Serious question to Android lurkers here.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by PracticalMac, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. PracticalMac, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012

    PracticalMac macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Amazon sold an estimated (by IDC) 4.7million Fire's.

    Fire is a heavily modified version of the Android OS, with Amazon controlling what apps one can download to the Fire, very much like Apple.

    How much of a concern that Android will be more like iOS, with tighter control of the OS, controlled choice of fewer applications, less customization?

    Or are you happy something is competing well enough to make Apple take notice?

    That Fire is subverting the open OS stance of Android proper
  2. bjmach macrumors 6502

    Oct 10, 2008
    Bought a fire for my wife for Christmas. It wasn't that great. Sold it and now she is getting my iPad 2 she just likes it so much better and I have to agree with her.
  3. DenisAuermann macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2012
    San Salvador, El Salvador
    Well the fire is the most popular android tablet right now, but all it has going for it really its the price.I think amazon is mainly controlling the Kindle fire app store due to its lack of real processing power.

    I'm not at all concerned since the kindle fire (the main competition of the iPad) cannot properly do everything an iPad can. If they were to add all the same features of iOS and also add the hardware to run it properly it will end up costing as much as the iPad, and people are mainly buying the kindle bc of its price, so it would defeats its purpose (which is to offer and iPad solution at a lower price)
  4. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I returned a Fire to Best Buy today that I've been using for a bit under a month.

    I run an Exchange server for my personal email and 3rd party Exchange integration on the Fire (via Touchdown) is poor at best. It has been quite good via iOS' built-in mail client on my iPhone and I expect the iPad to offer a better experience thanks to its larger screen. The soft keyboard was not as easy to use on the Fire compared to my tiny little iPhone either. Software support for iOS is considerably broader than that for the Fire too. I have an iPad due to be delivered on Friday.

    In time I am sure the Fire and other Android-based tablets will compete more strongly with the iPad, but that time is not the present.
  5. Yggbert macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2011
    I have been using Android for almost a year now, my Nexus S is a fantastic phone and is running Ice Cream Sandwich, I cannot fault it. The battery life is especially superb, much better than my old 3GS and it outlasts my friends 4S easily.

    Now...onto tablets. Well what can I say? Android is horrible. Is the OS bad? No not really, in some ways it's better. Are the apps bad? Yes, yes, oh god, yes. It's not necessarily that the app quality is poor, but good luck finding apps made for Android on tablet. There's simply hardly any of them. I picked up an ASUS Transformer around August last year, needless to say it went back within a week. I'm looking forward to my 32GB iPad on Friday, I may go back to iPhone to have my phone and tablet perfectly in sync, but that won't be until 2013 at the earliest.

    TL;DR - Android on phone yay, Android on tablet nay.

    and in regards to your original point, OS being streamlined/less customisable isn't the problem. The problem are the apps, the problem is how much of a headache the SDK is to install, the problem isn't Android as an operating system, it's Android as an ecosystem. (on tablet I mean)
  6. StellarEvo macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Apple User

    Never owned a Fire but still own my B&N Nook. I rooted it and eventually went back to stock. However, it did what I wanted it to: read books and play around on the internet. I was able to watch Netflix and that was great too. It wasn't a perfect experience by any means but it was very acceptable.

    To me, it is not about how open the device is, it is about what I plan to do with it. I decided that I wanted a bigger screen so I can watch more movie and play some games in addition to check out some web pages. I decided rather get an iPad if I was going to get a tablet with a bigger screen even though I personally had no issues with my Android powered device.

    I'm very excited about getting my first iPad on Friday and I'll use my rooted Android with 4G to power it along. :D
  7. SurferMan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2010
    South FL
    I got a Fire for the gf and it's cool, but it also isn't a competitor to the iPad or other Android tablets like the Transformer Prime or Galaxy Tab etc. But for what it is, it's good, since we buy a ton of stuff off Amazon that integration is cool. If you want you can root it and customize but I haven't done that to it yet, but that way you also get access to the full market and not just Amazon. But for Amazon's first shot at a tablet they did a great job, so it will be cool seeing what they do from here. But also she uses it a lot and it goes right in her purse, iPad and other's can't do that as it doesn't fit. Mainly uses it for reading, buying off amazon, games, browsing.

    I don't think Android will be closed in like iOS though, except here and there like Amazon wanting "their" control over their setup like Apple does. Though Amazon made it tougher to root etc.

