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Amazon Kindle Fire promised update before UK launch

An over-the-air update will be hitting the Kindle Fire in less than two weeks, improving performance and giving you more editing options.

The Amazon Kindle Fire should be in tip-top condition by the time it reaches the UK early next year -- Amazon will be releasing a software update for the budget tablet in "less than two weeks", a company spokesman told the New York Times.

So what'll this mean for those buying the device? The update will mean improved performance, better multi-touch navigation using the screen (something the Fire has been criticised for), and you'll be able to edit the list of items that show your recent activity, so if you've been -- ahem -- shopping for a present for a loved one, you'll be able to cover your tracks.

The NYT also speculates that a new version of the device will go on sale in the spring, which has been rumoured quite heavily previously. There's no word on what'll change, and whether it'll be a different size, but this version has been criticised for having no external volume controls, and that the power button is easy to hit by mistake, so expect something of an overhaul. All Amazon has said on the matter previously is, "stay tuned".

The Fire runs Amazon's highly customised version of Android, offering a bare-bones, simplified experience that focuses on the company's streaming video and music services. In our review, we found it wasn't highly polished, but the convenience of the services and cheapness of the device more than made up for it.

Analysts predict Amazon will sell between 3 and 5 million Fires this quarter. If the company gets UK deals in place for all its services, it's expected to land here next month, according to sources close to the launch. The 7-inch tablet is much cheaper than Apple's iPad, offering a not-too-dissimilar experience for just $200 (£130).

So, would you shell out for a Kindle Fire come January? Can it compete with the iPad? And how much would you be willing to pay? Let us know below or over on our Facebook page.