Google Announces New Devices and Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)

Google had originally planned an event today to discuss the latest devices coming out of the Nexus line of products as well as showcasing the new Jelly Bean upgrade, but due to hurricane Sandy, it was cancelled. This didn’t stop Google however since they decided to go ahead and make the announcements via the official Google Blog.

Google Play screenshotAs expected, we’re going to see a Nexus 10″ tablet from Samsung and the new Nexus 4 smartphone from LG. What was not so expected was that the Nexus 7 is now being offered with HSPA+ services making the tablet even more portable than it was.

Given the insane amount of coverage on these announcements, I don’t need to go over every last detail, but here’s the overall gist of what’s going down on November 13th.

Nexus 4

Nexus 4The Nexus 4 is unfortunately not a 4G phone, thus leaving the only 4G Nexus device as the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. However, LG did put a quad core processor inside so that would explain why it’s only HSPA+. Apparently LTE doesn’t play well with quad core processors.


  • 4.7″ screen with 1280 x 768 resolution (320ppi)
  • 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front
  • 2GB memory
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • Wireless charging

The device comes in 8GB ($299) and 16GB ($349) sizes both with no external storage options. This is because Google despises external storage devices as they can sometimes cause performance issues with apps and whatnot. This is probably why Apple doesn’t go this route either.

Nexus 10 Tablet

Nexus 10Recently the Nexus was available in the 7″ size with wi-fi only, but Google has just released a new 32GB model that has HSPA+ cellular connectivity. This brings the Nexus 7 line up to three models: 16GB (wi-fi only for $199), 32GB (wi-fi only for $249) and 32GB (wi-fi + HSPA+ for $299)

But the biggest news was the announcement of the 10″ tablet. Originally with the Nexus 7, critics were only really paying attention to it as a competitor to the Kindle Fire, but now we’re looking at some real competition to the full size iPad.

The only downside…both models are wi-fi only. The 16GB model will sell for $399 and the 32GB will sell for $499.


  • 10″ with 2650 x 1600 resolution (300 ppi)
  • Dual-core A15 processor
  • 5MP front camera, 1.9MP rear
  • 9000 mAh battery
  • Weight: 603g (1.3lbs)
  • Size: 263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9mm

Without the HSPA+ option, some of the iPad models are still looking like a better choice, but at these price points, Nexus tablet is still a better buy. Plus you get Android software unobstructed by any manufacturer software.

Android 4.2

Android 4.2Originally dubbed Key Lime Pie, it appears that Android 4.2 will simply be a major update to Jelly Bean and it packs in a lot of new features! For full details, check out what’s new on Android.

Photo Sphere – Here’s a new feature that allows you to take photos in all directions and put them back together in a 3D sphere and then share them with your Google+ friends and/or add them to Google Maps.

Gesture Typing – Now you can type simply by gliding over the letters of the word and letting go. The word will appear with spaces and all. Plus, with Google’s new dictionaries, your text conversations become more predictive, allowing you to select your next word without having to type.

Multiple users – Available only on the tablets, this features allows you to create new users on your device so each person can have their own everything — apps, games, homescreen, background images, widgets, etc. You can also use fast user switching to go from one user to the next without having to log out each time.

Wireless HDMI – Connect a wireless HDMI adapter to your tv and now you can stream whatever you’re doing on your phone or tablet right to your big screen!

Of course there’s so much more, but I found these to be the top highlights.

My Thoughts

Here I am once again with my infamous dilemma. Before, it was about getting the iPad or a Macbook Air, or getting the Kindle Fire or staying with an iPad. Today, the question still remains. Do I need a tablet? More importantly, do you? Many people are finding that while tablets are very convenient smaller (compared to laptops), they still don’t present much of a “working” device. They seem to be more of a luxurious toy rather than a practical replacement for any of your real devices.

Microsoft may shift this paradigm when they release their Surface tablet with full blown Windows 8 Pro, but again, only time will tell.