    I love my GSII but with tablets Apple still has the edge imo. Between the phone and 13" pro though I'm set for media when traveling or relaxing on the couch (easier typing and doing stuff on the 13" then iPad 2 had before that I sold b/c wasn't really using it and she didn't want to lug it around). If Apple made a 7" I'd pry consider it, waiting to see what other Androids come out this year in the 7" range as that's what I really like about the Fire (that size as you can hold like a phone and type easy).
  8. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    The question wasn't how much we like the Fire. The question was...

    No concern at all. That's not how Google rolls. I'm happy the Fire is doing well. I am more impressed with the great selection of quality Samsung tablets running Honeycomb and ICS...
  9. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    The Kindle Fire is slightly more than half the size of the iPad. They are not competitors. Also, the Fire may be the most popular Android tablet, but they fail to advertise that it is Android at all.

    Android phones are popular (mostly) because people don't go into a phone store and say "I'd like an Android phone", they just happen to be on so many phones because lots of other mobile OSes suck. Few people are actively seeking Android phones (techie users aside).

    Then when you get to tablets, iPad is clearly king. But people think "Android is so popular on phones, it's only a matter of time before they catch up to iOS on tablets!" Many people who have Android phones don't even know it. Android is not a valuable brand that people are supporting with their wallets. It's a solid OS and a successful product, but few people actively seek Android products.
  10. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011

    This about sums up my opinions too. There are things the iPhone simply can't do, or doesn't do well, that I need it to do, that ICS does or does better.

    But in terms of tablets, it's iPad and iOS all the way. I'd actually consider Windows 8 tablets before I consider Android, but that's a long ways off.

    If I was going to generalize even more: I'd say computers and tablets and PMPs go to Apple. Smartphones go to ICS (notice I'm not necessarily saying Android).
  11. Lunchbox700 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2008
    I have a Kindle Fire but it fits my needs . Yes its locked down but it does what I want it to do. My wife is getting an iPad because it does a little more of what we need it for . If you are just getting a tablet for the sake of getting a tablet I would still suggest an iPad but like I said for specific needs my Fire is fine.
  12. stonefeet macrumors regular


    Mar 12, 2012
    we have android phones and an og xoom right now at the house.

    the xoom is good, ice cream sandwich is really great, but there's literally no apps for it that use the bigger screen (nothing that makes me say i'd rather use this than go to the browser) the phone os is really really good (i think) but unless you have a nexus device you're really sol on anything close to resembling a timely update.

    in my opinion, android needs to be more like iOS to get better, sure 99% of android users don't care about updates but for that 1% of we do, we care a lot especially when each major release of a new os is such a huge leap (this is probably why devs aren't making good apps for tablets, because the os changes so much they have to redo their app on each release)
    for instance the atrix, moto's flagship phone of last year, waited 6 months for gingerbread release (even then it was a few releases behind) and ICS is slated for q3 of 2012 for release on the same phone. i don't know whose fault it is and don't care but something needs to be done to get most android devices updated in a timely fashion.
    by far the best part about android is if you have a phone with an unlockable bootloader and can update it yourself through the help of the great devs in the android community.
  13. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Unlike many you actually understand the question,...

    but didn't answer it(!)

    Of course Fire is not how Google rolls, but its Amazon, not Googles, game here. It might as well be NON-Android (except it can run some droid apps).

    Fire seems to be the Android kernel, with a custom GUI (maybe even entire shell?). Trying it out, it seems a cross between iOS and Windows7 phone then any Android I ever saw.

    Considering the over all low end hardware used, I wonder why people would buy the Fire over another $199 tablet that have more features.
  14. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    Well, as far as the Fire is concerned, yes, Amazon is likely to continue an Apple-like grip on their tablet. But the answer here is to get any one of 2 dozen other tablets running vanilla Android like you suggest. Amazon will not exclude those users from accessing their content. It may build cool features for Kindle users, but Amazon values it's non-Kindle users as well. Amazon is in the business of selling stuff, not Kindles. Kindles are just one more way to get to Amazon stuff.
  15. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Very true!
    Amazon's Fire page does not list the Android OS in the Specs, and only once mentions Android, in reference to Apps (other was quote from review, again about the apps).

    This really suggests Jeff Bezos is making this version of Android his own, for all intensive purposes, it it.

    The fact that former #1 A-Tab maker Samsung lost a good chunk of sales to a cheaper, OS controlled Fire may cause some serious issues for all A-tab makers. Mid and High end dominated by iPad, the low range a jungle of cheap variable quality tabs, where is the profit??

    Nokia is example I am thinking. They lost the high end smart phone, and China is making dirt cheap low end, cell phones, they stuck in middle.
    Look at the market % Nokia is now, < 5%?

