Amazon's New "Silk" Browser Gets Speedy Mobile Browsing Via the Cloud
September 28, 2011 2:44 PM
comment(s) - last by
Amazon.com's new Silk browser splits the work of loading webpages between the tablet and the cloud.
(Source: Amazon.com via YouTube)
The new browser will be available exclusively for the Kindle Fire tablet.
Tablet browser looks to deliver faster performance that its mobile rivals -- "Yay cloud!"
Earlier today Amazon, Inc. (
) pulled the wraps off its
long-awaited multimedia tablet
, branded "Fire". The catchy name was backed
by a bargain $199 price
) and solid hardware -- a dual core processor and all the essentials. With that tablet came a brand new slick browser, which offers an improved version of a seldom-seen feature that could offer a big browsing edge for Amazon's tablet over rival designs.
I. Amazon.com Unveils What Could be the Fastest Mobile Browser
One intriguing thing about the tablet is that it's not a standard build of Android. The tablet forked off of Android
(!) the Android 2.1 build. That means that Amazon has cooked in its own implementations of multi-touch and GUI features, independent of Google's updates (Android 2.1 "Eclair", Android 2.2 "Froyo", and Android 2.3 "Gingerbread"). Amazon.com will continue to maintain its own operating system branch on the Android tree.
A possible benefit of this approach is that the tablet may be
less susceptible to malware
, while still enjoying full compatibility with apps in
Amazon.com's "App Store for Android."
And Amazon.com gets to pocket its cut of app sales revenue, rather than Google.
A third benefit of the unique approach is that it gives Amazon.com the opportunity to revisit core software and find ways to differentiate it from rival Android tablets, as well as other competitors like Apple, Inc. (
). A perfect example of that redesign/refine paradigm is Amazon.com's new Silk browser [
], the Fire's primary browser.
The new browser is available only for the Fire. It will not be available (not yet, at least) on other Android tablets.
The browser leverages Amazon.com's
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
, the company's cloud computing operation. Basically,
much like Opera's "Turbo Boost"
feature (and the similar feature found in the mobile SkyFire browser), the Silk browser communicates with the Amazon EC2 server farm to accelerate mobile browsing by pre-rendering page elements before they're delivered over the network to your device and by offloading CPU-heavy script-processing to the cloud.
As a heavy amount of smart phone users' traffic is on 3G (and sometimes 4G) networks, this is a big deal as webpages that take second or less to load on Wi-Fi connected personal computers can take a half minute or more to fully load on a mobile device.
Silk goes beyond Opera's Turbo Boost in that it has logic baked into that can analyze webpages and
the rendering/process between the cloud and the local CPU. This could make Silk even faster against "dumb" offloaders, which automatically offload certain tasks to the cloud. In the best case scenario, both the tablet hardware and the cloud will be working at maximum performance to deliver webpages as fast as possible to your Fire tablet.
Of course how much this theoretical boost equates to in real world gains remains to be seen.
II. Browser Opens the Door to Data-Mining, Mobile Ad Ventures for Amazon
Early reports are largely overlooking one hugely important aspect of the new browsing technology. Namely, all of your page requests will be passing through Amazon's cloud servers (even though your tablet will be doing part of the eventual processing/rendering). This means that Amazon will have access to a full history of its browser user's web visits.
It could use this data -- which will likely be anonymized -- in two ways. First, it could use it to improve the suggestion feature in Amazon.com online retail site, based on your overall internet behavior (not just on Amazon). The site already does this to an extent with its browser cookies (which some "pesky" users block with browser extensions), but the new technology gives it access to a potentially much more complete data set.
Secondly, it could use this mined data to deploy an ad network, to compete with Google's mobile AdMob network. A leap into advertising would be a bit outside Amazon.com's past business realm -- particularly given that it could be selling ads to its online retail competitors. However, the field is lucrative enough that Amazon may not be able to resist trying its hand at an advertising platform. Further, a mobile ad platform could tie nicely into Amazon's aspirations as a one-stop app distributor.
Regardless of which of these possibilities gets implemented when, the cloud browser appears poised to give users something valuable -- faster mobile browsing -- while giving Amazon.com a little something back in return -- product differentiation and mined data.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
9/29/2011 8:46:41 AM
Looks like you can get the Dolphin and Opera browsers from the Amazon app store, and I think both have ad blockers.
"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
Amazon Launches $199, 7" Kindle Fire Tablet
September 28, 2011, 9:58 AM
Quick Note: Amazon Gives Away One-Paid Android App Per Day For Free
September 24, 2011, 7:50 PM
Amazon Makes Its Own Android-Based OS, Prepares Tablet for Launch
September 5, 2011, 10:52 AM
Apple is Giving Android a Beatdown in Malware Prevention
August 24, 2011, 1:20 PM
16GB, 32GB HP TouchPads Drop to $99, $149 Starting Tomorrow
August 19, 2011, 8:02 PM
Samsung Hopes to Launch Budget Tizen Device in India by November
September 19, 2014, 5:25 PM
Verizon Wireless Wi-Fi Calling Coming Next Year, Company Sees No Rush to Offer Feature
September 19, 2014, 11:45 AM
Quick Note: Toshiba to Restructure PC Business, Cut 900 Jobs Worldwide
September 18, 2014, 1:40 PM
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 U.S. Pre-orders Start Sept 19, Launches Oct 14
September 18, 2014, 10:15 AM
Amazon Releases New and Refreshed Kindle Fire Tablets, Announces Fire OS 4
September 17, 2014, 10:23 PM
Apple Launches iOS 8 for iPads, iPhones
September 17, 2014, 1:54 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Dell Announces "World's Thinnest" Tablet: The Venue 8 7000 Series
September 11, 2014, 8:51 AM
Samsung Calls Out “Copycat” Apple for 5.5” iPhone 6 Plus in New Ads
September 14, 2014, 11:06 PM
Confirmed: Next Generation of Windows to Be Announced on September 30
September 15, 2014, 4:43 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information