Amazon issues Kindle Fire update to address input lag, other issues

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Amazon this week updated its newly released Kindle Fire touchscreen tablet, with the latest software version aiming to address some performance issues with the device.



The free over-the-air update is said to enhance "fluidity and performance," as well as improve responsiveness with the touchscreen navigation controls. Amazon first revealed earlier this month that it was working on a software update to address some user complaints, including the sluggish interface.



The Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 software update also allows users to choose which items display on the device's carousel. After updating, users will also be able to add a password lock on Wi-Fi access.



Many reviewers took issue with some of the corners cut by Amazon to sell the Kindle Fire at its aggressive $199 price point. AppleInsider's own in-depth review noted that the "deep cuts" Amazon made to achieve the Kindle Fire's $199 price tag may have erased much of the tablet's "potential allure."



While the software update addresses some performance issues with the device, some user complaints cannot be addressed without new hardware. For example, common user complaints with the Kindle fire include the lack of external volume controls and poor placement of the off switch.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,133member
    That was a reasonably fast turn around on the update, had it been a phone from HTC or something running Android it would have taken months at least to come out.



    If Amazon can iron out the kinks they could have a nice little tablet that caters to the needs of most people out there, still I won't be trading in my iPad for one.
  • Reply 2 of 18
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Took them two weeks to fix Android's screen lag? Gee... either it didn't really fix it, or Google's really dumb. From what I've read this is caused by the kernel not putting the interface thread on realtime priority and essentially can't be fixed without major overhaul, which gets harder every passing day. I don't understand how Android users can put up with it!
  • Reply 3 of 18
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    That was a reasonably fast turn around on the update, had it been a phone from HTC or something running Android it would have taken months at least to come out.



    if it comes out at all and then they'll recommend you to buy a new phone.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    neo42neo42 Posts: 287member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Took them two weeks to fix Android's screen lag? Gee... either it didn't really fix it, or Google's really dumb. From what I've read this is caused by the kernel not putting the interface thread on realtime priority and essentially can't be fixed without major overhaul, which gets harder every passing day. I don't understand how Android users can put up with it!



    huh? it took them two weeks to fix their own problems which introduced lag. I guess Apple folks will never accept that Amazon created their own fork of Android and deviated away from the main development branch that Google maintains--THIS is more likely the culprit of poor performance. Unless you have your own open source OS running on millions of mobile devices, you should refrain from criticizing the Fire's development team.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post


    huh? it took them two weeks to fix their own problems which introduced lag. I guess Apple folks will never accept that Amazon created their own fork of Android and deviated away from the main development branch that Google maintains--THIS is more likely the culprit of poor performance. Unless you have your own open source OS running on millions of mobile devices, you should refrain from criticizing the Fire's development team.



    I suppose that means the fix won't be merged back into the trunk then. Too bad, the display lag/stuttering I've seen (yes, first-hand observation) on some Android powered phones must be a separate problem if this was a Fire-specific issue.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,042member
    Newsflash: Amazon Issues Update, Kindle Fire Still Sucks and Loses Money
  • Reply 7 of 18
    I have a Kindle Fire and received the 6.2.1 update yesterday. Much better. Now I'd feel comfortable recommending the device to someone who wants to use Amazon digital content, provided they don't have concerns about parental controls.



    This is actually the third update since product launch: 6.1, 6.2, and now 6.2.1.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,705member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post


    huh? it took them two weeks to fix their own problems which introduced lag. I guess Apple folks will never accept that Amazon created their own fork of Android and deviated away from the main development branch that Google maintains--THIS is more likely the culprit of poor performance. Unless you have your own open source OS running on millions of mobile devices, you should refrain from criticizing the Fire's development team.



    i don't think anyone is criticizing the update timeframe by Amazon. If anything, the developers should have not released it if it wasn't ready.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Neo42 View Post


    huh? it took them two weeks to fix their own problems which introduced lag. I guess Apple folks will never accept that Amazon created their own fork of Android and deviated away from the main development branch that Google maintains--THIS is more likely the culprit of poor performance. Unless you have your own open source OS running on millions of mobile devices, you should refrain from criticizing the Fire's development team.



    I don't understand - first of all I was complimenting their team for supposedly fixing Android's endemic screen lag issue. Secondly.... so now we have to either be an OS developer for Apple or Google to comment on OS issues? Nice.



    What I don't know is whether the Fire has WORSE screen lag than Android in general. If so then that would explain how they could fix their problem and not be of any help to the Android code base.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


    i don't think anyone is criticizing the update timeframe by Amazon. If anything, the developers should have not released it if it wasn't ready.





    Come on... iOS 5/4S wasn't ready. Battery life problems still abound and then what do we have from Apple as an example of QA? 5.0.1 update. And then a different 5.0.1, again!







