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Amazon Plans iPad Competitor (and 2 New Kindles) 145

Posted by timothy
from the they'd-have-me-at-daylight-readable dept.
destinyland writes "Some time in the next 10 weeks, Amazon will release a new Android tablet device, which will compete directly with Apple's iPad, according to the Wall Street Journal. Amazon hopes to leverage the digital content they've already made available online — digital video, music, and ebooks, as well as their new app store for Android devices. The device will ship without a built-in camera, prompting one tablet watcher to report that 'it feels like Amazon is trying to strip it down and bring it in at the lowest cost possible.' Amazon will also release two new versions of the Kindle — one with a touch screen, and one at a lower price." Now if only they'd make it a proper e-reader by including a Pixel Qi (or similar) daylight-readable screen, I'd be sold.
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Amazon Plans iPad Competitor (and 2 New Kindles)

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  • by Niris (1443675)
    Another new tablet? Probably with a completely different UI than all the others. Going to be bombarded with users asking how to do things or to trouble shoot it, so have to learn ANOTHER set. Already sick of tablets and their non-standardization.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Going to be bombarded with users asking how to do things or to trouble shoot it, so have to learn ANOTHER set.

      WTF? Do you learn all the controls for their other devices too? "Oh yeah, you need to set spin cycle three to get jeans dry in your washing machine, now I just need to help Bob with his SatNav before I'll have a chance to look at your motorboat".

      • by Niris (1443675)
        When you work in shit retail support, it helps to know everything in the "computer department" because every hick and their family members are going to come over to ask questions on everything.
    • by Threni (635302)

      It's an Android tablet, so it'll probably be as easy to use as other Android tablets, phones etc. Do you find Android devices complicated to use?

      • by Niris (1443675)
        They're generally easy to use, until someone has a problem and you have to find where different settings are that may be causing the issue, or if it's a problem with a specific app that doesn't want to play nice.
        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          If they are not company owned why are you doing this?
          If they are company owned this sounds like something helpdesk grunts can handle.

      • Do you find Android devices complicated to use?

        Yes, when customizations by the manufacturer or carrier overcomplicate the UI. It's also complicated to find apps for entry-level Android-powered devices whose manufacturers don't pay Google for Android Market access.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      A tablet that has an interface already used by million, and ti will(probably) be cheaper then the iPad to get all those people who want tables but the iPad is out of their price range.

      If you can't pick up any tablet on the market right now, and be able to use it, then for the love of god, stay the hell out of computer software. We don't need more people like you.

      • cheaper then the iPad to get all those people who want tables but the iPad is out of their price range.

        I may be dense, but why would anyone want an iPad for a table?

        Okay. It was a cheap shot. I'm sorry.

    • by rwool (1529749)

      Another new tablet? Probably with a completely different UI than all the others. Going to be bombarded with users asking how to do things or to trouble shoot it, so have to learn ANOTHER set. Already sick of tablets and their non-standardization.

      no doubt there are more to come it will be at least a year (if we are lucky) if not longer before some type of standardization is used among all tablets

    • by arisvega (1414195)

      Already sick of tablets and their non-standardization.

      Standardization is for insects.

    • In case you hadnt gotten the clue yet, no one cares what your certs are here, especially with a UID like that. You might as well have a flashing neon banner saying 'Im a noob who needs 3rd parties to make my skillset marketable" for a sig. IN the real world people care what you can do, not what hoops you have run through in the past. Honest to god, Ive seen hobbies listed on a resume more interesting then your string of alphabet soup

      Im not trying ot be a jerk, I would just like to know what you think t
    • Another new tablet? Probably with a completely different UI than all the others. Going to be bombarded with users asking how to do things or to trouble shoot it, so have to learn ANOTHER set. Already sick of tablets and their non-standardization.

      Apple are trying their hardest to get rid of standards, whether its trying to patent parts of HTML 5 or suing anyone with a vaguely similar UI. It's going to be hardly their own fault to not want to give half their profits to Apple via lawyers.

  • The Amazon Kindle was there before Apple's iPad, and started the whole tablet craze. It is not the other way around, like the article seems to suggest!

