Steve Jobs Was Right: 7-Inch Kindle Fire Sucks To Use



In late 2010, Steve Jobs commented on the sudden influx of 7-inch tablets by calling them ‘tweeners. He said that Apple had considered 7-inch displays for the iPad, but after extensive testing, a 7-inch screen was too small to really be useable.

Android tablet makers, of course, scoffed… then rushed to market with their own 10-inch tablets once they discovered that Steve Jobs was telling the truth. So how long until Amazon updates the Kindle Fire to 10-inches? The results of Kindle Fire usability studies are in, and the 7-inch Kindle Fire is an ugly, hideous mess of missed taps and users screaming out of frustration.

The study was conducted by usability guru Jakob Nielsen, who says the Kindle Fire is a “disappointingly poor user experience,” especially when it comes to magazine reading and web browsing, which is “clunky” and “error prone.”

Main finding? Steve Jobs was right:

The most striking observation from testing the Fire is that everything is much too small on the screen, leading to frequent tap errors and accidental activation. You haven’t seen the fat-finger problem in its full glory until you’ve watched users struggle to touch things on the Fire.

There’s even a conspiracy theory thrown in for good measure!

If I were given to conspiracy theories, I’d say that Amazon deliberately designed a poor web browsing user experience to keep Fire users from shopping on competing sites. Amazon’s own built-in shopping app has great usability, so they clearly know how to design for the tablet.

In other words? Steve Jobs was right. Kindle Fire? ‘Tweener!


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.