Page 1:Meet Amazon's Kindle Fire
Page 2:Quick Navigation Tour
Page 3:Books And Documents: Not Quite An e-Book Reader...
Page 4:Video And Music: Amazon Prime Members Rejoice
Page 5:Amazon Appstore Is Not Android Market
Page 6:The Shopping Experience: All About Amazon
Page 7:Amazon Silk: Assisted Web Browsing (Sort Of)
Page 8:Web Browsing: The Same Old Android Restrictions
Page 9:TI's OMAP 4430: CPU And GPU Performance
Page 10:An Experiment: Gaming Performance, Tegra 2-Porting
Page 11:Storage Performance: Slightly Faster Than USB 1.0?!
Page 12:Display Performance: IPS Confirmed
Page 13:Display Performance Examined: Very Bright, So-So Gamut
Page 14:Benchmark Results: Battery Life And Recharge Time
Page 15:Benchmark Results: Real-World Performance
Page 16:Benchmark Results: Wireless Performance
Page 17:Awesome For Amazon Addicts
Page 18:Appendix A: Background Information On Our Benchmarks
Page 19:Appendix B: Notes For Kindle Fire Owners
An Experiment: Gaming Performance, Tegra 2-Porting
No matter how Tegra 2 performs, Nvidia is to be commended for its effort in advocating game development on mobile hardware. And let's draw a distinction between the masses of graphically-unimpressive titles and the ones that do legitimately cool stuff with 3D.
Unfortunately, the games most likely to sport truly impressive graphics are often exclusive to Tegra 2-based devices. That's a real problem if you're on a different hardware platform. It's even worse for the Kindle Fire because Amazon's Appstore offers an even poorer selection of games.
There is a technical reason for this limitation, beyond Nvidia's habit of swinging its marketing around like a baseball bat. Software developers writing for Tegra 2 often use Nvidia's proprietary 3D libraries. As such their games just won't work on Android-based devices powered by TI or Qualcomm SoCs.
As an experiment though, I extracted the APKs for Riptide GP, Sprinkle, and Shadowgun from our Motorola Xoom and installed them on the Kindle Fire. Note that Riptide and Sprinkle started as Tegra 2-exclusive games on Android, but were eventually ported to iOS.
Kindle Fire: Shadowgun Crashes
Unfortunately, Shadogun crashes immediately after we select game difficulty.
Riptide is playable without any problems, but screen shots always end up with artifacts.
Kindle Fire: Riptide GP, Screenshots With Artifacts
Xoom: Riptide GP, Artifact-Free Screenshot
We haven't featured Sprinkle in any of our hardware reviews, but it's similar to Angry Birds. The difference is that you use a water cannon to put out fires that threaten villagers. While the concept sounds cheesy, the water effects are downright impressive, making the game more enjoyable. On the Kindle Fire, we still get tearing effects in screen shots.
Kindle Fire: Sprinkle, Screenshot With Artifacts
Xoom: Sprinkle, Artifact-Free Screenshot
Game play is smooth, but as you can see in the video below, water effects are incorrectly rendered. Instead of one continuous stream, we get a lot of individual bubbles.
The mobile game compatibility landscape looks a lot like the desktop scene did 15 years ago, when titles were more inherently tied to a compatible 3D accelerator. Things won't really change, though, until game developers and SoC vendors all agree to abide by a common gaming framework and driver architecture.
If you're planning to root and install games on your Fire, make note of our experience with these three titles. Some will work. Some won't. And others simply don't look quite right.
- Meet Amazon's Kindle Fire
- Quick Navigation Tour
- Books And Documents: Not Quite An e-Book Reader...
- Video And Music: Amazon Prime Members Rejoice
- Amazon Appstore Is Not Android Market
- The Shopping Experience: All About Amazon
- Amazon Silk: Assisted Web Browsing (Sort Of)
- Web Browsing: The Same Old Android Restrictions
- TI's OMAP 4430: CPU And GPU Performance
- An Experiment: Gaming Performance, Tegra 2-Porting
- Storage Performance: Slightly Faster Than USB 1.0?!
- Display Performance: IPS Confirmed
- Display Performance Examined: Very Bright, So-So Gamut
- Benchmark Results: Battery Life And Recharge Time
- Benchmark Results: Real-World Performance
- Benchmark Results: Wireless Performance
- Awesome For Amazon Addicts
- Appendix A: Background Information On Our Benchmarks
- Appendix B: Notes For Kindle Fire Owners