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Customer Discussions > Fire forum

Kindle Fire Carousel


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Showing 1-25 of 50 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 23, 2012 6:03:13 PM PDT
kendyZdad says:
The carousel is REALLY problematic for me, to the point where I am considering stopping the use of my Kindle Fire. It's annoying that I can't control what goes onto the carousel. Every website, every book I download, every thing I do takes a spot on the Carousel and the book I am reading is pushed way down the line.

Please give us control over the device and how we use it. I want to buy e-books from Amazon, to use Amazon to buy lots of stuff for my Fire.

But the carousel is REALLY getting on my nerves. Could someone PLEASE give us control of the device we paid $200 for, and spend far more buying books and other stuff.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 9:14:21 PM PDT
M. Kochan says:
Did you know that you can tap and hold on an item on the carousel and then you have the option to remove from carousel or remove from the device? I remove from carousel frequently because it annoys me too!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 25, 2012 4:31:24 AM PDT
kendyZdad says:
Yes, I know I can remove items from the carousel. What I want is to stop them from showing up there. Any reasonable start page allows you to control what items are placed there.

Amazon must have made a decision that this poor implementation causes people to purchase more items, but for me it makes me LESS likely to be an e-book reader. I want to have the book I am reading right in front of me -- in the real world that means next to my bed of my living room chair, and on my e-reader it means on the start page -- and not buried in the middle or bottom of a pile of other stuff. In the physical world I can make sure that nothing else gets piled on my current reading, but Amazon, for some reason, won't allow me to control that in the ether.

Bad design, and enough to make me consider a Nook or other device.

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 8:41:36 AM PDT
C. Townsend says:
I agree the carousel is very annoying. Every time I go back to my book I have to remove all the stuff I just looked at. I think we should be able to control what goes on it, but that will be the thing that will get us to buy the next new Kindle.

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 9:01:24 AM PDT
kendyZdad says:
It will be the thing that gets me to abandon Amazon and buy a different e-reader. I don't like companies that intentionally sell me a broken product so I will upgrade in the future. Android has a perfectly find launcher and there are a number of third party launchers, but they are all blocked. Amazon had a choice to provide function already built in or improve on it. Instead they intentionally trashed it in an effort to make more money.

Well, it's a poor way to treat their customers and a good way to lose them.

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 12:15:22 PM PDT
kestergayle says:
I find the carousel more than a little annoying, too. I hate how you can't organize it, and often end up spending lots of time looking for things, or removing books from it.

I was given both the Fire and the nookColor for Xmas, and if I had to choose, I'd go with the nook, hands down. The interface with the BN web site and the internet in general is more seamless, and it has a built in way for you to organize your content. You create virtual book shelves, name them, and place whatever books you want on each shelf. You can even have 1 book on more than 1 shelf. You might, for example, want a bio of General Patton to go on a biography shelf, but you might also want it on a history shelf.

While reading your book, you can pull up the tool bar, and get recommendations for other books. And, I think the graphics are clearer, as well. There are just lots of little reasons, and a few not so little reasons to prefer nook over fire.

I hate to be a cynic, but I think the previous posters are correct...this is a problem that could have been easily solved. Anyone who has ever owned more that three books knows that organized storage is critical.

I am told that there are websites devoted to helping you organize your e-book collection. But why should I have to involve even more players in this game of hide and seek? And, I want to keep my books on the fire, so I can read what I want when I want. The router in our house is mostly off, so it's just easier for me to have everything at my fingertips in one device.

Anyway, I hope Amazon improves the carousel soon, but I'm not holding my breath.

I suspect there will be either a costly up-grade for current fire owners, or a whole new fire. Perhaps both.

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 12:21:31 PM PDT
B. Marks says:
I wouldn't mind the carousel if it was smaller; the size of the favorites or even smaller than them.

The nice thing is that Amazon does listen to it's customers so my guess is that a future update will improve the carousel or, hopefully, make it optional.