As for the Nexus 4, it doesn’t appeal to me other than its cool design, wireless charging feature and quad core processor. Since I currently have the Nexus GSM, these basic upgrades aren’t enough for me to swap phones again. However, I’m saying this after only owning my Nexus for a few months, so who knows how I’ll feel come Christmas. Maybe if the phone was 4G LTE, I’d be singing a different tune.

Android 4.2 is definitely an upgrade I’m excited about. All these new features for free and because I already own a Nexus device, I don’t have to wait months before the carriers and manufacturers get it together before I can update my phone.

Google Announces New Nexus Devices on October 29

As a late adopter of a Nexus product, I couldn’t be more excited by this news! I currently own a Galaxy Nexus phone (unlocked GSM version) and I’ve had my eyes focused on the new Nexus 7 tablet, but with next week’s announcement right around the corner, I’ll just wait and see what Google has in store for us.

It’s rumored that Samsung will be the manufacturer of a new Nexus 10″ tablet (likely to be called the Nexus 10) while LG will be making the new Nexus phone to be called the Nexus 4. Along with these items will come the latest version of Android, version 4.2 which up until last week was being called Key Lime Pie. It appears that Google has dropped that name and instead will be releasing 4.2 as a slight update to Jelly Bean.

Nexus 10 tablet

Nexus 10

Samsung already produces some quality Android tablets with their Galaxy Tab 2 and Galaxy Note 10.1 devices, but as with all manufacturer’s versions of Android devices, they both come with that lovely Samsung “overlay” of extra software and features that tie you to them for updates and product support.

With the Nexus 10, Samsung will only be making the hardware and Google will ensure that the end user gets only the purest Android experience possible. It’s speculated that version 4.2 will allow for multiple user accounts on the tablet devices so it’ll be much easier to share your device without worrying about your friends buying new apps on your account or messing up your home screen layout.

Preliminary specs include:

  • 2650 X 1600 display with 300ppi which beats Apple’s Retina iPad at only 264ppi
  • 10.1″ screen
  • Possible wi-fi and cellular models

Nexus 4 Smartphone

LG Nexus 4I love my Nexus GSM phone and even though it’s considered outdated by most standards, the phone is amazing! There are a few things I wish it had like external storage, a better camera and 4G compatibility, but overall I love it. I’ve never owned an LG device, but from the photos I’ve seen of this new device, I can say that I like what I see.

According to CNET,

The smartphone will have a quad-core SnapDragon processor from Qualcomm, 2 gigabytes of RAM, a 1,280×768 display, 16GB of internal storage, and an 8-megapixel camera. Unlike the Optimus G, the Nexus 4 won’t be an LTE device, according to a person familiar with the announcement.

I can’t believe that this phone won’t be a 4G device. However, from what I’ve heard, this is merely a tech issue with the quad-core processor. Apparently, they don’t play well on LTE networks. This was the reported reason why the Galaxy SIII U.S. version was downgraded to a dual-core.

My Thoughts

I’ve wanted a Galaxy Tab 2 for the longest time since getting rid of my iPad, but once again I feared that I would be paying a hefty price for something I really couldn’t find a valid use for. Then the Nexus 7 came out and I figured it was cheap enough to justify, but it seemed too small.

With this announcement, it’ll be interesting to see the 10 in version of the Nexus tablet as well as seeing how much it will sell for.

Apple Is Targeting The Video Game Industry

Apple has collectively termed its line of products as being part of the “post pc” world and given that combined sales have beat the combined sales of all major video game consoles by at least 30 million, it can easily be said that Apple is making a dent in yet another market. Now of course, simply comparing these numbers isn’t entirely fair. Just because someone bought an iPad doesn’t mean they did it instead of buying an Xbox. But one thing is becoming increasingly clear…average people are becoming exposed to games through smartphones and tablets and seasoned console gamers are finding tablet versions of their favorite games in the app stores.