    • by geekoid (135745) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `dnaltropnidad'> on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:11PM (#36768432) Homepage Journal

      No ti didn't. I mean is was out, but no one wanted a tablet' until the iPad. well, the VAST majority of people.

      They are not really comparable. one is a device designed for a specific task, the other is a multipurpose portable computer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jojoba_oil (1071932)

        No ti didn't. I mean is was out, but no one wanted a tablet' until the iPad. well, the VAST majority of people.

        They are not really comparable. one is a device designed for a specific task, the other is a multipurpose portable computer.

        I have trouble calling the iPad a computer. Can you save files on its harddrive? Not directly. Can you word process on it? Not really. Can you edit pictures on it? Not very effectively. Can you program/create things on it? Not that I've ever seen.

        Can you explain to me how it's a portable computer instead of an oversized phone? When would I need an iPad that I wouldn't be able to use a netbook?

        • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

          The hell you can't save a file to the iPad.

          If you took 5-10 minutes and installed some apps, even free ones, you can do all the things you say you can't do on an iPad.

          Just because you don't have the patience or knowledge to do something doesn't mean it can't be done.

          • You have to install an app to save things to your iPad? Wow I must get me one of those [/sarcasm]

            • by Telvin_3d (855514)

              If you don't have any apps, what are you saving? The pictures you are not editing? The text files you are not writing?

              • A picture, an MP3 or a video from the net perhaps. Like I do all the time on my £300 cheaper netbook. I'm sure there's lots of uses for tablets but not one where someone else tells me what I can put on it.

        • Can you explain to me how it's a portable computer instead of an oversized phone? When would I need an iPad that I wouldn't be able to use a netbook?

          Simple. You're a techie, perhaps and old techie set in you ways, and you just don't see where computers are going. You're the IBM greybeard that could never imagine a computer in every home because they took up too much space, too much power, and ran specialized programs that no average person could want. Your phone probably is a already a computer with a phone

          • by Eskarel (565631)

            The thing is none of that is actually true.

            Yes mobile devices are selling like hotcakes, but I don't know a single person who had a computer of some sort(laptop, netbook, desktop, etc) before they bought an iPad and doesn't have one now. I don't even know anyone who put off an upgrade or replacement to one of those devices because they bought an iPad.

            People like Jobs keep touting the end of the PC, but as far as I've seen and read there's absolutely no evidence of it happening. Sure PC sales are slowing, bu

            • What point I was trying to make is not that desktop computer will disappear, but that you can't dismiss items like the iPad or iPhone as a computer just because it doesn't act the way you think it should as a computer. It's the sci-fi future and most people are now walking around with a PC in their pocket (instead of strapped to their thigh or forearm as old sci-fi movies and tv series predicted).
        • Can you word process on it? Not really.

          Why not? There are plenty of word processing apps available.

          Unless you're one of those people for whom 'word processing' == 'Microsoft Word', in which case you can't word process on Linux either.

    • by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:12PM (#36768444) Journal

      What about the Newton? What about those brick thick tablets in the 90s/early 2000s that you could draw on?

      I have a Kindle and an iPad. I read books on both. The Kindle experience is, imho, far better. The Kindle is great, but the Kindle is not a general purpose tablet. The iPad is. It's absolutely fair to say that the iPad started the current tablet craze.

      • by hey! (33014)

        The Kindle experience is great for novels. It is not so good for technical books or non-fiction books with illustrations and figures. As for math books -- forget it. A page with equations is either rendered as if it were put into an open blender and splattered across the wall, or as an unreadable image. Ironically, I *can* read those book on my iPod touch using the Amazon Reader. The rendering infrastructure must be better. Also on the touch I can zoom in and out of illustrations and photos, a capability f

        • Releasing ebooks for the Kindle is somewhat frustrating... The mobipocket format that Amazon has used up until this point is several limited compared to epub (and especially the forthcoming epub3). It has all sorts of bizarre limitations like, on one visible page, you can't have specify multiple left margins (that is margin-left in the css) -- only one will be visible. No right margins. No nested lists. Little typographic control. Beyond weird limitations like that, mobipocket itself is like a bastardized H

    • Kindle isn't a tablet - it's a dedicated e-Reader. It has close to zero similarity to the tablet form factor - it's not a general computing device, it's not touch screen, etc, etc.
  • huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:05PM (#36768360) Journal
    Now if only they'd make it a proper e-reader by including a Pixel Qi (or similar) daylight-readable screen, I'd be sold.

