Most helpful critical review
96 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
I suspect this is a revised version of a guide to the first generation Kindle Fire. As such, it contains some errors about features that have changed. For example, there is no illuminated power button on the second generation KF's as described in the first chapter. That feature was dropped with the new devices. In other cases there are simply errors, not surprising in an "instant book" but worth noting and correcting. For example, the audio jack in the KFHD is a 3.5mm not a 1/8" as stated in the book. Not a big deal unless one purchases headphones based on the information provided.
Furthermore, there are some recommendations I'd take issue with (though there are others that I think are right on.) For example, the author recommends that a user "discharge the batery to as close to 0% as you can before charging it up." In fact, this is risky advice. Lithium ion batteries do not respond well to being completely discharged. While discharging the battery periodically to about 15% is a good idea (primarily to maintain a properly calibrated battery monitor), fully discharging the battery will shorten its long term life.
On a related topic, the author advises to "Only use chargers designed for the device. The charging port will accept chargers for other devices, but they...may damage the device if used." Yet at another point he says, "Chargers are denoted by the type of connections they have, the voltage they deliver and their current. Provided a charger matches the original charger that came with your device...it should work fine."
This is a particularly confusing point because the second generation Kindle Fires do not include a wall charger. IMO, that's a great idea. The proliferation of redundant wall chargers is both costly and environmentally harmful. In my case I had six(!) wall chargers from various devices that all charge the KFHD perfectly. With that in mind, the clear implication that a charger not "designed for the (KFHD)" is risky even to try is, I think, misleading, especially in view of the fact that the author appears to contradict himself. The bottom line is that some wall chargers will not perform well. But the circuitry in the Kindle Fire draws power from the charger; it is not "pushed" from the charger. Thus, there is almost no risk that a charger not designed specifically for the KFHD will "damage" it.
And really, I'm a great fan of the KFHD though I also own an iPad. I have to note that the cited advantages of the Android OS versus iOS ("a highly customizable interface; freedom to get out of the Amazon Home Interface, many apps, and apps not tightly controlled")amount to a cruel joke when applied to the KFHD. It IS true that Amazon does not control the installation of non-Amazon apps as Apple blocks the installation of apps from any source other than iTunes, but only by side loading those apps from other sources. Otherwise, the KFHD fails to deliver on the advantages the author cites for Android devices. It does not have a highly customizable interface. One cannot enjoy the "freedom to get out of the Amazon Home Interface. The Amazon Appstore's selection of apps (especially for the KFHD) is tiny compared to the volume of apps available for Android devices. Frankly, I don't view those restrictions as dealbreakers for the KFHD but it's hardly reasonable to cite the advantages of Android without noting that the KFHD is designed specifically to eliminate almost all of them.
Looking back on the comments above, one might think I believe the guide is worthless. I don't. It provides an easy to read introduction to the use of the KFHD. I've highlighted problems (some simply the result of a rushed editing job)that I think could create confusion or seriously bad outcomes. With that in mind, I hope the author will take the opportunity to update the volume, correct the factual errors that appear here and there, and reconsider some of the opinions expressed. At the very least, the author deserves credit for producing a guide so quickly and at a price of "free," he deserves applause.