Even the global president of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata had this to say regarding Apple and the gaming industry:

“Game development is drowning,” he said. “Until now, there has always been the ability to make a living [making games]. Will that still be the case moving forward?”

There’s speculation among all major game developers that tablets are an unnerving cancer to the console game market. While it may be true that tablet and smartphone games are selling well, I can’t imagine that these little “novelty” games will ever kill consoles and PC gaming.

HardwareComputer gaming hardware

One of the major contributing factors to the success of console and PC gaming is the hardware. Usually in performance arenas, bigger is better. Take a car for example…the larger the engine, the more power it puts out. Computers are no exception…the bigger the graphics card, the more power it’ll churn out. Technology has certainly allowed wondrous things to be accomplished with very tiny devices, but the fact still remains that a beefed up powerhouse PC or console on a 50″ LED tv is going to be a much better experience than a rinky-dink iPad.

Another concern I have are the controls. How can you compensate for the lack of buttons on an iPad? Some of today’s games are so involving that they require controllers that have 8 or more buttons. The iPad can most certainly excel at simple games that require screentaps here and there or the physical motion of moving the iPad around, but can it really be used to play complex games? If not, does anyone even care?

The question about whether Apple will lead this industry isn’t about whether they can or not…it comes down to what the gamers want. If they want to trade in their World of Warcraft and Call of Duty for Fruit Ninja and Words with Friends, then that’s the new industry. Gaming experience plays a huge role in the psyche of consumers.

Gaming ExperienceiPad Gaming

The widely accepted culprit to Apple’s gaming success is the gaming experience itself. Today’s average gamer seems more interested in being able to play games on the subway or while waiting for their bus rather than be cooped up for hours in a stuffy bedroom. This means that kids are having more fun playing wirelessly with their friends on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. It seems the days of inviting all your friends over to your house to get down on some multi-player action are dwindling.

However, experience isn’t just about the device or the setting. It’s mostly about actual gameplay. Even though Apple touts the iPad as being a serious gaming device, anyone with a small tech background could tell you that there’s no way an iPad can compete with the hardware found in an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. As a result, the games on the iPad are still very mobile and for the most part are quick puzzle-type games that can be completed with minimal touchscreen controls.

Part of the reason for bringing all this up is because it makes me wonder if simple games have become fun again. Back in the 80’s, we were all content with controlling little Mario around on 2D side-scrolling levels that progressively got harder, but then we wanted more. We got it when console gaming exploded in the late 90’s. This new gaming explosion effectively killed off the arcade industry while opening new doors for immersive gaming adventures that required some major skill and buckets of time to complete. Then we got 3D. It seemed like just around the corner, we’d all be playing virtual reality simulator games.

Yet, amongst all the new devices like Kinect and Move, people still want to cut fruit in half with one finger.

My two cents

My opinion on this has always kept the two gaming industries separate. On one side, you had mobile (and online) games and on the other, you had console and computer games. All gamers could have the best of both worlds…fun, quick games while on the road and epic adventures when at home. Now it seems the lines are being blurred thanks to everything moving toward the “app” world. Game makers are now forced to created mobile versions of their big games just to stay competitive.

I probably shouldn’t really be speaking much on this topic considering that the only console game I really play is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, but at the same time, I could never see myself playing an iPad version of MW3. The graphics might be great and the motion of the iPad could be used well to control the game, but let’s face it. To downgrade from an 8+ button Xbox controller to an iPad screen just seems a little chaotic to me!

With that said, Apple is surly taking many industries by storm and over the years, they used the iPod to kill off Sony’s Walkman and Discman, used iTunes to almost destroy all classic music stores (remember Tower Records?), changed the entire phone industry with iPhone, practically set new standards for application and game distribution through the App Store and are now using the iPad to get people to buy something they never thought they needed. The irony here is that Apple was once criticized for not having much in the gaming sector and now they’re being hailed as a potential gaming leader. I’m curious to see how this plays out.

