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What can a Kindle Fire do

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Showing 1-25 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 2, 2012 4:39:54 AM PDT
I want to buy a Kindle Fire for my 14-yr old granddaughter, but don't know exactly what it does. Does she need a wireless connection? Exactly how does it differ from the Kindle touch? thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 4:46:33 AM PDT
**Meya** says:
The Fire is a backlit LCD tablet, useful for browsing, email, streaming videos, music, and other online activities. All of those things require an active WiFi signal, which the user must provide. That is NOT a signal that is provided by cell towers. The Fire has a battery life of 6-8 hours, and it is not easily used in sunshine because the screen is very reflective.

The Touch is an e-ink device, designed for reading e-books. It has a battery life of 2-3 weeks, can be used outside easily. It cannot be used for video or major browsing. If you get the 3G model, you can access the Amazon store or Wiki, for other sites you must have a active WiFi connection.

The 2 devices are completely different.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 4:50:06 AM PDT
Dragi Raos says:
Linda, think of Fire as of stripped-down tablet (not unlike iPad or Samsung Galaxy) without camera, GPS and other bells and whistles. If has backlit color LCD screen, therefore it is useless for reading in sunlight, but very good for, say, watching videos indoors.

So, Touch is an e-reader. Fire is a media consumption device on which you can also read books.

While many Fire functions still work off-line, it was actually meant to be connected via WiFi all the time.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 4:53:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 2, 2012 4:55:29 AM PDT
S. Prewitt says:
The Kindle Fire needs a Wi-Fi connection. It is a multipurpose tablet with a 7" color LCD screen. Your granddaughter would use it to play games, watch movies, listen to music, use Facebook, and surf the web (internet).

The Kindle Touch also needs a Wi-Fi connection (to download books and software updates). It is an e-reader with a 6" black & white E-ink screen. It weighs much less than the Kindle Fire, and has much longer battery life. Your granddaughter would use it to read books.

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 5:19:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 2, 2012 5:23:37 AM PDT
Harvey Bragg says:
Written by Harvey's daughter, C.

...So don't hold the Kindle Fire in direct light and it will be fine! The Fire requires internet access in the home, but the rest is included. You can watch those pesky Adobe Flash videos (that don't work on my iPad), watch movies, read books, comics, graphic novels, and full-color magazines. In most instances you can use the "pinch-expand" motion that iPads use to make print and pictures larger, which is great because the screen makes some things tiny. **(You will want to get a FINE POINT stylus like "Acase" to go with the Fire for easier use.)

Amazon includes a few BASIC apps with the fire, and others are available by search. Be sure to note that although the Fire uses "Android" apps, not all of the Android apps work on it. Amazon very helpfully indicates which apps you can use up near the purchase box on the right of the item description screen.

You can play games, take notes, purchase and listen to music, all kinds of things!

There are pros and cons for both the Kindle Touch (no color, just for reading, simple games, etc.) and the Kindle Fire (shiny screen--but a screen protector helps some--and shorter battery life), but I have used both and I would choose the FIRE any day!!!

To expand use time for any of the Kindles (plus iPads and iPods), I bought an EVO Power Battery pack (7800) that charges fast from an outlet and can completely recharge my Kindles and iPads while turned off, OR extend the time as I use it. That way I get tired before my electronics do!

I hope this helps!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 5:33:10 AM PDT
thanks for the information. I wasn't sure about the Wifi because she downloaded books onto my kindle touch and then took it home (where there is no WiFi) to read. Now I understand the difference. Thank you so much.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 5:34:05 AM PDT
Thank you, just what I needed to know.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 5:36:44 AM PDT
thank you, all of this technology is hard to keep up with, but I think that even though she doesn't have Wifi at home, she will still be able to get a lot of use out it. All of your information was very helpful!

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 5:44:25 AM PDT
**Meya** says:
Linda, if she doesn't have WiFi at home, 95% of what the Fire is designed to do, will be useless. It will be a $200 doorstop that she can read on.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 5:48:58 AM PDT
Linda, if she doesn't have wi-fi at home, the Fire won't be a great fit for her. Like Americus says, the Fire needs an active wi-fi connection for nearly everything it does.

Posted on Apr 2, 2012 6:03:26 AM PDT
jsh1120 says:

Some of the responses above may be a bit confusing. Let me try to clarify. Your granddaughter will need an internet connection at home, probably supplied via a cable and a modem from the phone company or a cable company. Once you confirm that that is in place, she'll need a "router" that connects to the modem (or is included in the same box) on one side and broadcasts a "wifi" signal to wireless devices in her home. (She may already have this if she has an internet connection.) The KF then connects to the internet by communicating with the router and the router communicates with the modem. If she doesn't already have a router for a "home network," they can be purchased for about $50 or less.

If she does NOT have an internet connection at home she can purchase a "mobile hotspot" from a cell phone carrier or "tether" a smartphone to provide the connection to the internet via the cell carrier's 3G or 4G network. That hotspot has a built-in router that provides the wifi signal for the KF. However, this can be a long term expense ranging from $20-$80 per month depending on how much "data" (i.e. content) she downloads while using the internet.