Barry

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 3:18:00 PM PDT
If my elderly father hadn't spent his hard-to-come-by money to surprise me with a Kindle Fire, I would sell it and buy an iPad or other tablet. The carousel is an insurmountable nuisance and the Amazon apps available are pitiful (sorry but true, Amazon!) when compared to the ones I through iTunes for my iPhone. Many programs won't "flip" so I can use the Fire without accidentally pushing the off button. But the carousel is, by far, my biggest complaint!

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 3:22:11 PM PDT
If my elderly father hadn't spent his hard-to-come-by money to surprise me with a Kindle Fire, I would sell it and buy an iPad or other tablet. The carousel is an insurmountable nuisance and the Amazon apps available are pitiful (sorry but true, Amazon!) when compared to the ones I through iTunes for my iPhone. Many programs won't "flip" so I can use the Fire without accidentally pushing the off button. But the carousel is, by far, my biggest complaint!

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 8:54:18 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:
To the OP:

I, too, find the Carousel annoying. And we're certainly not alone. I suspect that the eye candy value of a swirling carousel won out over usability. If Amazon insists on the animated launcher, I would far prefer that it contain my "favorites" rather than the most recently used apps.

Having said that, however, there are several alternate launchers available. Among the most popular is GO Launcher Ex and it's easily sideloaded to the Kindle Fire even if you don't want to root the device.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 8:55:52 AM PDT
kendyZdad says:
I loaded Go Launched Ex from the apk and for some reason it was balky and would not always respond to screen touches. Was very disappointed.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 26, 2012 9:20:46 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:
@N.A. Rudy,

Sorry to hear that. I don't have it on my KF but I've heard from others that it works well. So you might try a couple of strategies before giving up on it, altogether. First, since it's available from various sources, I'd suggest you take a look at the version number available from individual sources.

Second, this particular app has a dizzying array of options, skins, settings, etc. You may be more successful if you try tweaking some of those settings. My guess is that "balkiness" comes from the relatively small amount of available memory on the KF (512K) and the OS trying to multitask in that environment. If you can reduce the memory footprint of the launcher you may have better luck.

BTW, I'm not suggesting switching to a different launcher, whatever it might be, is a cost-free choice. Messing around with these kinds of fundamental apps (i.e. launcher, browser, etc.) almost always involves tolerating some less than perfect performance. I don't want to spend my life tweaking the KF (I have half a dozen other systems I have to maintain) so I don't bother with this. But if you're bound and determined to eliminate the stock KF launcher and you're willing to put up with some of the hassles associated with alternatives or with rooting the device, you can get rid of the d**n thing.

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 2:26:35 PM PDT
B. Marks says:
I've been thinking about the carousel and I think the idea has some merit but that Amazon did it wrong. It shouldn't be the home screen. Instead there could be a carousel for apps and one for books and one for the web and for each of the other menu items. And of course each of them should be optional.

I might use it for apps since that would let me have my apps in alphabetical order and shortcuts to the most recently used ones on the top row. Or the bottom row, depending on how I set that. Or not at all if that was my choice. I'd certainly use it for the web. Possibly for videos as well. I wouldn't want it for books or music.

Then the home screen could be just the favorites like now, without the carousel, and it would contain whatever shortcuts I put there, and nothing else. With a nice wallpaper, too. :)

Do that, Amazon! :)

Barry

Posted on Mar 26, 2012 2:55:39 PM PDT
jsh1120 says:
@Barryem

Imaginative idea but if you've used very many Android-based devices, you're probably aware of the persistent complaints about "lags," "stuttering," and lack of "responsiveness" in various devices, especially in contrast to the silky smoothness of various Apple (iOS) devices.

