Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kindle Fire - Am I using this right?

I received a Kindle Fire for Christmas.

Here's my Kindle Fire. I like the red case, because it's easy to find inside a black or brown purse.
Since it was an early gift, I'm still in the test drive phase. 

We chose the Fire for several reasons:

  • Ereader — I wanted an easier way to read digital books. While, I've enjoyed having access to digital only titles, I found it uncomfortable to read on the desktop Kindle program or the Kindle app on the iPhone. 
  • Price — The Fire is less expensive than an iPad. It's not fair to compare the two products. They are different. 
  • Color — While not an iPad, it has several features like the color touch screen that make it seem more picture-book friendly than the first generation Kindles. 
  • Apps — I'm still sorting through the app store to find tools to maximize the Fire's potential. I found a free Google reader app, so I can see all the blogs I subscribe to through Google. I rarely look at the reader on my computer. So, the Fire has re-introduced me to several blogs. 
  • Documents — I can add PDFs and document files to the Kindle. I had to read the instructions online a couple of times, so I can send copies of my work in progress or an ebook in a PDF to my Fire.
  • Music, movies and photos — The Fire allows you to watch movies and listen to music. I haven't tried this yet. I'm too busy reading and sending documents to my new tablet. 
  • Email — I can easily check email from the Fire, as long as I have wifi service. 

There are plenty of negative reviews of the Kindle around the Internet. A major complaint seems to be that the Fire is not an iPad. Apparently, some people were thinking they were buying an iPad-like product for $300 less. 

  • I learned about a privacy issue through the negative reviews. I can't figure out how you allow or disallow a user access to material. So,  a kid reading a picture book will have access to a thriller, suspense novel you are reading with more adult topics. 
  • If you need something on the Fire, make sure it is downloaded to the device prior to leaving wifi service. If you don't have wifi, you might not be able to retrieve your book or PDF. Downloading from the "cloud" — the off device storage — is simple (just a a quick tap of the book cover). 
  • Not all my books appeared on my Kindle or in my Kindle Cloud. So, I had to search the iPhone Kindle and the computer Kindle to track down one book. It took a few extra steps, but I "delivered" it to the Fire. 
  • The function to navigate from a page in a book to the "homepage" seems a bit jumpy. 
  • I've used the note app a few times and haven't figured out how to turn off the "auto correct" function. I don't like it and need a better app for writing notes, ideas, etc. 

I'll figure all this out eventually. 

Do you have a Kindle — want to share a tip or shortcut you discovered or an unexpected way you use the ereader?


  1. Congratulations on your snazzy new Kindle Fire, Stacy. Love the Christmas-red cover. I hope you have lots of fun learning what all your new goodie can do.

  2. Awesome summary, Stacy. Thanks for sharing your findings. I am tempted to get Kindle Fire to replace my old "regular" Kindle but I also would love to have iPad. Hmmm.

  3. #KIndleenvy! Yay, lovely early present. I still have no Kindle/iPad etc, but your summary is very helpful. Enjoy!

  4. I got my first Kindle a couple of weeks ago, and have completed one book. I've bought and downloaded plenty of others and picked up a few freebies. Since I'm still finding my way, I can't provide any tips. I will say though, just a month or two ago I said I didn't want an e-reader. And then I decided I should have one to stay up with the market and e-pubbing. So I accepted the technology, and now I am enjoying it! I think I'll wait on the Ipad until the price comes down a few hundred bucks.

  5. I have a "regular" kindle. I only use it for reading (I read about 25% of my books on it!). I like that it is easy to carry around. :) The Kindle Fire looks cool(*slash* awesome)!

  6. I JUST caved and bought a Kindle Touch. I chose it deliberately because it didn't have a lot of bells and whistles. I just wanted an ereader that wasn't backlit. I'm still getting used to reading on it. I like that I can change the font size do I don't need my glasses :) It's very light and easy to use. I just haven't quite gotten used to the feel of it for reading. I still prefer actual books, but I like the Kindle more than I thought I would, and I think I'll get used to it and like it even better as I use it more.

  7. I just got the Kindle touch a couple of weeks ago, but I've been thinking about returning it for the Fire. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it!!

