Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets are an interesting breed. While they run Android, it’s a forked version of the operating system we all know and love, which means that Amazon has stripped all Google services out of the OS and replaced them with their own versions. Because of this it’s difficult to compare the Kindle Fire to any other tablet out there, simply because it offers services that no other tablet line does. While this is usually a good thing, and it is for the most part with the Kindle Fire series, Amazon’s own App Store isn’t anywhere near as robust as Google Play is in many areas, but especially when it comes to the sheer number of apps that Google has in its Play Store. This drawback is being remedied with time though as more developers publish their apps in Amazon’s App Store, and the Kindle Fire platform itself is continuing to evolve with Amazon’s announcement of the Kindle Fire HDX, a brand new 3rd generation Kindle Fire tablet that brings along some serious horsepower, an amazing display, and tons of new features that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hopes will steer you in the direction of purchasing a Kindle Fire HDX this Holiday season.
What’s so special about the new Kindle Fire HDX, you ask? There are a number of things, but first and foremost Jeff Bezos is putting forth probably the most unique feature of the new Kindle Fire HDX, and that’s Mayday. Simply put Mayday is a service for Kindle Fire owners that gives you access to customer support and a live person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all by just pushing a button on your tablet. This service is free, as Bezos stressed, and will provide a value that no other company on the market can. Forget exactly how to change the background, or where to find that app you just downloaded? Click the Mayday icon and a customer support representative can draw on your screen and show you exactly where it is. This kind of customer service oriented innovation is what has been driving Amazon’s sales, and will likely put them in the top-tier of tablet sales when the Kindle Fire HDX launches. This service is even more convenient if you have the model with AT&T or Verizon LTE built in, meaning you can ask for help anywhere and everywhere. Bezos wants Kindle Fire HDX users to use this feature as much as possible, and is promising thousands of support representatives will be standing by awaiting your video chat.
Much like your favorite TV infomercial, that’s not all though. Bezos went on to describe the new features that integrate with Amazon’s Prime streaming service, allowing users to download a temporary copy of a show or movie to their Kindle Fire for 30 days. Once you start the show you have 48 hours to watch it until it’s automatically removed from the device. This works a lot like Amazon’s Kindle book sharing program that they started many years ago, giving users more freedom to view their media content without the confines of having to be connected to the Internet for license checking. Amazon has also partnered with Samsung and Sony, and will be offering Smart TV and Playstation linking, which will give you the ability to send a video straight to your TV or Playstation and watch it in your living room. Amazon already has Prime Streaming apps on both of these platforms, and will be utilizing it much like Chromecast does; your Kindle Fire HDX will act as a remote, telling your TV or Playstation what to stream rather than streaming it from the tablet to the connected device. This helps save on battery life and removes unnecessary extra streaming that might otherwise take place.
October 15th is the day you’re waiting for if you want the 7-inch version of the Kindle Fire HDX, and November 7th is when the 8.9-inch version ships out to your door. Much like anything you’d buy off Amazon, you purchase these on the official Kindle Fire HD page, where Amazon is offering a total of 4 models this year.