Apple iPad 3 Set For Release on March 7

[warning_box]UPDATE: Apple has announced the all new iPad (not called iPad 3)! Click for more information.[/warning_box]

Assuming the rumors are true, it looks like Apple will be releasing the iPad 3 in just 8 days! Ok, so that’s not exactly what’s going on, but Apple has said they will be making an announcement on that day. However, I’ll be honest in saying that I’m not that excited about this new release. Of course it’s hard to make that assessment until that time comes, but I think what it is for me is that Apple keeps releasing these “new” products, but I don’t think we need them.

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HP TouchPad Sells Out – Future of webOS is Open Source

Following yesterday’s HP TouchPad fire sale of what may be the last official stock of HP’s tablet device, I began wondering what this mysterious piece of hardware was all about. As a result of writing for this website, I generally have my hands in and around of lot of tech, but for some reason this device has escaped me. That’s probably because it seems to be escaping everyone else too!

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HP Touchpad Not Sold OUT! For sale now on eBay!

According to a blurb over at, the HP Touchpad is not sold out, a quick look at this time shows no results on their store page: It appears that HP had scheduled a sale of the tablet device for today on their direct eBay store and sales have been running briskly ever since it started at 4pm PST.

From what I can see, there doesn’t appear to be any Touchpads left. I tried searching as wells as reviewing the categories and nothing shows up. However, don’t let this discourage you, there are still plenty for sale on eBay from other sellers wishing to unload their device as well as on Amazon.

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Kindle Fire First Look and Review

I’ve owned the Kindle Fire for about 15 hours now and I’ve gotten a pretty good grasp on how everything works so far. I took some video recordings of me playing around with it, so check out the video below. I’ll start first by saying we should all stop using the phrase “iPad killer” to describe (or potentially describe) any new tablet device that comes on the market. I say this because just like with the iPhone, Apple will always retain a specific share of the market. They have a different eco-system that connects all their devices, so it’s hard to compare new devices and software.

With that said, it should be noted that if you’re using the phrase “iPad killer” to strictly define actual specs of the hardware, then the Amazon Kindle Fire is certainly not an iPad killer. However, that’s ok! In my opinion, it was never intended to be a direct alternative to the iPad. After what I’ve seen so far, the Kindle Fire is simply an e-reader with some extra bells and whistles—and for only $199, that works perfectly.

So, let’s get to it.



Kindle Fire
The Kindle fire is tiny. On Monday, I received the Marware Kindle Fire case that I purchased and it was the first time I got to feel what I was going to be holding the next day. I find that its smaller form factor (when compared to the iPad) is much more convenient. As a male, I don’t have the luxury of carrying around a purse or a handbag to be able to throw a hefty tablet into, so being able to carry the Fire around like a tiny book was key.

The weight of the Fire is 14.6oz which feels a bit heavier than an average bottle of water. This doesn’t seem to cause the same stress pains that holding an iPad will give you after some time. The combination of size and weight also make the Fire much more manageable with one hand.

The overall look of the Fire creates a very streamlined device that only has one button—no volume rockers, no switches and no home button. The Fire has only a power button located on the bottom of the device. This might be an annoyance to those who are used to adjusting volume and locking screen rotation on an iPad. Personally, I only miss having a physical home button. While the software does provide a home button on every screen, it disappears after a while and any unknowing users who may have happened upon your device would be hardpressed to figure out how to get back to the desktop. A simple tap anywhere near the center will bring up the home button and/or any available options for the item you have opened, but still…


Kindle Fire
I’m new to Android and although I had an Android phone for a short while, I’m not too familiar with how fast this OS should run. However, the Kindle Fire does boast a OMPA 4430 dual-core ARM A9 processor that clocks in at 1GHz. This, coupled with the Android-based operating system, creates a very fast user experience when navigating through your device’s content and opening apps and books. You’ll notice a slowdown when loading graphics intensive items such as a game or a full-color magazine, but nothing to complain about too much.