    Huh? Make what a proper ereader? The Kindle? The kindle eInk is easily readable in broad daylight. It's useless in the dark.Or are you talking about the tablet? Your syntax is unclear. Please rephrase.

    • by awyeah (70462) *

      Yes, please elaborate. My kindle is the current generation and it's perfectly readable in broad daylight.

    • by gubers33 (1302099)
      Completely agree. I have read my Kindle on a the beach with zero clouds in the sky and bright as could be and it read like a book.
    • The Kindle?

      Black and white. Is there a Kindle model with a daylight-readable screen useful for, say, children's picture books or other material that relies on color?

      • by Yvan256 (722131)

        What I'd like to see is a large color e-ink panel that can be cut to size and targeted at hobbyists. Doesn't need to be fast, even a refresh of a second or two would be alright.

    • I think what the parent wants is a full strength Android-based tablet/eReader with an eInk touchscreen. I would love to see that come to market!
    • by jfengel (409917)

      Presumably, destinyland is seeking a tablet which also has the the ability to be read in sunlight like a Kindle. This is set up as a competitor to the iPad, which doesn't behave particularly well in sunlight.

      It's a tablet rather than a dedicated e-reader, and since tablets can run programs that require fast response times (which the Kindle's screen can't do), they're hoping for the best of both worlds.

      • Hey! Destinyland didn't say that. Timothy did.

        Sincerely,

        Destinyland
        • by jfengel (409917)

          I stand corrected. Sorry about that; having the inane ramblings of a Slashdot editor attributed to me would be very upsetting.

    • He means the tablet. And it's a bad idea - it was already tried with Notion Ink Adam, and PQi was found very lacking compared to current generation of eInk in terms of contrast.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        And eInk has terrible refresh times. On a smaller older reader a human could read the page faster than they could refresh. On current eink this is not true, but they all seem to do that terrible flash to black then the text thing.

        • It is very subjective. I find the refresh time and method on last-generation Kindles to be fast enough to not annoy me, but then I've been using eInk readers for over 3 years now.

          Anyway, no-one is proposing to use eInk for general-purpose tablets. My point was that adding PixelQi to a tablet will not magically make it a good e-reader - it's too low-contrast to read indoors, and in direct sunlight you'll get glare on the glass that'll also drown out the screen. At best, you're going to get something of rough

    • by Tei (520358)

      I have used a iPod and a iPad under horrible conditions of dust and dirty hands (don't ask), and the screen is readable.. mostly because is a glass (probably of a special type) and the screen is good, very, very, good.

      And I have used these machines to read long books, games, and browse, for very long hours, too.

      What you comment, is not a problem at all, ... at least for Apple devices, or devices with the quality of Apple hardware.

      • by leenks (906881)

        My iPad2 and iPhone4, like pretty much every colour LCD screen, are practically unusable outdoors in sunlight.

  • No EPUB, no sd card slot... no sale.

    • by p0p0 (1841106)
      EPUB is understandable, but software like Calibre can easily convert it to MOBI. SD Card is moot. The Kindle now comes with 4GB of memory. Few books are bigger then a few hundred kb, and you should use something else for music.
      • and you should use something else for music.

        Why? Why is it preferable to carry around yet another device than to expect the same level of functionality provided by the Kindle's competitors?

        • You already carry a device that can play music in your pocket - it's called a "cell phone".

        • Because a specialist device doesn't need to and shouldn't compete with more generalist devices?

          You can stick to the philosophy of "Do one thing, do it well" and still endure. Attempting to be a jack of all trades chasing competitors for ancillary features shouldn't be important if you know what you're selling should sell on its own merits.