A traditional "3G" Kindle uses this same carrier's network. However, since it cannot be used to surf the internet or download video, audio, etc. Amazon can provide that connection "free." They have a deal with AT&T to supply that connection for traditional Kindles. The KF is far too greedy a content consumer for that same deal to be offered with the Kindle Fire.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 2, 2012 6:08:51 AM PDT
Dragi Raos says:
Linda, that (downloading and off-line reading/viewing/listening later on) will work on Fire, too. It's just that it is meant to also be used for streaming.

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 2:05:48 PM PDT
Are there any problems to taking my Fire to Europe and using a converter to charge the Fire?

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 2:07:00 PM PDT
Are there any problems to taking my Fire to Europe and using a converter to charge the Fire?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 2:34:11 PM PDT
Carbonbased says:
I suppose it depends on how often the granddaughter visits, also whether it would be possible to put a router in her house.
I have dialup at home (no sense in trying to add a router) but I have dinner and spend evenings where there's a satellite ISP and a router works most of the time. The Fire is useful in this circumstance. I'm currently at home listening to a podcast I dl'ed last night. I can watch a movie today that I dl'ed last week when I was at a meeting where the conference center had free wifi.
Free games play for several days outside wifi connection, only getting balky when it's time to reload the ads.
These days, her school probably has wifi, although they're likely to shut it down during Summer vacation. There's also the library. Safeway supermarket has wifi.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012 2:42:36 PM PDT
Mary Ellen says:
All of the comments made to this thread are good ones. I teach eighth grade and quite a few of my more affluent students have the Fire and love them. They do use the school's WiFi to do things like check their grades on line and research as well as download books. As previously mentioned, videos can be downloaded to watch at a later time.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that for your granddaughter to download even free apps she will have to have the Fire registered to an account with an active credit card. You could register the device to your account but then she'll have access to everything on that account when she's in a WiFi hotspot. I don't know if a credit card is needed to download free books.

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 2:58:57 PM PDT
Rogue says:
You can also download apps from other sources. One of the best is You download and install the 1Mobile app from their homepage and then use the 1Mobile app to access their website. Once you do this all the downloads will go directly to your Fire. You just have to make sure to go to your device in the Fire settings and turn on the permission to download apps from other sources. 1Mobile has an excellent selection of apps, most of which are free. I have yet to download an app that wouldn't work on the Fire. Let me add that I have no connection with 1Mobile other than being a very satisfied customer. You can also use and Glenn

Posted on Jun 3, 2012 3:45:06 PM PDT
It's not hard to get wifi at home though. you will need a wireless router. I use my fire for alot of things. I even use it outside in the sunshine. You just have to turn it to the brightest setting and face away from the sun. I read alot on it. I have so many games I can't play all of them. I hardly ever watch movies or tv shows on it. I do listen to music and read at the same time. It doesn't bother me that the battery only lasts 6 to 8 hours. I have 2 chargers and I leave one in the livingroom and 1 in the bedroom. I find myself using it more than I do my kk3.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 7:48:22 AM PDT
thank you for this information. So, she could download items to the Kindle while she's at my house (where I have wifi) and then watch/listen to it later when she's at home without being connected to wifi?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 8:33:32 AM PDT
Yes, Linda, this would work. Some apps do require periodic connection to wifi (say every month) but if she spends a lot of time at your home she can connect while there. I often turn the wifi off to save battery power when using it at home. I don't stream videos because my Internet is too slow but any content downloaded to the Fire can be used when not connected.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 8:58:03 AM PDT
thanks, just what I needed to know.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 1:45:25 PM PDT
Rogue says:
Linda: If watching movies or videos is to be a primary function of the device, the memory on the Fire will quickly fill up as these types of files take up a lot of space. However there is an available solution. A wifi enabled portable hard drive such as the one to which I've attached a link. With this she can load several movies onto it while connected to a network to view later. The hard drive will connect to the Fire over wifi and stream the movies to the Fire. These work quite well and are simple to setup. It is an excellent solution for long plane or car trips or simply being able to watch without an internet connection. Glenn
Kingston Wi-Drive 32 GB USB 2.0 Pocket-sized Portable Storage WID/32GBZ

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 2:18:59 PM PDT
Norwenna says:
Glenn: I thought I read a while back that the Wi-Drive can't be used with a Fire. So you've used it with a Fire?

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 2:53:55 PM PDT
Rogue says:
Norwenna: Yes it works with your Fire. It even states so on the product page just above the product description. Glenn

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 3:16:31 PM PDT
A. Dietz says:
There is an app for the Wi-Drive in the Amazon Android App store, and it does work with the Kindle Fire, but I'm not sure you can load books and movies that you purchase from onto the drive and access them from your Kindle Fire since those items are DRM protected. Do you have this drive, and have you moved your movies and/or books to the drive and been able to access them? You can load non-DRM protected books and movies in MP4 format that you' ve converted from DVDs.
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  36
Initial post:  Apr 2, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 23, 2014

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