When reading books, the Fire is very responsive and has hardly any lag when turning pages, performing text searches and recalling bookmarked locations. As a trial, I signed up for the Kindle Fire-only Maxim magazine to see how well a full-color digital magazine appeared and I was pleasantly surprised. This is where the speed really shows its capabilities. Because the magazine is a direct copy, page for page of digitally scanned images, it runs a bit on the slow side. But we’re not talking about full seconds here…it’s just noticeably slower than reading through a standard Kindle e-book.


One very important note to consider before buying the Fire is that it only has access to apps within the Amazon-Android app store! This is different than the regular Android app store. The differences have yet to be fully explored yet, but I noticed it when trying to find the Chase Bank mobile app. I know they make an Android version, but so far, it is nowhere to be found on the Kindle Fire. I can’t say for sure why some apps wouldn’t be available, but I thought I’d point out that fact anyway just so you understand that you may not have access to all of the Android apps you’ve come to love.

The few apps I’ve installed so far (Angry Birds Rio, eBay Mobile, Netflix and Pandora) have all performed very well. They all load very fast and have no lag when running. One complaint I have about the apps is that there are a few default apps like Comics, ESPN and IMDB that come on the Fire (but aren’t necessarily installed) in which I can’t get rid of. Any app that you personally download and install can be removed by tapping and holding the icon and then tapping on ‘Remove from device’, but these other default apps are stuck with you.


Kindle Fire
The Amazon Silk browser seriously beats Safari on iPad. With tabbed browsing and the ability to return exactly where you left off (not always the case on iPad) make this browsing experience compelling to say the least. It was also refreshing to finally open a Flash webpage on a mobile device without being devoid of content! I haven’t played around too much with the Internet yet, but Amazon claims that over time, the browser will have cached enough data into the Amazon Cloud that it will be able to load pages faster based on previous web history and trends.

In other words, if you’re going to more shopping sites than blog sites, those pages will load much faster. Also, the ability to bookmark a webpage and have it stored exactly like it appears online is a huge bonus for people who might want to continue reading a page after they’ve exited a wi-fi area.


I’ve already discovered a few minor things that have irked me a bit. I’m sure in time, some of these will get fixed with software updates, but for now, here’s what I don’t like about the Kindle Fire.

  • No physical home button – Apple got this one right for sure. I love a streamlined look, but it’s always nice to have an actual button that will always bring you back to the start.
  • No military time – This is merely a preference, but you’re not able to show the current time in military format, which is commonly used around the world.
  • Can’t change home screen image – When the screen is locked, the background image randomly changes each time, but you’re not able to change it.
  • No app notifications – iOS devices put little notifications on app icons that have updates such as a little number counting how many emails are in your inbox. The Fire doesn’t have these.
  • No app folders – All you have is a favorites list that allows to you place your most used apps on the home screen, but you can’t organize them any other way.

My two cents

I could probably go on all day with the ups and downs of this device, but I’ll end it here and summarize with this: the Kindle Fire is a wonderful device for anyone looking to purchase an e-reader that has a lot of extra features. For me, I sold my iPad because I wasn’t using it as much as I thought I would. In my case, it became a super expensive e-reader so the Kindle Fire was the perfect replacement for me. At only $199.99, you can’t go wrong. Is it an iPad killer? Certainly not, but it is a worthy competitor and it will likely steal all of the consumers that are on the fence about getting an iPad or not.

iPad 2 vs iPhone 4S vs iPod Touch (4th Generation)

With the release of Apple’s latest product, the iPhone 4S and iOS 5, Apple’s lineup has 3 great products all operating with the same OS. There is no longer a distinction between these devices in terms of software. The world of Apple now revolves around OS X and iOS with both of these revolving around iTunes. Steve Jobs may have left us, but Apple’s ecosystem is far from gone. However, the question still comes down to whether we need all three of these devices or just one or maybe two. Today, I’d like to compare all three and let you decide.iPod Touch (white)