    IDC predicts 3 more years of iPad dominance.
    I guess it is because A-tabs will not be profitable, while Apple will shoot to $1000/share.
  16. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I have a Kindle Fire and to be honest, it is more "locked down" than an iPad.

    Half of your home screen is always taken up by your "last used" items. Can't change wallpaper. Can only read books that work in the Kindle app. App selection is limited to only KF specific apps.

    Now you can side load apps, movies, music and books, but for average users the iPad feels much more open and less constrained than the Fire.
  17. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Of course one can get a non-Fire tablet, but that is beside the point.

    You have a huge amount of hype, big advertising (Fact Amazon is #1 online retailer makes it very easy to advertise Kindle), low costs, and displayed in stores everywhere (except infrequently visited AT&T/Verizon/Sprint/T-Mo).

    Come to think of it, I see more A-Tab's in the cell phone stores then BestBuy. Maybe this will drive home the "Oversized cell phone" impression?

    Anyway, my original question is in short will Fire become its own brand and eclipse Android itself?
  18. santaliqueur macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Wait, the free-love Android tablet is MORE locked down than the draconian iPad and Apple's walled garden? Surely you jest with us.

  19. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    That's two questions.
    Will Fire become its own brand? I think Amazon would like it to be. They understand the concept of owning a marketplace and platform effects.

    Will it eclipse Android itself? That's the tougher one. In what sense? Units sold, developer revenue, platform revenue to Amazon, market segment dominance?
  20. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    Well, the nice thing about android is that its highly customizable. In under an hour I had my fire looking and working just like a regular tablet running market. For $199 the fire is nice. I ended up returning it because I wanted bigger and better and it was a pain to Root.

    Will the Fire Eclipse Android? The Fire IS Android. Did Dell eclipse Microsoft? Of course not, they are two separate entities. One is hardware and one is software.
  21. ZBoater macrumors G3


    Jul 2, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    No. Amazon doesn't have that kind of muscle. Android tablet users will gravitate towards more openness and ICS. The Fire will do well, but it won't eclipse Andoid. IMHO.
  22. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    No, one question. In the act of growing it eclipses.

    In the sense when someone says Tablet, they think iPad and/or Fire. The word Android does not come into play, OR people think Android was created by Amazon.

    Easy to customize, but pain to Root....

    Every PC in the world with Windows, 99.9999999% of time, on OS start what do you see?
    a HUGE logo of Windows.

    Start iPad, Apple logo.

    Start Fire, you see no Google logo, it is Amazon logo. So, we have the Kindle OS.

    (on Moto phone, DROID logo does flash quickly, others seem to do as well)

    Its not about muscle, its about visibility.
    Target, Wal-Mart, Radio Shack, etc, etc. What you see? Amazon's Kindles.
    Don't need the internet to see it.
    And when using the Kindles you see more of Amazon World (TM), not Google.

    The average non-techie person will hear much more about iPad and Kindle Fire.
    Because he is not tech savvy, he will not know the huge difference between iPad and Fire, but he WILL see the price difference, and think for $199 the Fire is a better deal.
    Will he know the Fire uses Android?
    No. He will just know it as Fire.
    When a friend with Android shows him a great app, he looks it on Amazon store, not there, so he thinks its not for Fire becuase, rightly so, Fire is not (truly) Android.

    Almost all home PC: Big Windows Logo
    All Macs: Big Apple and OS X logo
    Fire: Amazon logo.
  23. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Only if the size of the pie remains static. If the overall market grows then it can grow while Android also grows and form a tertiary market.

    As I've said before though -- Ford sells a LOT more cars in North America than does Mercedes. The latter isn't any less nice and certainly isn't going away. Growth of Android and/or Fire doesn't necessarily spell doom for iOS, provided Apple doesn't pull a RIM.
  24. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    You already gave the answer above: the Fire is Amazon's custom version. Amazon will do with it whatever they feel makes their customers most happy. If they think that means keeping them cozy within their own ecosystem like Apple does, then they'll do that.

    While its relative success might cause some other companies to also try creating their own custom devices, it won't affect regular Android tablets.
  25. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 22, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Good point, but lets say Fire grows at 2X or faster then Android? Over time the pure Android market is marginalized.

    And I was NOT comparing it to iOS, I was comparing Fire vs Regular Android

    Sorry, you missed what I asked.
    How much will Fire,... SUBVERT the Android world? That forces Android developers not make Android apps, but make "Fire" Apps (that happen to be Android compatible).

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