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Amazon responds to critics with Kindle Fire update

John Brecher /

The New York Times reported that Amazon will roll out a Kindle Fire update "in less than two weeks," citing a company spokesman. The cause for the update? Fixes for problems that have concerned many early users.

The update will be pushed to devices over the air, no syncing necessary, and will bring improved performance and multitouch navigation, says the Times. Furthermore, users will be able to erase recent activity for improved privacy. "No more will wives wonder why their husbands were looking at a dating site when they said they were playing Angry Birds," wrote the Times' David Streitfeld.

Here's the full text of Amazon's statement, which we received directly from the company on Monday:

Kindle Fire is the most successful product we've ever launched — we've already sold millions of units and we're building more to meet the strong demand. As with all of our products, we continue to make them better for customers with regular software updates — in fact, in less than two weeks, we're rolling out an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire that will improve performance, touch navigation, and give customers the option to choose what items display on the carousel.

These particular issues are not ones I noticed when I reviewed the Kindle Fire, perhaps in part because I didn't do anything on the device that I wouldn't want my wife to see, and in part because I viewed the Kindle Fire as an excellent compromise: It's not a $500 iPad, but it's a $200 tablet that brings you the best of Amazon (along with the best non-Google Android apps). It works well in this capacity, and while the $250 Nook Tablet is a better device, what Amazon offers, beyond books, is hard to beat and getting better all the time.

Not all issues have fixes. As I pointed out in my review, there's a lack of physical volume buttons and an awkwardly placed power button, neither of which can be fixed with software.

There's one hardware concern that may have a software fix: The battery life on the Kindle Fire is not as good as the Nook Tablet or the iPad. Often, this has to do with how well the OS can control the various processes of the core system and apps, and how much it can shut down when it goes into sleep mode.

Amazon did not answer my specific query about battery life, nor is it mentioned in the above statement, so it likely will not change with this update.

More on the Kindle Fire from

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