Let’s start with the iPod. Here’s a device that changed the portable music industry forever. Of course, during its humble beginnings, it was simply a music device. For whatever reason, Apple felt like there needed to be more, so they have created numerous iterations of this one device over the years and today, we have iPod Touch.

iPod Touch vs iPhones

The iPod Touch has seen 4 revisions since it was first introduced back in 2007 and this latest one is the closest they’ve come to the iPhone since. Because of this, let’s first compare the Touch to the latest iPhones:

iPod touch iPhone 4S iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS
Capacity 8 GB
32 GB
64 GB
16 GB
32 GB
64 GB
8 GB (as of Oct ’11)
16 GB
32 GB
8 GB
16 GB
Screen size (inches)
3.5 / 960 x 480 3.5 / 960 x 480 3.5 / 960 x 480 3.5 / 480 x 320
Processor Apple A4 Apple A5 1 dual-core 1 GHz Apple A4 Samsung ARM Cortex-A8
Battery Life Video: 7 hours
Audio: 40 hours
Talk/Video/Web: 8/10/9 hours
Audio: 40 hours
Talk/Video/Web: 7/10/10 hours
Audio: 40 hours
Talk/Video/Web: 5/10/5 hours
Audio: 30 hours
A-GPS No Yes Yes Yes
Camera under 1 megapixel 8 megapixel & VGA 5 megapixel & VGA 3.2 megapixel
Video Camera 720p HD 1080p HD 720p HD Yes
FaceTime 4th gen. and later Yes Yes No
Siri Support No Yes No No
Phone No Yes Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size (in inches) 4.4 x 2.3 x .28 4.5 x 2.31 x .37 4.51 x 2.31 x .37 4.5 x 2.4 x .48
Weight (in ounces) 3.56 4.9 4.8 4.8
iOS 5 Support? 3rd gen and later Yes Yes Yes
Monthly Fees No $55-$99 $55-$99 $55-$99
Price $199/$299/$399 $199/$299/$399
(w/ 2-year contract)
(w/ 2-year contract)
(w/ 2-year contract)

Clearly, the 4th gen Touch most closely resembles the iPhone 4. The great thing about that is for all of you who don’t want an iPhone because you already have another device you love or you’re stuck in a contract, the iPod Touch is the perfect replacement. It can give you access to all the apps that iPhone owners rave about and now with the new generation of Touch, you have the dual cameras, iOS 5 software and it comes in white too! Also, with iMessage, you can now send instant text messages to every other iOS device over wi-fi.

Now I no longer own an iPhone, I’ve been seriously considering the new iPod Touch. Not only for its music capabilities in my car, but also for the apps that I miss—mainly my Chase bank app that allows me to deposit checks just by taking a photo of it. With the front-facing camera, you can use the Facetime app to communicate with every iOS device over wi-fi. So essentially, you can use the iPod Touch just like an iPhone when you’re connected to a network.

iPad vs iPod Touch

Apple iPad
The iPad was a “revolutionary device” that Apple made us believe that we needed. And despite the fact that it’s the best selling tablet on the market today, some people still wonder what its main purpose is. Those of us who have owned an iPad at some point understand that it’s really nothing more than a large iPhone. Although I make that sound like a negative thing, it’s actually the one fact that is what makes the iPad such a popular device. Apple’s ecosystem of devices and their connectivity to iTunes has made these products indispensable.

