Sure, we loves us some Appley goodness, but they’re not the only game in town.
If you haven’t already heard, Amazon just refreshed their entire Kindle lineup, adding a very interesting looking android-based color tablet called the Kindle Fire. It sports a 7″ display, a dual-core processor, and an 8-hour battery life. The best feature, however, is the price. It lists for $199, a full $300 bucks lower than the Apple iPad. On the downside, it has no cameras, and lacks 3G support (it’s wifi only).
So, the real question is: Is it useful for mobile media makers? And the answer is a resounding…eh… um… let’s go with maybe.
Since the Fire has a web browser, it can be used to access a wide variety of useful web apps (like the ones from Digital Rebellion — scroll down to “Web Apps”). Since the Fire is a ‘reading’ device that’s hooked into the Amazon book store, you’ll be able to purchase and read plenty of inspiring and educational screenplays. And since it’s based on the Android operating system, it can run thousands of available android apps.
Currently, there are very few Android filmmaker-friendly apps. No doubt more will be coming, but for now, pickin’s are slim. Check out Screenwriter for writing your next screenplay, Easy-Prompter and Prompster for your teleprompting needs, SL DigiSlate for mobile logging (1 star on Amazon), and Sharp Field if you need a depth-of-field calculator.
Let me be clear, these apps are NOT as good as the ones iPad owners currently enjoy. So, for now, I’d say the Kindle Fire is of limited use for filmmakers… but let’s keep an eye on it. You never know what developments (and new Android apps) are just around the corner.