With the introduction of the Kindle, and Amazon’s growing tablet features, a web browsing solution was needed. This solution came in the form of Silk, a new browser designed by Amazon for their Wi-Fi enabled tablets. Silk was built from scratch and utilizes Amazon’s cloud computation service, Amazon Web Services. Silk is based on a series of small threads that strengthens the connection.
How it Works
Amazon’s cloud consists of stronger components than that of the Kindle, which allows for their cloud to do the computing as your Kindle does the browsing. The use of cloud services has already proven to assist with computing by using lesser components and still operating as if they were larger computers. The continued evolution of features for cloud computing is leading companies such as Amazon to develop cheaper electronics that operate at a higher level than before. With the cloud doing the work and the Kindle reaping the rewards, we may see a trend in the future where cloud computing replaces conventional methods.
Amazon Silk will also include smart caching. Smart caching allows Amazon Silk to predict which page you will be visiting next based on the page you are on. This is done by gathering browsing habits in the cloud from others who have visited the site. Amazon Silk will then have the next page preloaded while you are still on the first page. This saves on time for the page to load after you click the link.
Other uses of smart caching include assisting in loading images. Since the Kindle allows zooming and users are already zoomed out when landing on a page, Silk will load a smaller image, for example 500kb, while it loads the actual size of the image, for example 5,000kb. This will let users see the image as it is still loading and finish loading before the user zooms into the page.
One feature of Silk is its ability to determine if the mobile version of a webpage will appear better than the standard web version. This is a feature that can be changed within Silk if you would like to keep the conventional browsing appearance, but will ultimately affect the load time.
Like many tabs now, Silk will also support Flash for streaming and interactive web browsing. In the past many tablets and smart phones didn’t include Flash support. Amazon, however, understands the need for this web design tool.
Amazon has been synonymous with advertising. With the release of the Kindle Fire, many in the online community had reservations regarding Amazon’s intentions. Amazon reassures that security and privacy is one of their main focuses. They assure users that all browsing history and search terms are confidential and will not be sold to third parties. They also assure that any browser information collected by Silk is kept solely to make Silk operate faster.
With the use of cloud computing and the ever-increasing popularity of mobile browsing, the tablet industry is in constant change. Amazon’s new browser Silk may be the first step towards a “virtual” browsing trend that other companies will adopt. The Internet has undergone many changes in the past few years and as web design, connection methods, and user preferences change, we will begin to see a new Internet.
About the author: Adrianna Esposito designs web sites for many businesses. She teaches her clients to how to update their sites and find the best web hosting.