Thursday, 27 June 2019

Amazon's Alexa focus

I haven't used the Kindle Voyage but heard a lot about its excellent screen that no subsequent Kindle matches. The Voyage was released late 2014 in a hardware event that also announced the Fire HD 7, Fire HD 6 and an updated Fire HDX 8.9. The Fire HD 6 and HD 7 were budget tablets but had good screens that surpass the current Fire 7 and Fire HD 8. The Fire HDX 8.9 (4th generation) is, without question, the best and last premium Fire tablet released by Amazon. One HDX 8.9 (4th generation) feature that I particularly liked was the dynamic light control that was integrated into the Kindle reading application. The dynamic light control, preceding Apple's True Tone display, changed the white colour of the tablet's screen to match the colour and warmth of its surrounding ambient light. In the words of Amazon:
The new Fire HDX 8.9 now features Dynamic Light Control, which changes the white point of the display, matching its colour and warmth to the ambient light of your surroundings in order to make the display more closely resemble a piece of paper—this makes the best reading experience on a tablet even better.
The Fire HDX 8.9 also featured dynamic image contrast that according to Amazon, "automatically optimises the color of each pixel based on the amount of light in your surroundings". 

All these devices, including the Kindle Voyage, as noted, were announced late 2014 in a designated hardware event. Amazon no longer hosts events to announce the release of Fire tablets or e-readers. Instead, the focus is now focused on Alexa supported smart devices. The shift in focus also meant Amazon no longer attempts to significantly innovate with its Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers. This change in direction is further confirmed in the recent release of an updated Kindle Oasis that is near identical to the previous generation but with an added adjustable warm light. The adjustable warm light feature, to compare, was first announced by Kobo when it released the Kobo Aura ONE in August 2016.    

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