As a Kindle Fire owner, I have been extremely pleased with the device. Heck, I’m writing this on it, and it’s a very pleasant experience. However, in light of recent developments, I can’t recommend the thing anymore. The reason is simple: it seems that after Amazon releases a new version, they end of life the old one. And that means no more software upgrades. There’s a growing school of apologists out there who are claiming that one doesn’t expect a car to get new features, why would you expect the Fire to? Simple. Because it’s a tablet. And that’s how tablets, and computing devices in general, work. I recently picked up an Asus Transformer tablet for my fiancee, and before I did, I made sure that even though it shipped with Android 3.0, it had an OTA upgrade to 4.0 waiting for it when she unboxed it. The Fire is still a great device, and it still does what it did when I got it, but knowing that it could do much more, and won’t simply because Amazon wants to drive sales of their new devices doesn’t make me a happy customer. So if you’re in the market for a 7″ Android tablet, do yourself a favor and get something for the same price that has an upgrade path. Say, maybe something from Google?
Update: I think I would be remiss at this point if I didn’t add that the Fire is still a great device. It does Amazon video and the Kindle lending library, which no other tablets do (to my knowledge). I still like it a lot and won’t be replacing it anytime soon, but there are better tablets out there.