Kindle Fire web browser? - Astronomy Software & Computers - Cloudy Nights (2022)

#1snorkler

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 03:02 AM

Does it make sense to buy one as a cheap portable web browser? I don't have a monthly phone contract, nor data service. I'd expect to use open wi-fi where I'd find it, in McGrease, Booger King, libraries, coffee houses, etc.

I have no intention of buying books to read, at this time.

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#2JerryWise

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:43 AM

I find it a very strong web browser. Graphics are excellent. The WiFi reception is as good as my laptops I carried for on the go browsing before getting the fire. I read a lot of Kindle books but mostly on my laptop at home. The Fire now has completely taken over from the netbooks and laptops I've used for on the go browsing. I pull into one of those (LOL) fine epicurean establishments you mention, park beside the SUV with the mom on the cell phone with 5 screaming adorable bundles and surf away. You can hide it in a map book so no one taps on your window wanting to talk IPad. (Once they see it is a Kindle they grunt and walk off anyway.) Best of all, its cheap and the monthly price of service is "Nuttin".

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#3SkyArcher

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:07 AM

I use my KF as a portable web browser. It is handy when you're out away from home. The KF is Android based so the web browsing will be mostly mobile. You can work around it using Opera Mini.

Borrow one and see if you like it.

Btw I just sent this from my Kindle.

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#4Kerig3

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:09 AM

Any astro apps for the Kindle?

Was playing with one at the store last week and was intrigued for the price, not to mention that if you buy a refurbed from Amazon they only cost $170, and IMO refurbs can actually be better than new since a technician has tested/fixed/replaced its components (which isn't necessarily done off the assembly line).

I wasn't able to test the browser though, since it was locked in demo mode, so it's nice to hear that it's usable. How does Flash run? YouTube?

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#5SkyArcher

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:23 AM

There are a few astro apps but there is no compass or GPS so those apps that use those devices will not works as well. Flash and Youtube works.

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#6csa/montana

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 09:02 AM

This topic would fit better in Astronomy Software & Computers, so it will be moved there.

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#7Bob Griffiths

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 10:36 AM

I use Opera on my Fire as it "seems" to me to be a little better then Silk.. but it is a 6 or 1 and a half dozen of the other... I really like its small size because I can actually carry it in the from pockets of my jeans .. I can't do that with the IPad my wife owns

I do use the browser occasionally but much prefer any of my computers with real keyboards...When away from home and I want to connect I use my cell phone as a mobile hot spot which works but is slower...

My major use is for reading and boy do I love the free videos .. Those Ken Burns TV documentaries are great to watch as are all those old Star Trek episodes...

My wife has an Ipad and she is starting to prefer my fire because the iPad is a LOT more then she needs while the Fire does everything she wants it to do.. go figure but she is not a geek nor a power user

IF you expect to replace a notebook or laptop absolutely need a camera then the Fire is not going to cut it...

Bob G.

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#8arpruss

Posted 10 March 2012 - 11:01 AM

Any astro apps for the Kindle?

My LunarMap Lite (free) and HD (paid) work fine on the Kindle Fire and are in the Amazon Appstore. I also made some modifications to Google's Sky Map code to make it work better on devices without GPS or compass, and it's in the Amazon Appstore as Open Star Map (free)--it's not a very serious astronomy app, but I guess it could be useful. There are a few other apps.

I've tried to convince the SkySafari people that they should have SkySafari in the Amazon Appstore, but was unsuccessful. The Amazon Appstore is a bit of a nuisance for developers to deal with. Nonetheless, the Kindle Fire market is very large.

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#9Remy Bosio

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 04:30 PM

I have a new Fire and it's a superb machine! Kindle Fire web browser? - Astronomy Software & Computers - Cloudy Nights (68) I use it now for notes, watching movies, music and web surfing. It is most convienent and the movie and sound cards are just top notch. How can you lose at this price point! I have also attached a Sony Wi-Fi Internet device on my big HDMI Tv. It picks up the same content as the Fire plus much more. Kindle Fire web browser? - Astronomy Software & Computers - Cloudy Nights (69)

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#10psonice

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:57 PM

Be aware of the privacy issues with the silk browser - all of your internet use goes through amazon, who analyse it to build a marketing profile. Using opera or one of the other browsers will get you out of that.

And yeah, don't expect huge developer support. We devs like a decent sized market, and the fire is already much bigger than standard android (the fire is android-based, but not pure android). What we don't like is amazon's horrible terms + conditions which basically force you to undercut your own prices. If I was choosing now, I'd release an app on the google market rather than amazon, regardless of the much smaller market.

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#11Bob Griffiths

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

Most Kindle fire users are quite capable of side loading apps...

So just develop an app that will work on the fire and release it on the ANDROID MARKET (think they just changed the name to the PLAY STORE )

Bob G.

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#12SteakFury

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 11:32 AM

Most Kindle fire users are quite capable of side loading apps...

Some apps require market authentication though and I don't believe straight sideloading will work for those.

