Some of you might remember how much hoopla Amazon played at their Kindle Fire presentation about how fast their wonderful, magic Silk browser is. Well, the circus left town for now, and folks who believed Amazon ended up getting something else instead of swift Silk. There’s a solid Silk browser test review published at Anandtech. In short, theoretical gains in speed for the Silk browser working with Amazon cloud servers can be severely diminished or even reverted by real life limitations of the Fire’s CPU, of limits on number TCP/IP stack connections and corresponding bandwidth, and by RAM available for Silk operations on Fire. General advice is to not use the main Silk feature, namely “Accelerate Page Loading”, as it seems useless for the Fire at best, and even opposite results in most cases; slower Web page loading compared to “unaccelerated” mode.
The staff geek of Howtogeek website has compiled a simple set of simple measures that can make your Fire’s Silk feel silkier and speedier:
Open up the browser, hit the menu button at the bottom of the screen, hit the Settings button, and then find the following options:
- Enable plug-ins: off
- Accelerate page loading: Unchecked
- Desktop or mobile view: Mobile
You don’t have to change the browser into Mobile view, though we do recommend it. Just disabling Flash and the “accelerate page loading” made a big difference while browsing. You can also change the plug-ins to allow them on demand, but that usually ends up with a lot of annoying prompts, so it’s not usually worth it—it’s worth noting that YouTube still works just fine without the Flash plugin enabled.
What you see here as a result, is the Silk browser stripped of all its silk, so to speak. When in such a state, I bet it’s no different than the stock Android Webkit-based Gingerbread browser.
One thing is trying to improve the performance of the Silk browser, but its just mind blowing how attempting to “improve” it would cause a Fire user such grief that they would easily choose an alternative browser, like side-loaded Opera Mobile with its hardware accelerated Web page rendering. More radical ways of accelerating Web browsing experiences for the Amazon Kindle Fire could be offered by flashing an Ice Cream Sandwich based custom ROMs on Fire, thus rooting it. That is, when these ROMs would be available for public consumption.