There's a reason for this. Android is a marvelous multitasking OS but since Google doesn't manufacture hardware they don't have to worry about whether there's enough processing horsepower and RAM available to power such multitasking. They simply assume that a hardware manufacturer will throw enough "oomph" to handle what the OS enables. Apple, on the other hand, is careful never to enable too many options for their chip and available memory to handle easily. If that means crippling multitasking and prohibiting any but their own launcher, so be it. They believe (and the market suggests they're right) that most users care more about consistency and smooth performance than customization and more comprehensive multitasking.

I suspect Amazon is following a similar strategy. With a relaitively low power processor and only 512K of memory they're understandably reluctant to add demands on the OS in the form of additional memory requirements and processing to support an even more complicated user interface.

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 7:22:10 AM PDT
B. Marks says:
I think the scenario you've painted is also pretty imaginative but it has little to do with reality. I have a number of Android tablets, both expensive ones and cheap ones. I also have an Ipad 2. The Ipad is NOT smoother than my Asus Transformer or my Toshiba Thrive or even my Samsung Galaxy Tab. It doesn't multitask any better than they do.

If I compare the Ipad with my Archos 70 then yes, it's a lot smoother.

If you want serious multitasking and a smooth as silk operation then the Blackberry Playbook is the one to get. I have one to compare with the others as well. It's fast and smooth and you can keep apps running (actually running, not just waiting) in the background and, while I haven't tried to slow it down doing this, I haven't noticed any slowdowns when I have 2 or 3 apps running. For example when I'm playing a game and I check my email.

All that about Apple caring and Google not caring just doesn't fit my experience with these two platforms. Both pay a LOT of attention to detail and have been carefully thought through and the hardware manufacturers, who do have source code, have carefully adapted Android to their particular platforms.

I use both but my personal preference is for Android. It just fits me better and I find it easier to use. Others find IOS easier to use and I understand that. But the idea that either is intrinsically better than the other just doesn't work.

Getting into the smaller versions, that does change. I have an Ipod Touch 4th generation (and 3rd generation) and a Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0 (and 5.0). At first the Ipods were every bit as smooth as any Android device but as IOS kept updating the hardware wasn't really able to keep up with it. Now, in the app store, scrolling through apps has become slow and painfully irritating. So much so that yesterday I reset both of them and erased them and gave them a fresh start, hoping that would help. It didn't. They're still fine while using an app but the app store has completely outgrown them. It seems that there are limits to Apple's caring.

Barry

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2012 7:51:45 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:
Barry,

Apologies if my post led you to believe I was touting the iPad. That wasn't my intention. I, too, have multiple Android devices as well as an iPad 2. And I'm very impressed with the progress Google and others have made in the last few years.

In fact, your post largely supports my point. With enough processing horsepower and RAM Android devices can be extremely good performers and far better at multitasking than the crippled version of "multitasking" that iOS provides.

The point, however, is that Android is "device agnostic." It runs extremely well on some platforms and not so well on others. Give Android enough horsepower and it works beautifully. Limit the hardware support and/or overlay it with "value added" interface software and the performance can be less than stellar. A point you make in your post.

I think you misunderstood my comment about Google "not caring." I simply meant that Google (much like Microsoft) is a software company that does not have the luxury of "tuning" their software and hardware to work together in the same way that Apple does. Some hardware manufacturers do a good job of providing a strong hardware platform; others do not. And on the Apple side, you're absolutely right, I think, that adding bells and whistles to iOS eventually slows it down on older devices. That, too, illustrates the fact that Apple can tune both hardware and software to operate smoothly in conjunction with one another. Like any manufacturer Apple faces a challenge in terms of backward compatibility. No different than trying to run Windows7 on hardware that barely supported a generation of Windows from several years ago.

I don't see heroes and villains in all this. Apple long ago decided that a smooth user experience in their own devices was the ultimate priority. They often give up cutting edge performance and features to achieve that. And they recognize that most users would rather see slower but consistent performance than faster but inconsistent performance. (It's the same psychology that leads a restaurant to avoid varying portion sizes. A customer may like getting a bigger helping on one visit but they'll be disappointed the next time if the portion is smaller.)

