Okay, I tried and I simply couldn’t resist. Yes, when I decided to get the Kindle Fire, I was thinking it would be an adequate replacement for the iPad, which I thought of as too expensive. And before I really get started, I want to give full disclosure. Kile and I both wanted e-readers for Christmas this year. For a long time we couldn’t decide between the Nook and the Kindle. Then they announced the Kindle Fire. And for a bit more than we were planning on spending, we could get a quasi-iPad. It seemed like the best choice.
But I have to admit that the usability of the Kindle Fire was pretty unimpressive. I wondered if I had finally become utterly spoiled by Apple products. The touchscreen was nowhere near as responsive as my iPhone and playing Angry Birds on it was such a disappointment that I stopped trying. I found myself using the Kindle to primarily read books and saving the other functions for my iPhone.
And then I started to wonder about the iPad. I had always written it off in the past as being an oversized iPhone. But the Kindle Fire helped me to see that having the larger display could be a great thing in certain circumstances. Such as watching movies. And then I got VERY frustrated with the way the Kindle Fire handled file transfers. Which is to say: not at all. There is a micro-USB port, but when you use it to connect to your computer, you can’t actually transfer any files over. At least not in any way I could find. You could drag files over to the Kindle until the cows came home but they wouldn’t ever show up on the Kindle. You have to email the files over to a special address you receive when you register your device. Oh and it can take several hours for a file to show up. Case in point: when we went to Elko this last time I wanted a pattern for an item I was knitting to display on my Kindle so I wouldn’t have to use my laptop every time I wanted to see what to do next. I emailed the file over and kept checking for the rest of the day. The file finally delivered sometime in themiddle of the night, at least SIX hours after I had sent it. Are you kidding me?
And say you want to transfer one of your movies you have a digital copy for so you can watch it on a car trip? For starters, the Kindle will only play certain formats. And of course none of the formats your digital copy was delivered as. So you have to find a file converter to convert it for you. If you can. And say you get the file converted and you finally are able to transfer the movie to your Kindle (for some reason you can transfer these sorts of files via the USB). Don’t bother looking for the movie under the Videos tab. No, apparently that’s only for Amazon content. Your movie can be located under the Gallery tab. UGH.
And that’s only just a taste of what can be kind of aggravating about the Kindle. Perhaps if I still used a PC laptop, had an Android phone and didn’t know the benefits of Apple products, this stuff would roll off my back easier. Or I wouldn’t notice. But I have been converted to Apple goodies and I do know that technology doesn’t have to be so frustrating. So wondered about the iPad.
I had some extra cash after the holidays and started looking at iPad 2’s on eBay. I knew I wanted the iPad 2 since we had recently purchased an Apple TV and there was some functionality with AirPlay and mirroring that can only be used with the iPad 2 or the iPhone 4s (I still have the iPhone 4; I’m holding off until the 5 is released to upgrade). Luckily I was able to find a really good deal, bid and won. Days later, the iPad 2 was in my hot little hands.
And yes, the iPad just works so much better than the Kindle. I didn’t want to believe it, but oh lord, it’s true. Transferring files is a piece of cake (and exactly like it is with the iPhone so I was already accustomed to it), the touchscreen is so much more responsive and typing is MUCH easier ( I’m writing this post up on the iPad in fact and it’s a breeze, not to mention the WordPress app is fantastic). I still imagine I’ll prefer reading on the Kindle (though I’ve been toying with iBooks and I do think I prefer the usability and interface to that of the Kindle) since its much easier to hold for extended periods of time and I got the cutest cover for it off of Etsy. But for pretty much everything else? The iPad wins hands down. I should have gotten one ages ago.
It seems a little silly to have a full Kindle Fire just for reading books. But I just don’t feel ready to write it off altogether yet. Time will tell. If you’re on the fence about the iPad, just get it. Especially if you have other Apple devices at home. In the tablet market, it is the one to beat. For very good reason. The Kindle Fire is a fine device, but it’s just not even remotely in the same league.