As you probably heard, Amazon has its new E-reader, the Kindle Fire and pretty soon you’ll be able to buy it. It’s a pretty cool idea. Let me break down what it is:
1.) A new E-reader. Okay, not necessarily any better than the old kindles, with its iPad like screen with color. Its hard drive should handle more books though, assuming you haven’t clogged it with apps.
2.) A Honeycomb device. Yes, with a version of Android and the ability to install certain approved apps, it’s an Android.
3.) An AMAZING deal. $199 for the most expensive one, pushing down the cost of all the other kindles. The cheapest kindle is now $79. No bullshit.
4.) An Amazon Store. Yes, now you can buy Amazon stuff anywhere you can connect the device to the internet.
There of course limitations on the device. First and foremost, it’s smaller than an iPad, which may be good or bad depending on how you intend to use it. It doesn’t have a mobile connection beyond wifi, which some people may find hard to handle (of course, I have a mobile hotspot in my phone, so there’s no need to fret about that with me) but the biggest question shouldn’t be what it is or isn’t but what it should be.
Mobile devices like the iPad and the kindle are in a funny place in the realm of usefulness. On one hand, they mean not having to carry books or a laptop if all you want do is write an email, read a book or watch a video. On the other hand, they aren’t great for writing anything long (unless you opt for a keyboard, like with the Transformer) and they have limited capability because of their drive size and in many cases, an inability to attach an SD card.
I like that the Kindle fire pushes the price point down, way down in fact, but what I’d like to see from these devices before I spend any money on one are the following features:
1.) easily make presentations with them. I want a projector that connects wirelessly with the device, or a laptop. That makes it much more useful.
2.) Video editing. I think the larger devices like an iPad are well situated for video editing provided that the app doesn’t try too hard (not too many effects etc.), can connect to a computer after (output your project file and media to say, an Avid workstation) and finally, I’d like to see more of an ability to connect to external storage so you can work more easily. If I could plug a 64gb sd card into an iPad, edit in low res from that and match my project file to the HD files on my Avid, I’d be a pig in shit. Adobe, take note. You too, Final Cut Pro.
3.) network with other devices. I think it’d be amazing if I could carry say an iPad around in a backpack, snap some shots with a DSLR and wirelessly transmit them to the iPad where I could edit them in photoshop, rather than having to lug around a laptop. It doesn’t have to be full photoshop, but just a few more of the basic tools from Adobe (more than you get in Photoshop Express) would be magnificent. Couple that with software that allows you to send the photos home to a printer and you’ve got a great setup.
I think right now we’re at the stage where people marvel at the tech without really knowing what to do with it. People need to get over the niftiness and get down to the business. Tools are tools. What you do with them is entirely up to you and your creativity.