Thursday, November 17, 2011

Need Tech Advice

Saw the Puppy Blender's review of the Kindle Fire, and since it's only $200 and I'd like something portable to read e-books on, I'm thinking about it, but there's something weird in the post that I just don't understand.

People keep complaining about the "Gmail app" and the "Netflix app". But they also say that it comes with a web browser.

If it has a web browser, why do you need an app? My desktop & laptops have browsers, and I don't need "apps" for anything.

Somebody educate me, please?


  1. Sometimes services require an app to view their product, such as Hulu. I find the Netflix app to be infinitely superior to simply navigating to Netflix via the browser... Is it a must? I'm not sure because it was one of the first apps I installed... ;)

    I didn't need an app for Gmail on the iPhone, simply set up the 'mail' button for my account.

    I'm betting most things can be gotten round and the new Kindle sounds like a deal!

  2. Thinking back, I remember I had to install Microsoft Silverlight to get Netflix to work in my browser on my desktop & laptops.

    Wonder if this is something along those lines?

  3. One very important thing to ask when looking at e-readers in particular is whether you want the Fire, with an LCD screen and thus poor readability in sunlight (generally) or the e-ink screen with outstanding readability in light but requires a light source when reading in darkness. (Like a real book would) My personal preference is the e-ink, as I find LCD strains my eyes after long periods reading. Also, you don't need a web browser or apps on a book, you need a book.

  4. Got distracted and hit submit too fast... the Fire is aiming for the iPad-like market and seems to be making an ok run at it based on initial reviews... it's not really an "e-book", it's a tablet. If you want to do some video, web surfing, and get in-depth geeky with it, the Fire can be an "iPad-like" device with a limited selection of bells and whistles.
    Note however, it's still sort of limited in its e-book compatibilities unless you do some fancy footwork to bring in other formats. (a desktop program like Calibre, for example can convert ePub to MOBI, the kindle's preferred format.)

  5. I find it interesting that you embraced e-books before I did, Harv. I'm of a mind that if I have to pay more than $50.00 for a device, and I'm not getting a physical copy of the book, then the books should cost significantly less. Until then, I'll stick with hardcover and paperback.

    That said, with the exception of a Netflix app, having a gmail app (on my phone anyway) is much more efficient than going through the browser to get to it. I would imagine it's the same for other apps.

  6. I bought an ebook reader (Nook) because I travel on the motorcycle every summer. It was always a struggle to find a book that would last for three weeks to a month that I hadn't read multiple times (Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged are about the only ones that fit the "last three weeks" category and I have read each of them quite a few times. Now I can take dozens of books with me in a nice compact package.