          I use my Kindle for reading, and my iPhone for music - I charge my Kindle once a month, my iPhone daily. Two separate but complimentary devices.

      • by LtGordon (1421725)
        I'm actually in the same boat where 4 GB and no expandability is less than ideal. I am a huge fan of being able to load and read PDF documents onto an e-reader, which can easily hit 20+ MB each.
      • That SD card slot isn't just for capacity, it's also a separate partition. I can slide an SD card loaded with pirate copies of George Orwells "1984" into my Nook and Barnes & Noble can't even see them, much less delete them. With the Kindle... well, we know what happens. Amazon has the Kindle set up so they can see everything on it and take "appropriate action" ("but we'll never do it again")

        • by Eskarel (565631)

          Amazon also can't, and won't, do anything to the documents you manually put on your kindle, 1984 was yanked because it was sold by Amazon improperly, Amazon doesn't back up private documents, nor have they ever yanked them.

    • by chispito (1870390)
      Well, there is this:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304569504576403291417417796.html#ixzz1S7TijLao

      "A spokeswoman for Amazon said, "We're working closely with Pottermore to make sure Kindle customers will be able to buy and read J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books."

  • by Fool106 (977984) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:16PM (#36768494)
    Am I the only one who doesn't want a touchscreen kindle? I do not want to see my finger prints all over the screen while I try to read a book.
    • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:19PM (#36768534)

      Am I the only one who doesn't want a touchscreen kindle? I do not want to see my finger prints all over the screen while I try to read a book.

      Ditto. I suspect most people demanding touchscreens have never actually used one for long.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        Used my iPhone for 2 years now. Bought parents an iPad2 a while back. I have no problems with fingerprints. The light from the screen usually diminishes the impact if you are viewing the screen head on (and as a personal device, why wouldn't you be?) It's more visible when off or from the side. My glasses give me more problems with blurriness and I wash them at least daily if not more because it bothers me. My phone, once in a blue moon.

        I hope Amazon brings a good tablet out though, competiton and cho

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Used my iPhone for 2 years now. Bought parents an iPad2 a while back. I have no problems with fingerprints. The light from the screen usually diminishes the impact

          He was talking about a potential touchscreen Kindle. An e-ink device. There wouldn't be any light from the screen except reflected ambient light so what you're saying wouldn't apply.

          • by rolfwind (528248)

            Oh, I didn't think Amazon would release an E-ink touch screen tablet to compete with ipad, even disregarding this fingerprint issue, the refresh rate would be unsatisfactory for anything else but reading books, and would be doubly bad for responding quickly to direct touch commands.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        I read my kindle books on my nexus S, and I never notice a smudge.

      • I don't know. I like my old ipod touch, even with its smudges and fingerprints. I'd definitely be open-minded about buying another touch-screen device (but probably not from Apple).

    • It would still have physical keys to flip pages, I'd imagine (like all those Sony readers), which is what you use 99% of the time, so there wouldn't be many fingerprints. Touch would be for picking a book from the bookshelf, and also for browsing the book store - and it does make sense there.

      What worries me is whether they'll be able to maintain the high contrast ratio. When Sony went for touchscreens, their screens did become somewhat darker.

      • by steveg (55825) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:39PM (#36768744)

        When Barnes and Noble announced the new touchscreen Nook, one of my objections on various forums was about the reduction in clarity that came with touchscreens. A number of people told me that, while that was a problem with the 1st gen Sony touchscreens, the newer Pearl touchscreens used a different process and there was no optical penalty for the touchscreen part.

        You'd still have to deal with the fact that it's a touchscreen, and I'm not too enthusiastic about that, but it seems that clarity is no longer the problem it was.

        • That's good to hear!

          You'd still have to deal with the fact that it's a touchscreen, and I'm not too enthusiastic about that

          Why not, so long as they do the same think Nook did and keep the page flip buttons?

          • by steveg (55825)

            Because touchscreens have the habit of *doing* things when you touch them. I like to be able to handle my book reader without unintended things happening.
            I use a PocketBook 360 ebook reader. Some people complain that the page turn buttons are hard to push (they are!) I *like* that about it.
            I don't like touchpads on laptops that click when you touch them either.

