"Android" and apps

This tablet doesn't run a stock version of Google's operating system. Amazon tweaked it at length, making the Fire a bit of a mutant. I knew that would require adjusting to different interfaces, but two of the Fire's peculiarities have never gotten past that early awkwardness.

First, switching between apps requires returning to the home screen -- there's no tap-and-hold shortcut to show open programs. Second, typing a comma demands a tap-and-hold of the period key. You'd think that a book publisher -- of all the companies in the world -- would know how important commas are to English grammar and how often they're used and how weird a sentence looks without any.

Amazon's separation from the Android ecosystem extends to its separate Appstore. That catalog now stocks 31,000 apps (compared to almost 444,000 in Google's Play Store) and includes such post-Fire additions as Twitter, but high-profile titles like Facebook and Spotify have yet to appear.

Worse yet, Amazon seems to be banishing its rivals. You can find semi-obscure e-bookstore apps Aldiko or Kobo in a desktop search of the Appstore, but queries for them on the Fire return nothing. An Amazon spokeswoman did not offer an explanation after six e-mails requesting one.

By Rob Pegoraro @CNNMoneyTech - Last updated May 31 2012: 10:32 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Can a non-iPad tablet survive?

Scores of would-be iPad rivals have emerged on the tablet market, but Apple is still steamrolling the competition.

Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.