All signs point to an Android-based tablet coming soon from Amazon.
There are reports that it’s already in production for a fall launch, and Amazon has gone on a hiring spree for Android developers.
It makes sense. The Nook colour just got a nice upgrade to Android 2.2 Froyo, turning the device into a fully-functional tablet for just $250.
If Amazon can pull off the same thing, it could have a real winner on its hands.
While we wait, we put together a wish list of the 10 features we’d like to see in Amazon’s new tablet.
At this point, it would be silly for Amazon to release a tablet based on Froyo or Gingerbread. Both those operating systems are for phones. Honeycomb would bring the best user experience possible.
A Kindle tablet isn't going to attract hardcore tablet users who are used to powerful devices like the iPad 2 or Xoom. That means Amazon should price the tablet to attract a more casual user base, just like Barnes & Noble does with its Nook colour. It would be nice for a $250 price tag like the Nook, but the real sweet spot would be $199. Maybe Amazon could consider an ad-sponsored device like the latest Kindle.
Kindle likes to make fun of the iPad's reflective screen. It would be nice if they held themselves to the same standard with a glare-proof glass screen for the new tablet too.
It's a given that if Amazon launches an Android tablet, you'll get access to the company's third-party app store. But we'd also like access to the official Android Market, which has thousands more apps.
A 7-inch screen would be perfect for a Kindle tablet. Any smaller, and it would be difficult to do things like web browsing, and playing games. Plus it's still a great size for reading e-books.
We would also like to see an easier way to lend your Kindle books to friends. Perhaps through an Android app. It would be great to be able to continue reading your book even while someone is borrowing it for two weeks.
If you're going to make a tablet, please ditch the keyboard. While it works on the original Kindle, it would look awkward and clunky on an Android tablet.
Amazon is bound to customise Android to be more e-reader-centric. That's fine, but we hope they don't go too crazy and load the device down with a bunch of unwanted crapware. Android's native email, calendar, and web browsing apps are fine just the way they are.
This isn't likely to happen, but we'd love the Kindle tablet to be open to all types of e-books. That means you'd be able to download books from alternative stores and shop around for better deals.
One problem with the Nook colour is that it's a bit heavy and has trouble handling advanced Android apps. (For example, Angry Birds froze up on us a few times.)
Amazon's needs to shoot for a tablet that is light and thin, just like the current Kindle e-reader. The hardware should be able to handle any app Android throws at it.
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