After all the back-patting Amazon gave itself for the Fire's Silk browser, this must rank as its weakest link. Even after multiple software updates, I still find pages loading faster when I disable Silk's cloud-based acceleration feature.
The Reading View option added in late March doesn't stitch together multiple pages of a story into one, instead only yielding a large-type, ad-free version of the current page. Silk also badly needs an offline-reading mode to match what's in Google's latest Android software, and a fix for its habit of losing the contents of open pages. That glitch leads to recurring "Would you like to restore your tabs?" dialogs.
So will Amazon give the Fire the needed overhaul to keep it current? Six months after the Fire's debut, we may have better odds of seeing the Fire replaced by a successor model. In this fast-moving gadget market, no tablet stays new for long -- especially, it seems, if it's not an iPad.
Scores of would-be iPad rivals have emerged on the tablet market, but Apple is still steamrolling the competition.
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