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Why I use the Kindle Fire
By Dave Winer on Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 11:24 AM.

A picture named fire.jpgWhen I got my hands on a Kindle Fire, I wrote a piece -- with clear disclaimers that I might not feel this way after some time -- that I absolutely loved it. That piece was a little over a week ago. Now it's time to write a follow-up. With the disclaimer that there might be more follow-ups to come.  #

1. I still don't see the Fire and iPad as comparable, even though they do many of the same things. When I got my iPad, when it was new, I tried not to compare it to the Mac or netbooks, both of which I used, even though it did many of the same things.  #

2. There are a lot of things the Fire doesn't do today that I'm pretty sure it will do in the future. Lots of apps are missing. But I suspect they will show up. Installed bases attract developers, and Amazon is likely to build a big one here. #

3. It has the kinds of bugs only version 1.0 products have. For example, when I buy a book on Amazon, nothing I do can get the Fire to recognize it, even if if I specifically tell the Amazon website to send it to that Kindle (I have many). However, when I reboot the Fire, it shows up right away. #

3a. It's annoying that the controls don't allow you to decrease brightness to a comfortable level when reading in the dark. And the sound control doesn't allow it to get loud enough to hear some movies with soft dialog. (The iPad has the same problem. There are some movies you have to watch with headphones on to actually be able to understand the dialog.) #

4. The small form factor is a big win. I choose to read books on the Fire, and when possible, watch movies on it, over my iPad, because it's so much easier to hold while lying down. It's the size of a paperback. A little heavier, but quite a bit lighter than an iPad. And the rubber body is easy to grip. Where the iPad slips out of your hands, and is cold to the touch, the Fire is warm, and it grips easily.  #

Some idiotic Apple fanbois made fun of this, but if it were reversed they wouldn't they all be cooing about the wonderful feel of the product. Remember when they said the Mac UI was lickable? Yuck! Saying a computer is lickable reminds me of the video of Paul Wolfowitz sucking on his comb. You don't put these things in your mouth. That's disgusting. :-) #

5. I use the iPad for email, for Words With Friends and for browsing the web. I do not use the Fire for any of those things, even though I know it can be used for those things. Not sure why.  #

6. I still love it, one week in. I would keep it even if I didn't use it because I want to see where Amazon takes it. I think it's a bargain at $200. I wouldn't yet recommend it to non-technical users, though I think it would be fine for kids to play games on, as long as there's a mom or dad nearby to get things working again when needed.  #

7. It is an Android, but there are strange things that work on Android that don't work on the Fire. I tried to install a piece of software that AC recommended, but it wouldn't work on the Fire. I was able to install it on my Android phone, a Nexus/S. #

8. Another reason I use the Kindle Fire is competition. I would probably use any tablet that looked like it had a chance of attaining market share. When Apple has competition, they will have reason to give users more of what they want. There will be less of the kind of nonsense with them deprecating Flash. Companies shouldn't have that kind of power. I know Amazon is no better, but they are different. More choice is good for us all, even people who bleed in six colors.  #

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