Amazon Silk Sucks

On May 7, 2013, in Misc, by LuCuS

Amazon Silk SucksOrdinarily, I am a huge fan of all-things Amazon. However, I have to say that the browser on the Kindle Fire, known as Silk, is a piece of crap! I bought my fiancee an original Kindle the day it came out and a Kindle Fire the day it came out. Knowing how much she enjoys them, I recently decided to buy myself a new Kindle Fire. Even though I already own about 15 different kinds of tablets, I thought a smaller Kindle Fire would be a great device to read on, which it is. But, I made the mistake of trying to use the Silk browser for surfing the internet. At times, the browser will indicate that I have clicked on a link, but the browser doesn’t navigate to the clicked page. It just sits there. Whenever I search for something on Google, I better hope that the first 10 results contains the page I am looking for. When I click the “Next” link at the bottom, the “Goooooooooogle” logo and the “Next” links disappear from the page and again, the browser just sits there. Plus, the Silk browser is slower than any browser I have ever used on any other operating system and hardware, including other tablets.

Apparently the problems I am having with my new Kindle Fire HD are problems that have always existed ever since the very first Kindle Fire. At first, I thought my Fire might have required an update. But, I checked and I am running the current versions of everything. After digging around in the forums, it looks like I am not the only Kindle Fire user that is and have been experiencing these problems. Come on Amazon! Get it together! It’s a simple web browser! How could you mess that up?!? I’ve written several web browsers in the past. If you would like, I would be glad to rewrite your browser for you. Aside from the horrible Silk browser, the Kindle Fire HD is a great little device. But, for any of you thinking the Kindle Fire will fill all your tablet needs and desires, don’t get your hopes up when it comes to browsing the web, not with the Silk browser anyways. However, if you do enjoy the Kindle Fire, there are other browsers available such as Dolphin and Opera. So, make sure you check into one of those before fighting with the stupid Silk web browser. It isn’t worth it!

Edit: The Silk browser is supposed to work by caching pages on the Amazon servers and first checking for URLs in the cache before fetching pages from the originating servers. In theory this is a good idea, but in practice Amazon got it wrong. If there is a problem with retrieving something from the Amazon cache, the Silk browser would (at times) crap out and not fetch anything at all – this is especially true when trying to browse YouTube. I have tested and verified this flakiness on multiple Kindle Fires. I’ve also performed the same tests on Kindle Fires running side-by-side with several other tablets and the Kindle Fire always performs the worst (when it comes to using the Silk browser). Because of the craptacular nature of Silk alone, I have opted to use a different tablet from the Kindle Fire altogether. The good things about the Kindle Fire don’t outweigh the headaches that Silk brings – not enough for me to choose the Fire as my tablet of choice anyways.

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