Amazon Finally Allows Competing E-book Apps On Kindle Fire

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Yesterday we reported that Amazon had updated its popular Kindle Fire tablet’s operating system to version 6.2.1. The update promised users considerable improvements in device performance and touchscreen responsiveness (things that appear to have also been improved in the previous 6.2 update late last month).

In addition to device performance enhancements, however, the new update also addresses some complaints people had about the device. With previous versions of the software users who attempted to access the Android App Market’s website from the Kindle Fire’s browser were automatically redirected to the on-device Amazon Appstore. Even more alarmingly, certain e-book reader apps that are available in the web version of Amazon’s Appstore did not show up in the on-device Appstore. Yesterday’s update finally allows users to visit the Android App Market, and allows them to see (and download) e-reader apps from the Amazon Appstore.

The makers of these apps, which are, of course, direct competitors to the core functionality of the whole Kindle line, had previously been forced to post side-loading instructions for those who wanted to put the apps on their Kindle Fire. With the latest update, however, the apps appear to be back, which must come as a relief to users, and certainly represents a step forward for Amazon.

Kindle Fire

Despite mixed critical reviews, the Kindle Fire has proven enormously popular since its launch just a few months ago. The original Amazon Kindle, which released in 2007, represented a major step forward in e-books and set in motion a major shake-up for the publishing industry, the effects of which are still being felt today. Unfortunately for Amazon, however, their amazing device was upstaged by Apple’s iPad. The iPad allowed users to surf the web, play games, and do a whole host of things in addition to reading their e-books (including their Kindle books, thanks to Amazon’s handy Kindle iOS app). Sales of the Kindle (and Barnes & Noble’s competing NOOK tablet) suffered. The Kindle Fire (and the NOOK Tablet) represents an attempt to re-assert itself in a market it helped found. Thus far it has proven successful. Thanks in large part to Black Friday sales, the tablet has quickly become Amazon’s best-selling product.

Have you gotten the new Kindle Fire update? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

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