One feature of Amazon’s $200 tablet, the Kindle Fire, that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the Silk Browser. On paper it doesn’t really do anything that hasn’t been done before by the likes of Opera and Skyfire. It basically intercepts the request for the web page you want to look at and then optimizes said web page somewhere in a server farm before finally spitting it back down to your device. Think of all the data that Opera has about the people that use their Opera Mini browser? Amazon has the same thing, but just for Kindle Fire owners. Now thanks to XDA member TyHi, owners of Android devices other than the Kindle Fire can now have access to the Silk Browser as well. It’s not a very useful “hack” since you can already run an extensive number of alternative browsers on Android devices, but it’s a cool proof on concept none the less that we’re sure Amazon is already looking to patch up.
What we want to know is when will Google use their giant server farms to do what Amazon is doing and bake a Silk like browser inside Android? Google already knows pretty much everything you’re searching for, the people you email, and who knows what else, so why not just take the next step and sneak a peak at your entire browsing history? They’ll be a privacy option to turn such a feature off of course, but how many will actually bother looking for said setting?
Back when Opera Mini used to be this writer’s preferred mobile browser of choice, devices had small screens, slow processors, and connected to 2G networks. A lot has happened since then and it’s questionable as to why a company would even need to roll out a web browser that optimizes the web for any reason other than to mine your data.