Amazon is flexing the Kindle Fire’s app muscle ahead of next week’s launch, promising apps for Netflix, Facebook and Twitter, and plenty of games to boot.
Apps are the biggest advantage the Kindle Fire has over Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. Although the two tablets have similar specs and similar prices (the Nook Tablet is $50 more expensive at $250), the Amazon Appstore for Android is bigger than Barnes & Noble’s Nook app store. Amazon says it’ll have “several thousand” apps available on the Kindle Fire at launch, compared to roughly a thousand Nook apps.
The inclusion of a Netflix app on the Kindle Fire is particularly interesting because Amazon offers its own streaming video service through Amazon Prime. By hosting a competitor, Amazon’s creating a genuine app platform, not just a supplement to the company’s own services. Although Google’s Android Market—available on neither the Fire nor the Nook—has a much bigger selection, I could see the Amazon Appstore eventually rivaling the Market in quality.
Still missing from the Kindle Fire’s streaming video lineup is Hulu Plus, which will be built into Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet.
The Kindle Fire launches on November 15 for $199. Amazon is selling the tablet online, and retailers including Best Buy, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Staples, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart will sell the Kindle Fire in their stores.