Sep 28 AT 1:22 PM Edgar Cervantes 21 Comments

Video: Kindle Fire’s web browser is smooth as Silk


The biggest product in tech news today is the Kindle Fire. Not only is Amazon offering a strong tablet/reader for a price below $200, but they’re also introducing the Silk Browser[1]. This is no regular browser; it’s actually a cloud-accelerated browser meant to revolutionize mobile computing.

How is this browser different? Well, the Silk Browser actually works in the cloud with Amazon’s servers. It functions much like Skyfire does with videos (makes Flash videos smaller and optimizes them for mobile screens). Likewise, the Silk Browser will take content (images, videos, etc.) and convert them into smaller files. This will make your browser significantly faster.

That’s not all, though. Much like Google, Amazon’s servers will be taking notes on your browsing habits. Supposedly, this is done in order to improve your web experience in the long run. By tracking your browsing behavior, the Silk Browser can predict what links you might hit and will begin to cache the information ahead of time.

Pretty neat, right? Something to ponder, though, is security. Not that other internet services aren’t doing it already, but Amazon will be storing your personal trends and data. This will probably be used to better target advertising. But what else could they do with this data? (We know some of you worry more than others). There will probably be some very personal stuff in those servers. Would you like Amazon learning to pre-cache your personal stuff (e-mail, social networks, all those little secrets many of you keep around)?

Some users will probably frown upon such an idea. But as already mentioned, this is similar to what Google already does. It analyzes our browsing habits and personal info to bring more user-specific advertising. As Android users, Google probably knows more about us than our own families.

Check out Amazon’s explanation of how the Silk Browser works, and hit the comments section to let us know what you think. Will you be getting a Kindle Fire? Are you looking forward to trying the new Silk Browser?


  1. Image via CrazyEngineers

Source: Kindle (YouTube)

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • Ken Kinder

    This is actually what Opera has been doing all along, more or less. Server-side rendering is nothing new, although in Opera, you can turn that feature off.

    • Jobin Basani

      Exactly! Opera has been doing this stuff for quite a while right? They call it Turbo – their server side optimization and compression technology.

      • metafor

        Sort of. Opera is a bit more hardcore, IIRC and sends you a post-rendered image of the site. From the video, it doesn’t seem like Silk Browser is doing that. They collect the entire website, compress/collect some things and send you the HTML/CSS.

        The difference is, they’ve pre-collected all of the information rather than have you send out a few thousand requests for each page item and can send it all in a single stream.

        The advantages of this over Opera is that you use less bandwidth transmitting code rather than a post-rendered image.

    • penelope

      I think the kindle firesale is a poor man’s ipad! And its fat compared to the ipad.

      • WickedToby741

        The Kindle Fire is the poor man’s iPad. Believe it or not, there’s a lot of “poor” people who haven’t bought into the tablet craze yet because of the price of entry. This changes things at a mere $200. I think you’ll see a lot more people take the plunge on this.

    • Lucian Armasu

      It’s not at all how Google does it – well sure Google has your data but only when using their own services like Gmail. The other data that Google gets is behavior data, but not *your* data.

      But the point is, Amazon will get *everything* – even your Gmail data. Everything goes to their browsers, e-mail content, passwords, etc. It depends how much you trust them to never reveal that data to anyone. But you could still disable that and use the browser normally, just like you can with Opera Mobile with the Turbo feature.

  • RockinEvo

    Nice explanation but would like to c actual video showing how fast the browser is.


    we all have to experience it to judge it ourselves. but if it is a smooth as you say then that is fantastic.. the majority wont care about privacy issues, as most are even aware of how much they are at risk now

  • Stella

    I would like to see a demonstration on how fast the browser will be loading a page before I’m sold. Also, the Silk Browser should have an option to not store your browsing information.

  • kazahani

    Any specs on that tablet?

    • BiGMERF

      Gorilla Glass-protected, multitouch-capable IPS display, a TI OMAP4 dual-core processor, and at 14.6 ounces (413g), a pretty lightweight frame. The resolution on that screen is 1024 x 600, same as on RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook, and the Kindle Fire’s physical dimensions are 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches (190 x 120 x 11.5mm). There’s 8GB of built-in storage and the battery’s rated to last for eight hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback (with WiFi switched off). A 3.5mm headphone jack is naturally included as is a pair of top-mounted stereo speakers.

      • Lucian Armasu

        Did they confirm a dual core OMAP4? I didn’t see it. I’ve only seen them say “dual core”, but that could mean anything -even one of Broadcom’s dual core 500 Mhz CPU’s.

  • Interpol91

    Sounds like an interesting browser. My sister just text me saying she pre-ordered it so I can’t wait to try it out. Although I feel like my tablet’s browser is already fastt this should be interesting to test out.

  • Tariq

    Dose anyone know of this browser can be downloaded on to an Android phone like Oprah and what have you

    • Zumfi66

      *phone like Oprah*

      That made me LOL

  • Anon

    Multitouch zoom – wonder how their browser handles that.

    • heeros

      yea, once they fit the webpage to your screen resolution/pixel density/size, I can’t imagine being able to zoom in anymore, that would sadden me :-(

  • Mockup

    You better get the real ipad instead of this dumbed down wannabe tablet, running linux bumdroid.

  • Eric

    I think the most important part was missed in the article. Amazon hosts many websites that we use today, or at least their content. Since Amazon already hosts much of this data many requests never need to leave Amazon and can be returned to you quickly. For websites outside of Amazon’s cloud they will keep fresh copies of the sites. This means for example that Amazon will keep an always fresh copy of in their cloud. You ask Amazon for and they already have a copy and can send it right to you already streamlined rather than having to go get all the small pieces of the website, optimize it and then send it back to you.

    Of course we all have our niche websites we visit and Amazon may not have it stored in their cloud… then as a worst case they would fetch the site and then send a streamlined copy to your Kindle Fire. Since the cloud will learn our patterns, I expect that eventually Amazon will begin to notice our browsing behaviour and begin to pre-cache the site on their servers and then one day your favorite niche website will magically begin to load even faster since you will only be making a roundtrip from you to Amazon and not the depths of the internet.