            • Hm, that is good point, actually. Come to think of it, whenever I try to read from a tablet, I often accidentally turn pages by tapping it somewhere.

              I think the best of both worlds would be to have a hardware switch that would completely disable the touch screen (much like the one iPad has that can be used to lock orientation). That way, you still have the convenience of touchscreen for navigating through the menus, shopping etc, but once you start reading, you disable it and use the hardware buttons.

    • by steveg (55825)

      You're not the only one. I was interested in the new Nook until I found it was a touchscreen.

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      You are not the only one. I much rather have buttons on a bookreader, especially for page turning, and not have to worry about fingerprints. The Kindle is a decent form factor for holding like a novel.

      The Kindle is a bookreader. Having Web browser functionality is nice, because sometimes clicking on a link in text to do something may prove fruitful.

      However, if the Kindle turns into a touch screen tablet, it will just be a face in a herd, and lose the usefulness that made it a sellout item in the first pl

      • by Fool106 (977984)
        I completely agree with trying to make Kindle another tablet! It's a book reader for god's sake. The one thing I want it to do it does well. I have the 2nd gen Kindle and did not want to buy the current generation since mine works great still. I wanted to skip a generation until I upgraded my Kindle. Now I'm not so sure I want to upgrade if they release a touchscreen version.
      • What Amazon should do instead is get the Kindle to work with the epub format, add a SD card slot, so if someone wants 32 GB, they can have it. Since Amazon also has a decent cloud store, why not offer to stream/download from that as well? This doesn't need anything fancy on the screen, although AT&T may not like Whispernet being used for this.

        Money, money, money: Amazon has no reason to put things in ePub because it owns the Mobipocket format and its DRM. (However, since Mobipocket is a clearly-described standard, I really can't figure out what it is that people want to do with ePub that they can't with Mobi - except check out library books.) Adding an SD slot costs money, and Amazon has been absolutely dedicated to getting the price down ASAP (it's almost certain that the device will experience a huge jump in purchases once it can be sold belo

        • by geekoid (135745)

          And social media.

  • by Anomalyst (742352) on Thursday July 14, 2011 @04:22PM (#36768574)
    Bozo will not have the ability to push his whims down my throat. I paid for it. It is MINE.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      As far as he's concerned it's just an Amazon Point-of-Sale -- to the extent that it'll probably be free or heavily subsidized to Prime members.

      I bet he's going to do a much better job delivering a quality Android tablet than Samsung or Verizon, however. Amazon is just much better at retailing good consumer experiences, like Apple.

    • If you turn the wireless off, he'll never know it exists. You don't even have to register it to an account in order to use it. Sideloads work just fine. It's yours to do with as you please.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      Then don't use whisper net.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I'm assuming you don't have a car? Don't have an ISP, don't have any product with a EULA?

      because all those people are pushing there whims on you.

  • I will only buy one if they stop paying criminal blackmailers, Perhaps others do not want any of their cash being redirected towards protection rackets...

  • Along with "Polaroid", they have another "Manufacturer", called "Amazon", to contract assembly with. I can't wait to get the "Aunt Jemima", "Uncle Ben's" or "Cap'n Crunch" kindle.
  • If you (*clears throat*) RTFA, you will perhaps agree with me that instead of stating

    "Amazon Plans iPad Competitor (and 2 New Kindles)"

    it would be more appropriate to say

    "Amazon Plans 2 New Kindles (and iPad Competitor)"

    Anyway, given a fair price and connectivity, I am game if it;

    a) can be read under direct sunlight,

    b) has a refresh rate slightly above pathetic, and

    c) has a rudimentary operating system that I can mess around with (and am officially allowed to do so).

    A sensible set of demands

  • This will come closer to being branded like the Nook than any Android tablet, but with better app support. Amazon has content, and is one of the few companies in position to seriously compete with Apple in that area. They can fork android, build their own ecosystem, put it on their front page and sell millions. I think the writing has been on the wall for several months now.

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