Amazon creates tablet browser called Silk

Today, Amazon announced its highly anticipated Kindle Fire, its first foray into the realm of tablets. The Kindle Fire will run a custom Android UI and have a custom browser called Silk. What makes Silk special is that it will attempt to revolutionize browsing by offering a unique and efficient experience by harnessing the power of cloud computing.In order to create Silk, Amazon had to take a step back and look at its landscape. They saw how much the Internet had grown but how little browsers had progressed in the past ten years. While content was expanding, browsers were still using the same methods to process the information. They relied solely on the processing power of the computer to pull down pages, display graphics and sound. While this works great at home on a computer it doesn’t quite translate to the same experience on a mobile device. Mobile devices that have a fraction of the processing power of a computer tend to struggle with web content that is formatted for computers. Seeing this Amazon decided to evolve the browser and create Silk.

With the aid of cloud computing Silk changes how a browser interacts with the Internet. It does this by using a powerful computer which is independent of the Kindle Fire to do a majority of the page processing. The computer acts as a buffer first processing Internet content on its hardware, than sending it to the Kindle Fire in a more mobile friendly format.

This process not only involves creating a efficient web experience which it sends to the Kindle Fire but it also changes how information is processed. Amazon has taken into consideration how someone will browse the Internet and created paths that will allow the user to retrieve content faster. With the aid of cloud computing Silk recognizes patterns and begins to preload pages that will most likely to be accessed. It also can take images and format the content into sizes that are much friendlier for the tablet without sacrificing quality (changing a 5MB image to 50k).

With so much riding on the success of the Kindle Fire Amazon has taken steps to revolutionize the browsing experience on its first Android tablet. Amazon Silk will be a new browser experience that will hopefully illuminate the idea in other developers to create browsers that are optimized for mobile devices. The Amazon Kindle Fire will release on Novemember 15th for $199 and is available for pre-order.

Source : Amazon

  • Mike Macias

    Thanks for the overview of Amazon Silk, Timi. There are a few issues that have been brought up to me today with regards to security, up-time, and Opera Mini.

    First off, this is technically Opera Mini on steroids. It’s a great concept and I can’t wait to test out the browser. Opera Mini is a great concept but many avoid it because they don’t want Opera to see their browsing history. The same issue comes up with Amazon Silk. Does it not?

    Now Amazon can see everything we browse. I’m sure they will see they don’t look at it or use it for anything, but there are still many paranoid folks out there. Personally I don’t see an issue unless I am conducting illegal activity or confidential business. I’m sure Amazon would face some hefty lawsuits if they violate their own privacy terms, not to mention ruin their reputation. 

    Another issue is the EC2 server itself. What happens if the whole system goes down? Will you be able to get the content you need?

    Last question for the paranoid folks, and hopefully someone can answer this…

    Can Silk be turned off and the built-in browser still be used?