Amazon is not going to play second fiddle to Barnes & Noble—at least that’s the message they’re sending with all of their third party app upgrades for their soon-to-be released Kindle Fire tablet. Just days after announcing that the Kindle Fire will, indeed, come with a host of third party apps, the e-commerce ruler announced Friday that it will also be adding Hulu Plus and ESPN to the mix.
The race between Amazon and Barnes & Noble to the top of the e-reader market—and now to the top of the low-cost tablet market—has been close and intense. In fact, these two really need to just make out already and break the tension.
Barnes & Noble unveiled its new Nook Tablet earlier this week, and immediately the heat was on. Not only does the tablet promise better hardware and more storage capacity, it also comes with a slew of apps that promised to make the tablet truly competitive, including Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu Plus.
By comparison, the Kindle Fire looked like virtual chopped liver. Of course, Amazon is not one to let something like that slide (remember when B&N revealed the All-New Nook, which came with a two-month battery life, and suddenly the next day the Kindle’s battery life jumped from one month to two?).
Amazon announced Wednesday that the Kindle Fire will also come with a slew of third party apps, including Facebook, Netflix (which means users won’t be forced to commit themselves exclusively to Amazon’s content), Pandora, and—yes—the Weather Channel. That still left out Hulu Plus, but Amazon has now covered that base as well, in addition to adding ESPN’s ScoreCenter app.
So does that make the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet neck-and-neck in the tablet race? Yes and no. The two tablets each have their own separate virtues. The Nook Tablet definitely comes with better specs, including more storage space, but the Kindle Fire comes with Amazon’s content—including Prime Instant Video and e-book borrowing for Prime members.
Both pale in comparison to the iPad, which comes with front and rear-facing cameras, GPS capability, and more.