John Grubber recently speculated that Amazon might well be working on an Android-powered tablet. And why not—everybody seems to be working on one right about now. More speculation, and a mockup picture, at Gizmodo.
This seems promising—Amazon has lots of experience with reading devices, Android for tablets HAS to become good at some point, and the Amazon app store seems like a good step. But i dont think they need have even gone quite this far. Two years ago I described what I wanted in a slate computer. It wasn’t far from what the iPad eventually became, except that it came with this orientation towards apps. Which is great, sort of. But it sure is leading us away from the open internet and onto walled gardens. “But apps do lots of things that websites can’t,” you say. True, but were it not for appland, development of protocolls for doing that stuff on the web would be all the more robust.
Still, I’m sticking to what I said two years ago: all i need to make me happy on a tablet computer is a decent web browser (yes, it has to run Flash*) and some local storage (which, btw, the iPad in many important respects does not have—try downloading a file from the web, editing it, and uploading it to a web from it and see how you do**).
So, yeah, i’ve had an iPad from day one, and I love it. But I’m not married to it. It’s genius, for now, is that it’s the only reasonable game going. If the iPad Kindle app gets shafted by Apple’s 30% subscription and disapears from the iPad, it’ll be a huge blow. (I read Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom almost entirely on the Kindle app despite having the hardcover handy, and it was fantastic.) An Amazon tablet could be just the thing.
* And mark my word—within two years TOPS the iPad will have Flash.
** I’ve recently figure out a way to do this using iCabMobile and Dropbox, but it’s basically a world of hurt.