Amazon refreshes Silk browser UI, publishes new developer guide

Summary:For the time being, it looks like a lot is about to change -- at least from an outside perspective -- with a number of new user interface enhancements on the way.

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Nearly a year after the last major release, Amazon is gearing up another refresh for the Silk web browser.

For reference, the Silk app splits its time running processing power between the client (i.e. a tablet) and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (a.k.a. EC2).

Thus, the goal with this "split architecture" is to maximize speed and performance for browsing the Internet while on-the-go while also churning data back to the Amazon Web Services cloud.

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The Seattle-headquartered corporation maintains that this data is used to make improvements for Silk and other products -- namely through analyzing aggregate web traffic patterns to later apply predictive algorithms.

For the time being, it looks like a lot is about to change -- at least from an outside perspective -- with a number of new user interface enhancements on the way.

A full list of alterations is available on the Amazon Silk team's official blog, but here's a rundown:

  • A "Just-In-Time" (JIT) tutorial: Basically an overview that pops up the first time the user views the updated software, reviewing all of the new key features
  • Reading View button given more visibility (The function reformats articles so that the body of the page is displayed in a "reading-optimized, single screen.")
  • New left panel menu with options that were previously scattered across the browser; Includes links to Most Visited, Bookmarks, Downloads, History, and Trending Now
  • Performance enhancements to the underlying rendering engine to make Silk more intuitive and faster

For those who want a peek under the hood, the Amazon Silk team has also published a Silk Developer Guide to accompany the release. Topics covered include using the Secure Sockets Layer security protocol, optimizing for Kindle Fire screens, and HTML5 support.

Images via The Amazon Silk Blog

Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Apps, Software Development, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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