Amazon will be releasing an over-the-air software update for its Kindle Fire tablet in less than two weeks, company spokesman Drew Herdener revealed to the New York Times yesterday. Most prominent in its list of fixes are improvements to both performance and multitouch navigation, two aspects of the Kindle Fire experience that most reviews of the device commonly mentioned. The last fix will allow users to edit the list of recent items on the device.

Our review of the Kindle Fire left us mostly impressed with the hardware, though sluggishness and stuttering in the UI were among our biggest gripes. Until it comes out, however, it's impossible to say the degree to which this software update will address these issues, or whether it will do anything to improve the somewhat lacking speed of the Silk browser.

The Kindle Fire uses a highly customized version of Android 2.3 that should improve steadily as Amazon refines it. The update doesn't have a set release date as of this writing, but "less than two weeks" strongly implies that the company hopes to release it in time to update any Kindle Fires sitting under Christmas trees right now.

Source: New York Times

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  • jontech - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    The performance was horrible. I took my kids into Best Buy and let them play with tablets. I showed him the Kindle Fire and he was unimpressed, left the booth and headed for the iPad section.

    The Touch though is nice for what he needs and it feels less laggy then the Fire.
  • V-Money - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    "...left the booth and headed for the iPad section."

    That's akin to saying the Chevy cobalt left you unimpressed so you went to the corvette section, they aren't direct competitors. I love my HP touchpad, but I only paid $143 for it. I use it for notes at school, to kill time between classes, and for replying against anandtech articles, and for that purpose it works great. An extra $400 for a faster iPad 2 doesn't make sense to me.
  • StormyParis - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    It is funny how Moore's law still seems to apply, and how at the same time our devices do not seem to be getting any better at basic tasks. Are we getting ever more impatient ? Is extraneous stuff spoiling the basic one ? Are devs getting lousier ?
  • Black1969ta - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Devs are getting lazier, when resources (Mem and Cycles) were scarce programers were required to streamline programs, cleaning out any crap and loose ends. Many of those cycles that are coming faster are also going to secondary background threads. 15-20 years ago the background processes we take for granted were not in use and or were only used on demand. Virus scanners were only used when we had a untrusted disk. No external devices left processes constantly running, sucking up resources. Even simple things like automatic updates take up resources too.
  • bill4 - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    Umm, I dont think devs are getting "lazier", just that available power always gets sucked up by the latest features and we're left back where we started in terms of speed. This has been going on for 40+ years.

    Xvox 360 probably refreshes the screen at the same rate as the Atari 2600, and surely often suffers from slowdowns, yet it has like 1,000,000X the power. Why? Because it's not running simple Atari 2600 games...duh. The same analogy more or less applies to a Windows 7 PC vs a Windows 95 PC, and most everything else. Even surfing the web is so much more graphically rich and processor-demanding than it was years ago.
  • bill4 - Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - link

    BTW, I was just thinking a common complaint on the internet is the reverse of your complaint, AKA "I have all this power and nothing takes advantage of it!". People said that a lot in the early days of the first dual core Android phones for a recent example.
  • ct760ster - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    Taken care of, thanks.
  • ratana - Monday, December 12, 2011 - link

    Oh that's great news! I can't wait to give you my credit card details! How about you just deduct it from my bank account? Here are the details...
  • vision33r - Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - link

    I couldn't believe the Kindle Fire felt lethargic compared to last year's Samsung Galaxy Tab or the 800mhz Nook Color.

    It is more restrictive and locked down than Apple iOS devices.

    Apps, media, and books in the same browser? What's dumb idea is that? The lack of restrictions or ways to sort your content. Better not buy any Playboy magazine and leave it there or else the kids or wife will find it easily.

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