Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Frequently Will Amazon Release Kindle Fire Software Updates?

It's unfortunate (for me) that Amazon decided to deliver my new Kindle Fire while I'm out of town. New Fire and Touch devices are waiting for me at home though and I can't wait to try them out. In the mean time I've been living vicariously through all the bloggers and tweeters who have written about their initial Fire experiences.

One point I've seen made in too many reviews so far is that the Fire has a number of minor bugs and annoyances. Many users go on to say that these are things Amazon should be able to fix quickly by issuing software updates.

While that may be true I worry that Amazon doesn't have a history of frequent updates and improvements. Yes, they've issued a number of new O.S. releases for the eInk Kindles but it's happened at a glacial pace with very few core functionality enhancements. Something as simple as folders, better known as Collections, was considered a radical improvement!

My point is that it doesn't appear that Amazon dedicates enough developer resources to their Kindle platform. That may have been acceptable in the eInk, dedicated reader days. After all, most customers only expected their eInk Kindle to do one thing and do it well. With the Fire though, Amazon has now entered the tablet arena and the expectations are different, particularly since they're pushing so many cloud-based content consumption options (e.g., music, video, etc.)

The minor bugs and annoyances I've read about sound reasonably acceptable for an initial release. However, they also sound like the type of fixes that could and should be made within the next week or two. Let's hope Amazon assigns a higher priority to these Kindle Fire software updates than they've shown in the past with eInk Kindle software updates.