Silk: Amazon’s new Kindle Browser

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 | Business | by

Most of us heard of the new Amazon tablet, the Kindle Fire being priced at $199.

Did you developers happen to catch that new browser Jeff Bezos also introduced?

The new Amazon browser, Silk.

Yup, this is going to be a bitch to troubleshoot.

It’s built off of the webkit engine, which is a plus.

The problem?  The cloud part.  It’s smart, but smart means complicated.

Web developers will now have to account for Silk being served from EC2.  The caching service will recompress the page assets, and then transfer it to the device via Google’s HTTP alternative, SPDY.

Not only will it be different, but you can only get it on the Kindle Fire.  Another device for us web developers to test on.

Privacy?  This isn’t a man in the middle attack, it’s just a man in the middle!  If you’re worried about privacy now, imagine everything you do going through Amazon’s servers.  Even if you’re using wifi, your shopping on the Kindle Fire will be sent through Amazon first.  Don’t think for one minute Amazon won’t be watching traffic to other eCommerce sites.

The whole thing leaves me feeling uneasy.  The only thing that makes me feel a bit better, is that I expect the Kindle Fire to crash and burn.

  • it doesn’t have the cool E Ink display
  • it doesn’t have a camera
  • it doesn’t have a microphone
  • it doesn’t have the battery life of the Kindle (yeah, that E Ink display only required power to change the screen … which happened once per page)
I applaud the attempt at using some cool technologies, but I am worried about the implications.



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