iPod touch iPad iPad 2
Capacity 8 GB
32 GB
64 GB
16 GB
32 GB
64 GB
16 GB
32 GB
64 GB
Screen size (inches)
3.5 / 960 x 480 9.7 / 1024 x 768 9.7 / 1024 x 768
Processor Apple A4 Apple A4 Apple A5 dual-core 1 GHz
Battery Life Video: 7 hours
Audio: 40 hours
Video/Web: 8/10
9 hours on 3G
Video/Web: 8/10
9 hours on 3G
A-GPS No Yes (3G models) Yes (3G models)
Camera 0.7MP back, 0.3MP front N/A 0.7MP back, 0.3MP front
Video Camera 720p HD N/A 720p HD
FaceTime 4th gen. and later No Yes
Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Size (in inches) 4.4 x 2.3 x .28 9.56 x 7.47 x .528 9.5 x 7.31 x .346
Weight 3.56 oz 1.5 lbs/td>

1.32 lbs
iOS 5 Support? 3rd gen and later Yes Yes
Monthly Fees No AT&T –
250MB $14.99 per month
2GB $25.00 per month
Verizon –
1GB $20 per month
2GB $30 per month
5Gb $50 per month
10GB $80 per month
AT&T –
250MB $14.99 per month
2GB $25.00 per month
Verizon –
1GB $20 per month
2GB $30 per month
5Gb $50 per month
10GB $80 per month
Price $199/$299/$399 Wi-fi only
Wi-fi + 3G
Wi-fi only
Wi-fi + 3G

The iPad and iPods are not to be directly compared of course due to their very different sizes, but the point of these charts were to show you just how close the iPod touch is to Apple’s other mobile products.

My two cents

I owned an iPhone since the first one came on the market right up until I sold my iPhone 4 just a few months ago. I did this in hopes that the new iPhone would be a significant upgrade, but it looks like I’ll have to wait until the next phone until I get back on iPhone. In the past year or so, I’ve also owned an iPad and an iPod Classic. For a phone, I’ve been using the Samsung Focus with Windows Phone 7 on it and I love it. However, I do miss some of the apps I once had on the iPhone and as a result, I’ve been tempted to buy an iPod touch. After researching the information above, I’ve concluded that the 4th generation iPod Touch is the closest thing I can get to an iPhone without having to buy an iPhone.

I don’t like the iPad as much because of the pricing, so I’m willing to try the new Kindle Fire in November before I consider ever going back to an iPad. My new lineup might consist of the following before Christmas: MacBook Pro, iPod Touch (white 32Gb), Samsung Focus and Kindle Fire. It’s crazy how times change!

The Kindle Fire Could Shake Up The Tablet Market

I’ve been reading the reviews about the Kindle Fire as well as watching demo videos among other things and I find it funny that everyone either says it’ll be an iPad killer or not. Why can’t it be neither? Why does every tablet that comes out have to be compared to the iPad? Well, the answer that most people will tell you is that it’s because the iPad is the number one selling tablet. While this is true, does that mean everything else should be compared to it? I don’t think so.

For one, the iPad isn’t all that great—on its own. What this means is that the iPad’s ecosystem is what holds it together. That ecosystem is comprised of iTunes (and everything in it), iPhone, iPod, OSX and iOS. iPad owners generally own the other devices in the Apple sphere and have a significant relationship with iTunes thereby sealing their fate as iPad owners forever. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to understand the reason why the iPad is so popular. Apple has done well in ensuring that consumers stick with them.

The same reason why Apple has done so well with the iPad is why other tablet makers have not done well at all. So when the comparison is made that a new device will be an iPad killer, the only thing they’re really talking about is hardware specs. Unfortunately, just like comparing smartphones, you can have the sickest device known to man—twice as fast, 3 times more memory, 20 new and unique features, etc., etc.—and you’ll still have a hard time touching Apple. People like the fact that their Apple device just plugs into iTunes and everything is taken care of. You don’t have to worry about where your music and videos are syncing. You don’t have to worry about buying new content and figuring out where you’re going to put it. It all just works in a nice handy little package.

