What’s the difference between a Kindle and an Android Tablet?
It depends on which model of Kindle you’re talking about. If you mean a Kindle eReader and an Android tablet, there’s a huge difference. The eReader is designed for reading and not much else. If you mean a Kindle Fire tablet, the two are very similar. In fact, a Kindle Fire tablet is an Android tablet.
But it’s a special customized version of Android designed to work with that tablet and with Amazon apps.
Let’s look at the differences:
The thing you’ll notice first is the interface. A typical Android home screen looks like the image below and may remind you of a PC desktop . Your apps are arranged however you placed them and stay static until they are moved.
The Kindle home screen is called a carousel and will focus on your recently read Amazon eBooks, recently played Amazon music, recently viewed videos and recently used apps.
For the vast majority of Android tablets, you download apps from the Google Play Store.
On a Kindle you use the Amazon App store. You’ll find many of the same apps, but not all of them. Sometimes, you’ll have to wait a bit for a Kindle optimized version of an app to become available. This means fewer apps and sometimes a longer wait for new, popular apps. On the upside, it also allows Amazon a level of quality control you might not find in the Google Play Store, but your selection can be limited.
You are also limited to using Amazon’s Silk browser for surfing the Internet. Not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a pretty fast browser.
If you use a standard Android tablet, you can choose between browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Opera or the standard Android Browser.
With a Kindle Fire, you are limited to reading Amazon books. With a standard Android tablet, you can download the Kindle app for Kindle books, the Nook app for Nook books and you can read books from the Google Play Store as well.
For a long time, Amazon Prime members couldn’t access features like Prime Video from non-Kindle devices. That’s changed now and members can download an Amazon app that allows them to read Kindle books, play Prime Music, Watch Prime Video and pretty much do nearly everything on an Android tablet that you can on a Kindle Fire, with the added option of using the Google Play Store.
Fire Tablets are nice devices, especially the high-end HDX versions, but they can be more expensive than some Android tablets. An 8.9″ Fire HDX costs $379 while you could get a similarly sized Android tablet on sale with a keyboard case for just over $100.