Yesterday Amazon announced four new products, including: the all-new Kindle for $79; two new touchpad Kindles – Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G – for $99 and $149; and a new class of Kindle – the Kindle Fire – a beautiful full color Kindle for streaming movies and TV shows, listening to music, reading books and magazines, downloading apps and playing games, web browsing and more, for $199.
These are high-end products, and Amazon Founder & CEO Jeff Bezos says they are the best Kindles Amazon has released to date, and he’s right. Kindle and Kindle Touch have the most-advanced E Ink display technology available, and the 3G Kindle Touch adds free 3G wireless, meaning no monthly fees and no annual contracts to worry about. Kindle Fire brings everything Amazon has been working on for 15 years together into a single, fully-integrated experience for end-users, including instant access to Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, a vibrant color IPS touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle, a 14.6 ounce design that’s easy to hold with one hand, a state-of-the-art dual core processor, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, and an ultra-fast mobile browser – called Amazon Silk – available exclusively on Kindle Fire.
|Amazon Kindle Fire||Apple iPad 2|
|Display:||7-inch IPS multitouch display (limited to two fingers at once) at 1024 x 600 pixels
|9.7-inch IPS multitouch display at 1024×768 pixels
|Processor:||1GHz OMAP4 dual-core CPU||1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor|
|Memory:|| 8GB internal storage (expandable to 32GB via microSD)
|16GB, 32GB or 64GB internal storage
512MB of RAM
|Dimensions & Weight:||190 x 120 x 11.4mm14.6 ounces||241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm21.3 ounces|
|Battery:||8 hours reading, 7.5 hours video playback — with Wi-Fi off.||10 hours of W-Fi web browsing, video or music|
|Camera:||None||0.7-megapixel rear-facing camera
0.2 megapixel front-facing camera
|Operating System:||Android with Amazon’s own UI||iOS|
Stunning Color Touchscreen
Movies, magazines and children’s books come alive on a 7″ vibrant color touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution. Kindle Fire uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology – similar technology to that used on the iPad – for an extra-wide viewing angle, perfect for sharing your screen with others.
Magazines in Rich Color
Enjoy your favorite magazines with glossy, full-color layouts, photographs and illustrations. Choose from hundreds of titles, such as Bon Appetit, Elle, and Oprah. Special editions of titles like Vanity Fair, Wired, and GQ come with built-in video, audio and other interactive features.
Beautifully Simple and Easy to Use
Designed from the ground up, Kindle Fire’s simple, intuitive interface puts the content you love at your fingertips – spin effortlessly through your recent titles and websites straight from the home screen. Whether you are in the mood to watch, read, listen, play or browse, you can get to all your favorite content with a single touch. It’s that simple.
100,000 Movies and TV Shows
Over 100,000 movies and TV shows, including thousands of new releases and your favorite TV shows, are available to stream or download, purchase or rent – all just one tap away. Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows.
Fast, Dual-Core Processor
Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.
Your Favorite Apps and Games
Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, The Weather Channel and more, plus a great paid app for free every day. All apps are Amazon-tested on Kindle Fire for the best experience possible.
Ultra-fast web browsing with the Amazon Silk “split browser” web browser
Amazon Silk is a revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser that uses a “split browser” architecture to leverage the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud. Supports Adobe Flash Player.
Millions of Books
Read bestsellers, children’s books, comic books, and cookbooks in vibrant color. The Kindle Store offers over 1 million books, including 800,000 titles at $9.99 or less. In addition, over 2 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available such as Pride and Prejudice.
Free Cloud Storage
Forget about memory – Kindle Fire gives you free storage for all your Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Your books, movies, music and apps are available instantly to stream or download for free, at a touch of your finger.
Your Favorite Children’s Books
Kindle Fire is great for parents and kids. Stir your child’s imagination with over 1000 beautifully-illustrated children’s books, including favorites like Brown Bear, Curious George, and Circus Ship.
Easy to hold in one hand
Designed to travel with you wherever you go. Small enough to fit in your purse and light enough to hold in just one hand, Kindle Fire is perfect for browsing, playing, reading and shopping on-the-go.
Extra Durable Display
Our state-of-the art Kindle Fire display is chemically strengthened to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, making it extra durable and resistant to accidental bumps and scrapes.
Stay in touch using our built-in email app that gets your webmail (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, AOL and more) into a single inbox. Import your messages and contact lists from other email accounts. Additional email apps are available in our Amazon Appstore for Android.
