Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006


October 22, 2012 • Gaming, Rants and Raves

New Kindle Fires Bring Android Fragmentation to Amazon!

Look at the image above, which is for VeggieTales: The League of Incredible Vegetables (Kindle Tablet Edition) from the Amazon App Store. Yes, I know with teenage boys I should be done with Veggie Tales, but I still enjoy them and with the $0.99 sale … just shaddup.

Anyway, in the image you will see it is the ‘Kindle Tablet Edition’. Based on this I simply clicked ‘BUY’ and then later in the day I grabbed my Kindle Fire HD and went to install the app – but it wasn’t listed. It showed up when I searched the store from the Fire HD, but not in any of my lists.

So I headed back to the store on my laptop and checked it out – and then I clicked the ‘see all devices’ under the ‘Compatibility with your devices’ area, and found out that the game was compatible with my ORIGINAL Kindle Fire but not the new one! Ugh … this was something I expect from normal Android devices, but not the Kindle Fire!

I honestly hadn’t thought at all about the possibility that there would be different versions, especially since we recently heard how supposedly Amazon headed off app fragmentation on Kindle Fire by adding APIs that would target across devices.

Yes, it is on me because I failed to check compatibility of the device I wanted to use, and since I DO still have the original Fire I will just install it there. I certainly am not blaming Amazon for my choice – but it DOES seem that with three ‘Kindle Tablets’ they need to either ensure that apps work across all devices or that the compatibility is spelled out better.

For example, the list notes the Kindle first then goes to my Samsung phone. For any Tablet app, wouldn’t it make sense to list all Kindle Tablets before dealing with non-Kindle devices?

Also, this app was just released, with the info noting “Original Release Date: October 17, 2012”. This means the new Fires have been out for over a month and there was plenty of time to make some note about which versions were supported. There is NOTHING in any of the text indicating what is and is not supported.

The reality of rapidly advancing mobile technology in terms of processors, screen resolution and aspect ratios means that devices are left out and left behind at an increasing pace – meaning it is easier than ever to ‘buy the wrong product’. Dealing with this remains a tremendous challenge – but for Amazon who controls the hardware, it seems that they should have a basic compatibility criteria for offering new apps claiming to be a ‘Kindle Tablet Edition’.

What do you think? Have you experienced this on your devices or apps?

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