I received my Amazon Fire on Thursday, which basically reveals that once this device was announced Wednesday, I immediately ordered it and used my Amazon Prime for Next Day Delivery. Now I'm not going to go into all the features, Techcrunch has done a great job of that here:
My thoughts on ordering it quickly were three things:
- Is this platform open? Can I create an internet tv app for my church like i did on Roku
- Does it run quickly and smoothly, like the Apple TV and Roku
- Will other games be as good as this Minecraft game it comes with that I see my daughter playing on the ipad all the time
1. Open Platform One of my first emails upon seeing this new announcement was to my internet TV software vendor to see if our current software that we use for Roku could be distributed to Amazon Fire TV as well. The answer I received today was YES! Thus, the Amazon Fire TV passes my "is it an open platform" test. If you are a developer and want to create an app from scratch there here is the link - https://developer.amazon.com/appsandservices/solutions/devices/fire-tv, for the majority of people that are not, just connect with http://www.streamotor.com/ and get an account setup to submit to multiple Internet TV platforms.
2. How does it operate, is it fast and fluid? The user experience was good, I look at the interface the same way I look at Roku. It's not as easy on the eyes as Apple TV but it's definitely as fluid as Apple TV. It's streamlined like Roku but with better search features and of course the builtin voice search is a killer setup. The backend is connected with the Amazon library as well as your Amazon account so this device can really adapt to you. The common players are all there such as Netflix, Hulu and WatchESPN but noticeably missing are HBOGo and Aereo. The processor inside is 2GB and it shows how much faster (more responsive and quicker loading times) the device is than Roku and Apple TV. The only thing that took a long time was the initial setup, which probably wasn't that long but I am very impatient.
3. How are the games, is it a gaming system? This is what really impressed me, I played a few games including my daughter's favorite, Minecraft (which is way different then the Minecraft I used to play 15 years go). This game ran quite fluidly and if Amazon is setting this device up to be a gaming platform along with a media hub, then THAT'S THE KILLER FEATURE! This device ran quite well, now it won't replace my Xbox One but as a device for my kids to have where they can play games and watch Netflix, Amazon Videos and Hulu, well that's a game changer for me.
Overall, it wouldn't replace my Roku or Apple TV but that's because I'm a tech geek and want ALL MY TOYS to play together but overall it's definitely in the game and here to stay. Now I just need to see how fast the adoption rate is so that I can start to develop an Internet TV channel for my church.