Silk Stories July 9, 2013

Flash video comes to (some) Kindle Fire tablets as Amazon tests streaming viewer

AllThingsD reports that Amazon has been quietly testing a way to offer Flash video on Kindle Fire tablets.

Since February, some Kindle Fire owners have been seeing an option to use an “experimental streaming viewer” when trying to watch video on sites such as NBC.com, CBS.com and Fox.com.

The effort is made possible by the fact that the Kindle Fire browser, known as Silk, divides work between the device and Amazon servers in the cloud.

Adobe stopped supporting Flash on mobile devices back in 2011, with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)  the last version to offer Flash. While most sites have now switched to HTML5 for mobile video, there are still some that require Flash, causing frustration for those accessing the sites on smartphones and tablets.

Although getting a server to convert Flash video to a format that can be viewed by a device without Flash is an approach used by a number of browsers, it has so far mostly been the preserve of geeks. If Amazon opens the service to all Kindle users – as seems likely from the company’s comments – it will turn it into a mainstream option.

“Because this feature is built on the AWS cloud, expanding our list of available sites is as simple as a configuration change that immediately propagates to customer devices and we can scale out elastically based upon customer demand,” said Kufeld, who heads Amazon’s Silk browser team. “It’s still early days but we’re very excited about this feature.”

Silk Stories September 28, 2011

Amazon has just unveiled at a press conference in New York its inaugural seven-inch tablet and a new family of Kindle e-readers that now include the $99 Kindle Touch and the low-priced regular Kindle which retails for just $99. Seth Weintraub is on the scene and the latest information includes the news that Amazon will be rolling out its own brand new browser for the Fire tablet, named Silk.

The company set up a new blog for the Silk team and their first blog postexplains that Silk is “an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire. According to a promo clip included above, a “split browser” architecture (kinda similar to Opera’s Turbo mode) taps the Amazon cloud which caches files (limitless caching) and does the heavy-lifting, depending on workload. It’s a smart approach which offload page rendering to Amazon Web Services, resulting in faster page load times. And here’s what’s so smart about it, according to the Silk team:

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