From the Author: 5 Things I Love About the Kindle Fire
|Author Nancy Muir |
From its stunning color touch-screen to its beautifully simple and easy interface, the Kindle Fire is one of the hottest new tablets to hit the market. The Kindle Fire may be pint-sized, but it's a total powerhouse packed with features including web browsing, games, apps, videos, magazines, newspapers, music, e-books, cloud storage, e-mail, and more. Learn all about the cool things your Kindle Fire can do with help from longtime For Dummies author Nancy C. Muir and these five Fire features that are sure to fuel your love of tablets and technology. 1. Content, Content, Content!
Kindle Fire is intended to be a device you use to consume media, meaning that you can play/read all kinds of music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, e-books, magazines, and newspapers. Amazon has built up a huge amount of content, from print and audio books (1,000,000 titles and counting in the Kindle Store) to movies and TV shows (100,000), music (17 million songs), and hundreds of your favorite magazines. Count on these numbers to have risen by the time you read this! Amazon continues to rack up deals with media groups such as Fox Broadcasting and PBS on a regular basis to make even more content available.
You can also find various kinds of content in the Amazon store using the Store button in Video and Music libraries that you access through the Kindle Fire Home screen. Tap Newsstand to shop for periodicals; Music to shop for songs and albums; tap Video to go directly to the Amazon Video store; and tap Apps to shop the Amazon Appstore for Android. All the content you purchase is backed up on the Amazon Cloud. The ability to quickly and easily access all this content and play it back or display it on your Kindle Fire is probably the main reason why this great little device could give iPad a run for its money. 2. Free Cloud Storage
Although Kindle Fire has less storage space (8 GB) than some competing tablets, that amount of storage will probably work just fine for you. That’s because when you own a Kindle Fire you get free, unlimited cloud storage for all digital content purchased from Amazon (but not content that you copy onto Kindle Fire from your computer). This means that books, movies, music, and apps are held online for you to stream or download at any time, rather than being stored on your Kindle Fire. This storage means that you don’t use up your Kindle Fire memory. As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection you can stream content from Amazon’s Cloud at any time. Tip
:If you’ll be away from a Wi-Fi connection for a bit, you can download content like a TV show or movie to your Kindle Fire to watch while you’re without wireless access. When you’re done watching and back within range of a Wi-Fi network, you can remove the content to free up space on your device. The content is still available in the cloud and can be downloaded or streamed again anytime you like. 3. The Size
Sporting a 7-inch display and weighing only 14.6 ounces, Kindle Fire is lighter and smaller than the iPad and other popular tablets on the market. That smaller, lighter form factor makes the Fire easier to hold with one hand. In addition, Kindle Fire is that much easier to slip into a tote bag or laptop case. You don’t really need to prop it up with a fancy stand because you can easily hold it with one hand and tap the screen to get things done with the other. 4. The Price
Kindle Fire costs much less than the lowest priced iPad: $199 versus $499. At the top end, you’ll pay $829 for a 64 GB, 3G iPad. Granted Kindle Fire doesn’t offer a 3G option, and has no camera, and though it’s inexpensive, it’s a very well made device that offers just about all the functionality of the competition in the booming tablet market. How does Amazon offer a quality device at this low price? Quite simply they're making a bet that they’ll make up for what they lose on the cost of the hardware with content sales. And with all the content available, you, the consumer, are the big winner in the end! 5. Amazon Prime
Finally, Kindle Fire comes with one free month of Amazon Prime. Now I’ve been an Amazon Prime member for years so I can tell you firsthand that this service is one of the best deals out there. During your free month, Prime will allow you to get lots of perks such as free two-day shipping on thousands of items sold through Amazon.
If you decide to pick up the service after your free month, it will cost you $79 US a year. So just what do you get for your money?
Prime includes a ton of Prime Instant Video, movies and TV shows that you can watch absolutely free. And, these shows aren’t the dregs either: there’s some pretty awesome entertainment included in Prime Instant Video. You also get free two-day shipping on millions of items and overnight shipping for only $3.99. Not every item offered on Amazon is eligible for Prime, but enough are that it's a wonderful savings in time and money over the course of a year. In fact, you can probably pay for your membership with the free shipping on the first two or three orders you place, and getting your Prime-eligible stuff in only two days every time is super sweet.