Amazon has to love the attention their unannounced tablet is giving them. Rumors have been going for quite some time regarding the device, or devices to be more accurate. The tablets kind of dropped off the radar for a little while there, but now they are back with a vengeance, followed by plenty of new information. While Amazon is still playing coy about the tablets, it is almost as official as an unofficial device can be at this point, and now we just have to wait for the digital retailer to pull up the curtain. Unfortunately, the latest batch of information regarding the tablet may not have been what everyone was expecting -- even if they should have.
When talk about the Amazon-branded tablets started, Android was pretty much the only mobile OS that was ever considered. Not surprising, considering Amazon sells Android apps through the Amazon App Store. So, with that out of the way, the speculation about what version of Android the tablet would run came under the microscope. Would it be Android 3.x, or would the device launch with Android 2.x? So many questions and not enough answers, as usual. Furthermore, would these really be tablets, or would they be more in the vein of the Kindle, which is still a smash-hit for Amazon? Again, we certainly had questions but not enough answers.
Until now. After MG Siegler was able to get some hands-on time with a development unit, we have plenty of answers. And that's where the issues start popping up all over again. Because now we know that one tablet is indeed running Android, but not the vanilla experience many people were wishing for. Actually, it may be worse for some people, because Amazon has chosen to go the way of the NOOK Color, and have Android as just the base, and build a completely new and custom experience over it. To add to the situation, Amazon is replacing certain Google applications with their own. Instead of the Android Market, you've got direct access to Amazon's App Store. Where is Google Music? That will be replaced by Amazon's Cloud Player and MP3 Store. The list goes on.
But let's be serious here, is anyone really shocked that Amazon has reportedly chosen to go this route? The company has obviously put a huge amount of effort in establishing its Cloud Player and Amazon MP3 Store, and the same can be said for the Amazon App Store or even the Kindle software that will be the standard reading software on the device. No, this should be completely expected, and we should be embracing it.
Why? Because of that Android saturation issue we discussed earlier. Maybe it isn't an Android problem, but a manufacturer issue. Specifically, since the launch of the Galaxy S II, how many large display, TouchhWiz-infused devices can we see before we start to get a little tired? And the same can be said for HTC and their Sense UI. It's great they can release a bunch of phones, but when they all look the same right out of the box, and really without modding or rooting, how can we really say there is any creativity going on?
That's why we need to embrace devices like Barnes & Noble's NOOK Color and Amazon's still unannounced tablet device. While making sure that Android is still the backbone to the whole show, we can really embrace customization, creativity, and something truly different.
We will have to wait and see if the consumer feels the same way, but if Amazon puts the marketing muscle behind this they are expected too, this tablet should be pretty common in no time.