I bought my daughter a Kindle Fire and wasn't about to rebuy all the apps I already own off of the Amazon market so a simple root and install of the Android market fixed that. It is pretty easy though you need to unroot when done or Amazon video will not work. Just a warning though that this probably voids the warranty.

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#13psonice

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 04:41 PM

Most Kindle fire users are quite capable of side loading apps...

Personally I think that's likely untrue. Most of them probably don't know what side loading is, never mind how to do it. I say that after years of supporting mobile apps :/ (And I'm not targeting the kindle fire users there - you can swap that model with basically anything on the market).

I guess at least astronomy app users are likely to be a little more intelligent than most Kindle Fire web browser? - Astronomy Software & Computers - Cloudy Nights (99)

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#14snorkler

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:13 AM

Many thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. It sounds like the Kindle Fire will do what I want it to do for me.

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#15Harshad

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:56 AM

The only reason my app, "SkEye", is not on the KF store is that there's a slight glitch in the KF when it comes to entering numbers in text boxes. There's only one place where it is required (for specifying latitude/longitude of observer) and there are alternative ways for specifying the same.

While I appreciate Amazon for scrutinising apps this carefully, it is suprising that they asked me to change my app rather than fixing the bug in their OS. I declined and asked them to fix their OS instead; I didn't want to maintain multiple versions of my app.

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#16Jon Isaacs

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:28 AM

Many thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. It sounds like the Kindle Fire will do what I want it to do for me.

If you want to use it for astronomy, the fact that you cannot run SkySafari is a deal-breaker. I have tried every Android astro-app there is, or at least I have found, and there is no doubt that SkySafari is by far the best. Harshad's Skeye is quite good for what it does but does not have the databases nor the information about individual objects. Google Skymap has only the Messier objects.

In terms of the databases, depth of information, presentation, the interface, SkySafari competes with the best desk planetarium programs but has the additional features only possible with a cell phone or tablet. Double star separations, shadow transits, wireless telescope control...

SkySafari for the Android

I am a shameless supporter of SkySafari only because it is that good. When I first saw it on a friend's iPhone I knew I had to have it. Until we were able to convince Tim and Bill to port it to the Android, I was using it on an Iphone 3G dedicated only to Skysafari.

Jon Isaacs

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#17arpruss

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 09:49 AM

While I appreciate Amazon for scrutinising apps this carefully, it is suprising that they asked me to change my app rather than fixing the bug in their OS. I declined and asked them to fix their OS instead; I didn't want to maintain multiple versions of my app.

Do you mean: you don't want to special-case your app for specific devices? I understand not wanting to do that, but the Fire is popular enough that it would be nice to do it for it. And it's easy to detect the Fire:

private boolean isKindle() {return Build.MODEL.equalsIgnoreCase("Kindle Fire");}

I use this to optimize my ScreenDim for the Kindle Fire, as I think the Kindle Fire is about 3/4 of its sales.

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#18turtle86

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:32 PM

If you want to use it for astronomy, the fact that you cannot run SkySafari is a deal-breaker. I have tried every Android astro-app there is, or at least I have found, and there is no doubt that SkySafari is by far the best. Harshad's Skeye is quite good for what it does but does not have the databases nor the information about individual objects. Google Skymap has only the Messier objects.

In terms of the databases, depth of information, presentation, the interface, SkySafari competes with the best desk planetarium programs but has the additional features only possible with a cell phone or tablet. Double star separations, shadow transits, wireless telescope control...

SkySafari for the Android

I am a shameless supporter of SkySafari only because it is that good. When I first saw it on a friend's iPhone I knew I had to have it. Until we were able to convince Tim and Bill to port it to the Android, I was using it on an Iphone 3G dedicated only to Skysafari.

My wife and I got ourselves Kindle Fires this past Christmas and we've been very happy with them. Well made, excellent performance in all respects. We take them everywhere with us and they're perfect for a game of Words with Friends at Panera on a rainy day. For someone in the market for a nice portable tablet web browser, the Kindle Fire is a great choice.

Having said all that, I sure do wish I could run Sky Safari on the Kindle Fire--Sky Safari looks nice on my iPhone, but I'm sure it would look even better on a bigger screen. I also wish there were more other astro apps for the Kindle Fire. Sure hope Amazon will some day make it more attractive for developers like Tim and Bill to have their astro apps available for the Kindle Fire.

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#19Harshad

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 02:10 PM

Do you mean: you don't want to special-case your app for specific devices? I understand not wanting to do that, but the Fire is popular enough that it would be nice to do it for it. And it's easy to detect the Fire:

private boolean isKindle() {return Build.MODEL.equalsIgnoreCase("Kindle Fire");}

Thanks for that tip. I guess I will bite the bullet and just do this.

(Sorry for the late reply; I thought I had replied to this post couple of days back, but can't see my post now.)

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#20MSaunders

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:01 PM

I would dearly love to install Skeye on my Kindle Fire. Would you post a note when (if) this becomes workable? Either through the Amazon app store or through side loading.

Thanks

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#21turtle86

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 12:57 PM

I would dearly love to install Skeye on my Kindle Fire. Would you post a note when (if) this becomes workable? Either through the Amazon app store or through side loading.

Thanks

Same here!

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