Amazon's new Kindle Fire HDX tablet resembles Google's Nexus 7 in many ways -- from its light weight to its sharp display. Both tablets run a version of Google's Android operating system, and they even have the same starting price of $229.
The similarities end when you turn them on.
Amazon.com Inc. modifies Android so much that it no longer resembles Android. The company calls it Fire OS 3.0, or Mojito. Amazon's services are front and center on the Fire, and Google's are nowhere to be found. It's the other way around on the Nexus 7 and other Android devices. For a day or two, I even forgot the Kindle Fire can do much more.
Regular customers of Amazon will appreciate that integration. A row of tabs at the top of the screen offers quick access to various Amazon services, including e-books, music, videos and audiobooks, the latter from the Audible business that Amazon bought in 2008. Another tab gets you Amazon's shopping site, where you can buy television sets, vacuum cleaners and tennis rackets. The Kindle is already tied to your Amazon account, so it's easy -- perhaps too easy -- to just click and buy.
You also get Amazon's excellent recommendation...