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 4:16:12 PM PDT
B. Marks says:
The Ipod Touch I was talking about being slow is a 3rd generation Ipod Touch; that's just the previous generation. I also have the latest Ipod Touch and it's also irritatingly slow at times since the last 2 upgrades. Not as much as the older one but if I'd known it would be like this I'm not sure I'd have bought it.

There's a big difference in the relationship of Windows to it's hardware and the relationship of Android to it's hardware. PC manufacturers get a standard version of Windows that they have to make their hardware fit. They can add things to Windows but they don't have source code, meaning they can't change anything.

Android device makers do have the source code to Android and they can change things. Google limits what they can change and still have the Google Market and other apps but if they're willing to give that up they can change anything they like. Google has no hold over them other than the Android Market and Google Maps, etc.

So every tablet can have a tailor made version of Android. How well that's done depends on the manufacturer and with the kind of competition they're facing they're careful to do it well. And they nearly always do.

With off-brand tablets it's not always done so well but major brands have an Android that fits like a glove. Just as does Apple with it's IOS.

I worked as a programmer for 35 years before retiring, mostly on the systems level, on mainframes, mini-computers and micros. While I never wrote an OS I changed and added to a lot of them and I have a good feel for what's involved. I'm about 17 years out of date now, having retired a long time ago, but I can see the work these guys are doing and it's impressive.

I used to think programmers today missed out on the good stuff by not getting in on the early days when hardware was very expensive and we were encouraged to spend weeks to save a few cycles of CPU time or a few bytes of memory. Today hardware is cheap and programmers aren't allowed to pay the same attention to detail that we did. But the more I watch and read about what they're doing these days the more I wonder. It's not the programmers that are having the fun now, the designers are the ones paying attention to detail. These guys are artists and they do magic. I wish I could do that. :)

Barry

Barry

Posted on Mar 27, 2012 6:41:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 27, 2012 6:47:10 PM PDT
tmn72tx says:
As some others have mentioned, I have "side-loaded" the Go Launcher EX. I really like it. You can do this without rooting or changing the Kindle Fire. You don't even need another Android device. You can load the software (version2.83) directly from the website. It gives you a lot of control over what does appear, and how it appears. I even have some widgets loaded. I have really like this approach, as the carousel is my least favorite part of the Kindle Fire. And by least, I mean I hate it.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 9:04:15 AM PDT
Darken says:
I haven't seen or tried the update yet. Does anyone know if they put in an option to get rid of the carousel thing. I haven't used my fire in months, because I'm sick of taking things out of the carousel constantly. I'm about ready to give it to my kid and stick with my phone for reading books.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2012 9:33:38 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:
Darken,

You're out of luck on this update as far as the Carousel is concerned. I would not expect such a major change in any minor software update, anyway.

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 10:41:43 AM PDT
Mikey says:
There's been an update?

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 5:28:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2012 5:29:48 PM PDT
The carousel isn't going anywhere. It is a major part of the device's intended UI. It is kind of like having a PC and hating Windows. The best solution would probably be to either install Linux or buy a MAC. But with the Fire it is probably install straight Android or buy an iPad.

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 10:29:20 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:
Have to agree with Stujoe. I think Amazon considers it an important "identity" feature. Not a fan of it myself but I don't think it's going away.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 10:48:38 PM PDT
Thank you very much, I don't know how to remove the icons on the carousel and found it much annoyal. Now problem is solved!

Posted on Dec 7, 2012 7:47:57 PM PST
We have 2 Kindle e-ink devices in the house and I purchased a Kindle Fire. I'm probably returning it. The carousel is bad enough, but every book we buy for one of the e-ink Kindles also shows up on the carousel. My children use the Kindle Fire a lot, but now I have to make sure I delete my books that I bought for other devices off the carousel. This is a deal breaker for me.
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