. I knew that Amazon was planning an upgrade, but didn’t know when it would be pushed to the devices. That proved to be it.
The upgrade was installed without my interference and the Fire stayed on, despite my earlier attempt to shut it down. I decided to check it out.
Every complaint I would have passed along as a result of my usage to date has been addressed.
The primary and most impressive upgrade is the speed with which the web pages are loaded and displayed. It isn’t just a slight improvement on the sluggish loading – the pages are now loading quickly, the way you’d expect the internet to behave with current technology. Moving from site to site is a breeze and a pleasurable experience where before it was a shade short of exasperating.
Secondly, the touch-response has been fine-tuned, and while there are the occasional double-clutches, most keys and menu items respond with even a ballpark contact with the fingertip. No more repeated presses, with variation tossed in like the thumb-crush, the fingernail-tipper, and the fat index-finger squeeze.
Finally – as far as my complaints are concerned – the ability to eliminate items from the home carousel has been provided by way of a menu called by an extended touch on the carousel menu item. It allows for the immediate deletion of an icon. I had no embarrassing evidence that needed disposal (honestly) like some who were desperate to eliminate a visible history of web usage. I just thought the thing was cluttered. Every little thing remained on the carousel. The welcoming letter from the Amazon CEO was destined to stay around forever under the original plan. Thankfully, the upgrade has provided an easy method to maintain front and center only those items that are regularly visited – if desired.
With the version 6.2.1 upgrade, I would not hesitate to recommend the Kindle Fire as a device well worth the price – even with its wifi limitations.