Enter the Amazon Kindle Fire

Kindle Fire
The term “iPad killer” is useless to me because I’m aware that the Kindle Fire will not have the same specs and design features of the iPad. In fact, it won’t be comparable to the iPad on any of those levels and it’ll also be smaller! But if the iPad is so much better, why did I sell it 6 months ago and more importantly, why did I place a pre-order for the Kindle Fire on October 3rd?

The answer to both of these questions is this: I found that I had no real use for the iPad. It was a nice little toy that cost way too much money to call a “toy”. I bought it on a whim because I loved my iPhone 4 so much. Last but not least, the Kindle Fire is only $199.

The price is somewhat of a moot point for me because if I was willing to drop $629 for the iPad, I’m sure I’d do it again if I wanted to, but still…to think that I could buy 3 Kindle Fires for that much is depressing! Anyway, what sells it for me are a couple of things:

  • 7″ screen – While the 9″ iPad looks amazing, try holding it in one hand for longer than 30 minutes. Or how about carrying it around. For women, this isn’t such a problem because you girls have purses and bags. The Fire makes it very easy to hold in one hand—perfect for lugging around town.
  • No 3G – Who would have ever thought that I would say that?! The fact is that I didn’t like the 3G service on my iPad…not because I didn’t use it, but because it cost $20 per month. I would pay for 3G service on my MacBook, but I don’t need it just to sync content on a tablet. I can do that from my computer before I head off somewhere. Although it would be nice to have the Internet connection at times…hmmm.
  • Amazon Prime – I’m already a member enjoying free two-day shipping on Amazon products, so I might as well enjoy the free streaming on movies and tv shows. Not even iTunes can beat that! Sure, Apple has rentals and things you can buy, but so does Amazon! In fact, if Amazon Prime keeps growing their collection, they’re sure to beat Netflix.
  • It’s a Kindle – For anyone who has ever used a Kindle or just likes reading eBooks, it’s not very easily done on an iPad. Because of its size and weight, it can be difficult to hold with one hand.
  • Android Apps – You have full access to every app in the Amazon Android app store!
  • Storage Space – Even though the Fire has only 8GB of internal space, the Fire will store all of your Amazon content in the Amazon cloud for free!

Android Apps

There has been a lot of arguing about who’s app store is better and after the dust settles, you would be sure to believe that Apple’s 400,000+ apps is an amazing size compared to only half that for Android. However, are you really comparing how many apps each store has before declaring the winner? Anyone who owns an Apple iOS device and has browsed the app store knows that for every single app in there, there’s anywhere from 3 to 10 clones available. So in reality, there can’t possibly be over 400,000 quality apps.Kindle Fire Apps

The point is that the Kindle Fire will have access to many high quality apps already being enjoyed by Android device users. The major difference is that the Kindle is expected not to have the Android App Market, so users will have to get their apps through the Amazon Android App Store. This won’t be a deciding factor for most users and it really only affects those that have a bunch of apps already purchased in the Android App store that can’t readily be transferred over.

However, because of the Fire’s low price and compatibility, developers are bound to take notice and begin creating apps for the Fire at blazing speeds (I just had to!).

My two cents

As usual, time will tell whether the Kindle is a true contender in the tablet market, but considering how Apple has rounded out its offerings through the use of iTunes, iOS and OSX, Amazon is well on its way. By offering a device that connects users to their Amazon Prime account, their Kindle books and magazines, the Amazon Android App store and the Internet, Amazon is starting to show some serious competition to Apple. And because Amazon Prime continues to grow by adding more movies and tv shows available for streaming, they are well on their way to dealing a serious blow to Netflix as well.

Imagine if you could combine streaming movies, music and tv shows with the ability to purchase real products shipped to your door in two days for free, have access to Android apps, use the Internet, store files in the cloud, buy and rent movies, purchase music, listen to music and read eBooks all on a little full-color 7″ device that weighs less than a pound (14.6 oz) and costs $199…what would you do?

Stay tuned on November 16th as I write a full report about the Kindle Fire.