Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kindle Fire as a cheap Android development target

I've been itching to try Android development for a few months now but I really haven't wanted to buy a smart phone with expensive service and a data plan just to screw around. With my new Kindle Fire, I can now try my hand at using the Android Development Kit (ADK) without a monthly contract. The Kindle Fire uses the older Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS which isn't the latest and greatest but more than meets my needs.

I was surprised just how easy it is to get started. Downloading the tools only took a few minutes. With the Java JDK from Oracle, the ADK from Google, and the Eclipse IDE, I was able to get an "Hello World app running is less than an hour. For now, I'm just trying to learn. I'll save dreams of creating a killer app till next year ... (wink).

Kindle Fire First Impressions

Like literally millions of others, I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas and after a few days of use I thought I would give my first impressions. I've read a number of Kindle Fire reviews that complain it's not an Ipad killer or not an high end Android phone. Their right. It's not meant to be. But what it is is a great 7 inch Android tablet and ebook reader and the form factor is perfect for my needs.

The Silk browser tends to be a bit quirky and occasionally non-responsive. Also, the touch interface isn't stellar but I've gotten very good at tapping out emails in just a few hours. For very small links on webpages, it can be tricky to use but I find a lighter touch often helps.

For $199, the Kindle is an amazing bargain. Thanks Amazon.