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Kindle Fire — General Tips & Tricks

General Tips and tricks for the Kindle Fire

Here is a list of tips that I’ve discovered—please share any tips and tricks that you may have discovered. We’re all figuring it out together!

  • On/Off/Asleep—When you first turned your Kindle Fire on, you saw the words "Kindle Fire," with a subtle animation behind them. After a minute or so, you saw the “splash screen” with the swipe to open arrow. That splash screen is your first clue that the Kindle Fire is ON. Once the Kindle Fire is on, push the little round on/off button once—don’t hold it. The Kindle Fire goes black. Push the little round on/off button again, and you’re back to the splash screen & swipe arrow. What you’ve just done is put the Kindle Fire to sleep and then awakened it. Now, if you push and hold the little round on/off button, you’ll see a message asking if you want to shut the Kindle Fire down. Doing so is just like turning your computer off, everything shuts down. There are plusses and minuses to both methods of “turning off.” When you put the Kindle Fire to sleep (the one tap on the on/off switch,) the device is still able to download content, update software, etc. And of course there’s still a small amount of power consumption. When you completely turn the Kindle Fire off (with the push and hold the off/on switch,) there is NO power consumption at all, and no content will be downloaded because the device is completely off. If you’re just laying the Kindle Fire down for an hour or so, and want to quickly pick up where you left off, I’d put it to sleep. If you’re not going to be using the Kindle Fire for an extent period, you can certainly turn it completely off.
  • How do you know when the Kindle Fire is completely charged? The quickest way is to look at the little round on/off switch on the bottom. If it’s green, it’s completely charged. If it’s orange, it’s only partially charged.
  • Software updates—this is probably the biggest reason I let my Kindle Fire sleep rather than turn it off. As long as your device is connected to Wi-Fi, Amazon can push software updates to it. I’ve been really impressed with how smoothly and unobtrusively Amazon updates their Kindle Fire and Kindle software. It’s always done in the background and the only way you notice the update is by added features or improvements. So, software updates? You don’t have to do anything.
  • The CLOUD—I consider this a trick because it’s all so “Jetsons.” All of your content (books, apps, documents, etc.) are stored in the cloud. The cloud is actually the gargantuan Amazon servers. So, there’s no need to overtax/slow down your Kindle Fire (or any version of Kindle) by keeping too much stuff on the actual device. You can move content on or off your device at will by holding your finger on the icon until the text bubble “add to favorites/remove from device” appears. For instance, when I download all those yummy free books daily, I immediately remove them from the device until I’m ready to read one of them. The same thing is true for apps, documents, and music. When you want to retrieve content, go to the appropriate tab (books, apps, documents, music) and then choose cloud. Scroll or search to find the desired content and tap it to download it to the device.
  • Along with the Cloud, it might be helpful to know that if you really, really want to delete something entirely—never want to see it again, here’s how. Go to Amazon.com, Kindle Store and then “manage your Kindle.” You’ll see your library. Find the item you no longer want and delete it from there. Poof, gone forever.
  • FREE APPS—Every day Amazon features one of their paid apps as the daily FREE app. Even if you don’t see an immediate need for a particular app, it costs nothing to download and store it in the cloud. (For instance, I always download kiddie appropriate apps, so that I can rotate available games and puzzles for my little granddaughter—there’s always something new on Mimi’s Kindle!)
  • FREE Music—Check out Amazon’s music site for all kinds of free music. I enjoy lots of different genres, and I found that there’s something for everyone free—and the Kindle Fire is a pretty good music player. And yes, you can play music while you read on the same device.
  • Saving marriages, one screen at a time! If you’re reading in bed, the car, the Lantern Queen’s wheelhouse, etc. having the Kindle Fire’s powerful backlit screen lighting up the room/car is often unappreciated by your dear ones. Easy enough to fix. With your book open, tap the little “Aa” at the bottom of the device. You’ll see 3 options for background color (white, sepia, black.) Choose black. The no on the top of the device, adjust the brightness control down until it is just comfortable for you to read. Now everyone’s happy!
  • Getting documents to your Kindle Fire (or any other Kindle)—First you need to know your Kindle’s email address. To find out your Kindle email address go to Amazon.com and click on Kindle Store, and then Manage your Kindle. From there choose Personal Document Settings. There you’ll see your current Kindle email address and the option to edit it. You can choose whatever address you like—as long as it’s available. You can also add approved email addresses from which you are willing to receive documents. I can see this being valuable for husbands/wives, colleagues, etc. to be able to send forgotten documents on business trips, etc. To send a document, just address the email to the Kindle email address, and no subject or body text is required. Just attach the document and send. It will download just like any other content, and will be placed in the document tab.

(Note for Kindle 3G users: there are settings to set limits for whispernet transfers—you can turn off whispernet deliveries—your documents will only be delivered via Wi-Fi, avoiding the whispernet document delivery charges. Again, the advice within these parentheses are for Kindle 3G users only.)

Next: How to transfer documents, music, etc. via USB

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Yolanda Wiggins January 10, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Thank you so much. I found your article to be very informative. I was leaning towards the Nook....but after reading all of your wise advice I think I'm gonna get me the Kindle Fire.

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