Like Kindle e-readers, Kindle Fire uses Amazon’s Whispersync technology to automatically sync your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across your devices. On Kindle Fire, Whispersync extends to video. Start streaming a movie on Kindle Fire, then pick up right where you left off on your TV – avoid the frustration of having to find your spot. Learn more
Free Month of Amazon Prime
Experience the benefits that millions of Amazon Prime members already enjoy, including unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows and Free Two-Day Shipping on millions of items.
Read Your Documents
Kindle makes it easy to take your documents with you. You can e-mail documents – including Word, PDF and more – directly to your Kindle so you that you can read them anytime, anywhere.
- Display: 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
- Size (in inches): 7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm).
- Weight: 14.6 ounces (413 grams).
- System Requirements: None, because it’s wireless and doesn’t require a computer.
- On-device Storage: 8GB internal. That’s enough for 80 apps, plus either 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books.
- Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
- Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content.
- Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via USB.
- Wi-Fi Connectivity: Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.1X standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
- USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)
- Audio: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers.
- Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.
- Documentation: Quick Start Guide(included in box); Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on device)
- Warranty and Service : 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Kindle is subject to the terms found here.
- Included in the Box: Kindle Fire device, U.S. power adapter (supports 100-240V), and Quick Start Guide.
More about Amazon Silk, the revolutionary cloud-accelerated “Split Browser”
Modern websites are complex. A typical web page requires 80 files served from 13 different domains. This takes a regular browser hundreds of round trips, and adds seconds to page load times.
Amazon Silk is different in a radical new way. When you use Silk, without thinking about it or doing anything explicit, you’re calling on the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud (AWS). We’ve refactored and rebuilt the browser software stack to push pieces of the computation into the AWS cloud. This lets Silk do more work, more quickly, and all at once. We call this “split browser” architecture.
Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity and the location of any cached content.
Shorter Transit Times
Amazon EC2 is always connected to the backbone of the Internet where round-trip latency is 5 milliseconds or less to most web sites rather than the 100 milliseconds that’s typical over wireless connections. AWS also has peering relationships with major internet service providers, and many top sites are hosted on EC2. This means that many web requests will never leave the extended infrastructure of AWS, reducing transit times to only a few milliseconds.
Computing Power in the Cloud
EC2 servers have massive computational power. On EC2, available CPU, storage, and available memory can be orders of magnitudes larger than on mobile devices. Silk uses the power and speed of the EC2 server fleet to retrieve all of the components of a website simultaneously, and delivers them to Kindle Fire in a single, fast stream. Transferring computing-intensive tasks to EC2 helps to conserve your Kindle Fire battery life.
A typical web request begins with resolving the domain names associated with the server and establishing a TCP connection to issue the http request. Establishing TCP connections for each request consumes time and resources that slow down traditional browsers. Silk keeps a persistent connection open to the backend server on the AWS cloud so that there is always a connection at the ready to start loading the next page. In addition, the Silk backend server keeps persistent connections open to the top sites on the web. This approach further reduces latency that would otherwise result from constantly establishing connections. Further, the connection between Silk and the backend infrastructure uses a pipelined, multiplexing protocol that can send all the content over a single connection.
Traditional browsers must wait to receive the HTML file in order to begin downloading the other page assets. Silk is different because it learns these page characteristics automatically by aggregating the results of millions of page loads and maintaining this knowledge on EC2. While another browser might still be setting up a connection with the host server, Silk has already pushed content that it knows is associated with the page to Kindle Fire before the site has even instructed the browser where to find it.
Finally, Silk leverages the collaborative filtering techniques and machine learning algorithms Amazon has built over the last 15 years to power features such as “customers who bought this also bought…” As Silk serves up millions of page views every day, it learns more about the individual sites it renders and where users go next. By observing the aggregate traffic patterns on various web sites, it refines its heuristics, allowing for accurate predictions of the next page request. For example, Silk might observe that 85 percent of visitors to a leading news site next click on that site’s top headline. With that knowledge, EC2 and Silk together make intelligent decisions about pre-pushing content to the Kindle Fire. As a result, the next page a Kindle Fire customer is likely to visit will already be available locally in the device cache, enabling instant rendering to the screen.
It’s not just a proxy server. The main advantage of Silk over another web accelerator is that it’s optimizing pages for a specific platform, and Amazon’s cloud infrastructure which, aside from being a buzzword, is a very robust system that will undoubtedly scale better than existing web accelerators such as Opera Turbo. The improvement is admittedly incremental, but it’s not just a proxy server.
Watch the video below to learn more about Amazon Silk.