  8. @Keli - I hope to learn how to max out its potential.
    @Angela - I'm not sure how the Kindle app works on the iPad. Hubby suggested an iPad and I just couldn't go for the price. We have iPhones and I really wanted a "reader."
    @Joanna- It took me a long time to get one. I anticipate Apple will make some changes in 2011 to compete with the lower prices Kindle.
    @Karen- I know the discussion on WU about the iPad made me want one again, but I just looked away.
    @Erik - I am hoping the color option adds to the entertainment value of picture books for my son on trips.
    @Susanna - The Kindle is heavier (as I understand it) than some of the other versions. I love real books, but it has been convenient to read a page or two and book mark in the middle of little boy chaos some days.
    @Coleen- The negative reviews were helpful to give me ideas of possible problem areas with the Fire. If you have time, read a few. As usual, some are just insane, but many offer valid points to consider.

  9. I've been curious about the Kindle Fire. Thanks for sharing this, Stacy! Love the fact that you can use docs, pdfs, etc...

    I have the original Kindle and just added a smart phone to the mix. Always a learning curve, right??

  10. I'm so new to Kindles etc. My husband bought a play book and the e-reader part on Kobo is really simple and I love reading on it. Not sure about yours, but it looks gorgeous, I love red!

  11. I just have the regular kindle that was new LAST Christmas. I HATE the wifi/internet service it came with as it's too difficult to use and most of the time doesn't work. I just use it to read. That's all. I wish I would have bought the Kindle that didn't come with the internet option and saved myself $50.

    But now I want the Kindle Fire. I'll have to watch your updates to see how well you like it. This will help me decide. But then I;ll probably get it and next year they'll come out with something even cooler :)

  12. @August - It took me several months to figure out great uses for the iPhone. I'm sure I'll figure this Fire out.
    @Catherine - I like red covers, wallets, etc. because I can find them in a purse. The dark liners make it harder to find a black phone, etc.
    @Angela - The Fire was probably out of date the minute I received it.

  13. I love my Kindle. I'm sure I'm under-using it's potential, but it's cut back on the To Be Read piles around the house. And that's one of the reasons my husband begged me to buy a Kindle. Too many TBR piles!
    Enjoy, Stacy!

  14. I've been wondering how the Kindle Fire compared to the iPad or the Kindle reader. This is very helpful information. Thanks for sharing, Stacy. :)

  15. Early Christmas present! Lucky you! The color is pefect for you. I didn't realize all the new features. I have basic Kobo. My husband has and iPad, which is never out of his hands. You'll have access to books for Enzo -- how cool.

  16. I really appreciate your pros and cons of the Kindle Fire. I've yet to get any type of e-reader, but have been leaning more that way since the color versions came out. I look forward to hearing more as you figure out all its bells and whistles.

  17. Lucky you! The Kindle Fire sounds really cool. I have the original which I use quite often. Maybe I need to ask Santa for an upgrade...:-)

  18. Hi! The linked worked! :) You FOR SURE should be doing that when leaving comments on blogs. It's the easiest way to find you.

    Anyway, I got the Kindle Touch a few weeks ago. I had a hard time deciding between the Fire and the Touch. I eventually went with the Touch because I know I'd be way too distracted by the video option.

    I read those directions too about sending files. Did I understand correctly that there's a charge??? I found it all really confusing.

  19. @Beth - I hope the Fire elminates those piles too.
    @Sheila - I view it as different than an iPad, so keep this in mind. I didn't even get into the apps available for the iPad vs. the Android platform of the Fire.
    @Patricia-Hubby hasn't touched the Kindle, but if I had an iPad - I would never see it.
    @Jennifer - I'm loving the ability to read on the run- a little easier.
    @Kelly - I'm still using it mostly as a reader.
    @Nina - Woohoo the link worked. I've been doing the link thing since you asked about it and I figured out how to do it! If I read it correctly, they can charge. It's free for most files. I'll most likely upload 2-3 PDFs a week at most, so I think it's free. I added several items in the beginning, because I had several books and ebooks on PDF on my computer.

  20. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'd love to upgrade someday. FYI: right now, Amazon is giving away an app for the Kindle every day. Here's the link if you want to check it out:


  21. @Debbie, I forget to check the site for the free ones. :) I did after I saw your comment. I downloaded a game, which amused my son and reminded me why I bought the warranty for the Fire.

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