Amazon to Release Software Update for Kindle Fire Problems

  on December 12 2011 7:59 PM

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is having a robust quarter thanks in part to sales of its first tablet, the Kindle Fire. But while the tablet launched just a month ago is expected to sell four million or more units by the end of the year, ably competing against the Apple iPad, its not without problems. 

Many users have complained about issues with the new Kindle Fire, including slow and erratic scrolling, problems with apps, difficulty accessing Wi-Fi, and clumsy touchscreens. But Amazon says some of the problems will be solved with a new software update it will release before Christmas.

In less than two weeks, we're rolling out an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire, said Drew Herdener, a company spokesman, in an interview with The New York Times.

The company didn't say if the software update will address all of the complaints. The spokesperson said that the update will address privacy issues and navigation sluggishness, according to the Times.

Among the complaints:

--The volume off switch is easy to hit by mistake.

--Internet browsing is difficult because pages take too much time to load.

--The device has no privacy protection or password security, meaning that anyone who picks up the device can see what the user has been doing.

--The touchscreen is clumsy.

Amazon.com's new Kindle Fire offers a disappointingly poor user experience, wrote Jakob Nielsen, in a product review on useit.com. Using the web with the Silk browser is clunky and error-prone. Reading downloaded magazines is not much better. Still, user testing with the Fire did help us understand what the new generation of 7-inch tablets is good for: Are they more like 10-inch tablets (e.g., the iPad) or more like 3.5-inch mobile phones? To give away the conclusion, the answer is: a bit of both.

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