The latest update from Amazon has corrected some of the annoyances and bugs that have plagued those of us who have purchased the Kindle Fire. Some of the fixes include the option to remove applications from the Carousel, thus increasing fluidity plus performance, and therefore increasing the user experience for all Kindle Fire owners. Below are nine tips and tricks that also will make using the Amazon Kindle Fire more enjoyable.
Get a Paid App Free Every Day
The folks at Amazon have what I believe is one of the best deals for any tablet user. Every day, Amazon gives away, for free, an application that you would normally have to purchase. You can easily check which daily application is free by simply logging into the Amazon Store (click on Apps, then Store) while using your Amazon Kindle Fire. The free application of the day is listed at the top; it displays the price that is normally charged, followed by the word Free.
Copy and Paste
To copy text, just tap and hold a word in a sentence until two markers appear on each side of the word. Then drag the arrows to highlight all of the text you wish to copy. Next, tap the highlighted text, select Copy, and the text will be added to the clipboard. To paste the text, press a text field and hold until you can select the Paste command.
The application QuickOffice comes pre-installed on your Amazon Kindle Fire. This application is limited to read only and you need to purchase the upgrade for the full version. One of the nice features of QuickOffice is that it incorporates an audible reader, which performs very well. I find this application enjoyable since each week I receive a newsletter that normally runs about three pages and I can have the newsletter read to me while I shave in the morning or during my morning cup of coffee.
Why do you need to set up a security password on your Amazon Kindle Fire? For those of us who use Amazon Prime, the Kindle Fire is tied to our account. This means that there is the potential, if the Fire is lost, for someone to access your account and to make unauthorized purchases. To set up a password, click on settings (the little gear in the top right corner), then click on More, and then Security. Flip the Lock Screen Password to the ON position and enter a password.
Organize the Home Screen — Use Favorites Below the Carousel
The latest update from Amazon now allows the user to remove applications from the Carousel. However, there is another feature below the Carousel that you can also use to store your favorites. To add any application to your favorites, just hold the application icon and, in the window that appears, choose Favorite. In addition, you can move any application within the Favorites shelf by holding down the application icon and moving it to the desired position.
Turn off Wi-fi to Extend Battery Life
You can turn off Wi-Fi by tapping the settings (again, the gear at the top right of the screen) and selecting Wi-Fi. Then slide the slider to the OFF position.
Check How Much Storage Space is Left
The latest update added a new feature in the device settings, which now includes information for applications and storage space. You can now check how much space is left on your Fire for adding more applications, or to store music, video, etc. To check your available space, click on the settings gear, select More, and scroll down to Device. This area will also allow you to view how much battery life remains and which system version your Fire is using.
Using the Silk Browser, Close All Tabs at Once
You can close all tabs in the Silk browser by touching one tab and holding it down. You can then select the option to close all browser tabs at once and start with a fresh browser.
Make sure your Kindle Fire is up to date. The latest update is version 6.2.1. Your Kindle Fire should update automatically for you over the air, but if for some reason your Kindle Fire does not update automatically, you can download and manually install the update. Here are the complete instructions on how to complete a manual update.
If you do not like the Silk browser that is provided by Amazon for the Fire, it is simple to add a browser of your choosing. I have been using the Dolphin HD browser since I received my Fire.
I also use the Dolphin HD browser on my Android phone. If you don’t own an Android phone, I suggest that you borrow someone’s Android phone to complete the following process for downloading the Dolphin HD application.
Go to the Android Market and download the Dolphin HD browser. Copy the .apk file (mine is Dolphin Browser HD-108.apk) from the Android phone to your computer via a USB – Micro B cable, which is sold separately. Amazon recommends purchasing a cable that is made specifically for the Fire, but I have used the Samsung data cable that came with my Android phone without a problem. Connect your Fire to the computer where the .apk file is stored and transfer the files over to your Fire.
Then go to the Amazon Store and download and install Easy Installer, which is free. Open Easy Installer and find the Dolphin HD file, check the box, and click the Install button. Dolphin HD will automatically be installed on your Fire. That’s it. Enjoy.
Note: This same procedure will work with other browsers such as Opera mini, Skyfire, Firefox, and a few more choices that are available from the Android Market. In addition, I have used the same procedure to install other Android-only applications onto my Fire.
Comments welcome; if you have any tips or tricks, please share them with us.