    And... the original article is a joke, like you can't get porn on an iPad!
  • Reply 11 of 18
    Have they updated the speed of the Silk browser when performing server-side rendering? The results I've seen from the initial release don't show it being a benefit.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    That was a reasonably fast turn around on the update, had it been a phone from HTC or something running Android it would have taken months at least to come out.



    If Amazon can iron out the kinks they could have a nice little tablet that caters to the needs of most people out there, still I won't be trading in my iPad for one.



    The benefit of a dedicated OS for a single device.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Took them two weeks to fix Android's screen lag? Gee... either it didn't really fix it, or Google's really dumb. From what I've read this is caused by the kernel not putting the interface thread on realtime priority and essentially can't be fixed without major overhaul, which gets harder every passing day. I don't understand how Android users can put up with it!



    Do we know it's only been two weeks? They could have released the device as-is with an intent to resolve the issue in a future update.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Took them two weeks to fix Android's screen lag? Gee... either it didn't really fix it, or Google's really dumb. From what I've read this is caused by the kernel not putting the interface thread on realtime priority and essentially can't be fixed without major overhaul, which gets harder every passing day. I don't understand how Android users can put up with it!



    We have no idea how long it took to fix this issue. All we know is that the fix was released two weeks after it was reported by end users.



    For all we know, Amazon has been aware of this issue for 6 months and didn't complete the fix until after the Fire had shipped.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


    Have they updated the speed of the Silk browser when performing server-side rendering? The results I've seen from the initial release don't show it being a benefit.



    I turned off accelerated browsing, which routes internet traffic through Amazon's cloud, and haven't tried it since loading this release. There's no mention from Amazon that this update improves accelerated browsing. The 6.2.1 update has improved basic speed and touch interface usability in the browser, though.



    You're right, cloud-accelerated browsing hasn't been a benefit. Some users did speed tests on various sites with and without accelerated browsing, clearing local cache between tests, and found that accelerated browsing was much slower. Hasn't been a peep from Amazon about this, at least that I've heard.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    The update also kills any rooting the user has done, so it's obvious THAT was a priority in the update and will continue to be. If Amazon is going to be so on top of crushing rooting of the Fire, that really takes away the value of a hackable $200 widget, if only for just for those who do such things. And what could be a better candidate for rooting than a tablet that sells for less than cost? Oh well.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,764member
    Slightly off-topic but still related:



    An article published today over at 9to5Mac. The Kindle Fire's display is definitely sub-par compared to Apple's iPad, considered the gold standard in tablet form-factor displays. They even commented that the iPad's 132ppi display is nearly as good as Apple's iPhone Retina display. No surprise at all correct?



    Here's the surprise:

    In the same article, the Nook Color was judged better than the iPad in display quality.



    "As for Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, it “has done a much better job in pulling everything together into a nice all around display.” It has the lowest reflectance of any tablet DisplayMate ever tested, showing 28 percent lower reflectance than the iPad 2 (yes, lower is better). Perhaps the most surprising finding is that the Nook Tablet’s gray-scale is “more accurate than most living room HDTVs.” Summing up: the Nook Tablet wins in display performance and picture quality while the iPad 2 comes “very close” with its top display performance overall".



    http://9to5mac.com/2011/12/21/tablet...s-nook-tablet/



    Kudos to the under-appreciated Nook Color!
  • Reply 16 of 18
    conradjoeconradjoe Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Here's the surprise:

    In the same article, the Nook Color was judged better than the iPad in display quality.



    "As for Barnes & Noble?s Nook Tablet, it ?has done a much better job in pulling everything together into a nice all around display.? It has the lowest reflectance of any tablet DisplayMate ever tested, showing 28 percent lower reflectance than the iPad 2 (yes, lower is better). Perhaps the most surprising finding is that the Nook Tablet?s gray-scale is ?more accurate than most living room HDTVs.? Summing up: the Nook Tablet wins in display performance and picture quality while the iPad 2 comes ?very close? with its top display performance overall".



    http://9to5mac.com/2011/12/21/tablet...s-nook-tablet/



    Kudos to the under-appreciated Nook Color!



    IMO, the Nook Tablet (not the Color - that is a different one) is a much more interesting device than the Fire. The thing missing from the Fire is any SD card ability, which is a fatal omission for me. The Nook has that, along with better I/O.
  • Reply 17 of 18
    So does it actually fix the lag issues? What's the response from users who have done the update?
  • Reply 18 of 18
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post


    So does it actually fix the lag issues? What's the response from users who have done the update?



    From the various reviews I've read it most certainly does.



    Here is what CR had to say about it but they gave the laggy interface a Very Good rating so take it with a grain of salt.
    Quote:

    The Kindle Fire's touch response improved. It now registers quick taps, for example, something it didn't do well prior to the update. As a result, the Kindle Fire's touch-response score in our Ratings changed from Very Good to Excellent.



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