With this article, we want to start a series of informative instructions, reviews, in which we will tell you about what your Kindle Fire can do. This refers to its main functions: watching videos, reading books, web browsing, installing and running applications, and we will also find hidden tablet features and use them for our own purposes. All that you learn by reading our tips can be done with the device "out of the box" that is, without breaking it.
And so today we will reveal one unexpected but very pleasant detail, the ability to install any applications for Android devices (I want to note that this method does not guarantee 100% operation and serviceability of installed applications, but a good half of what we installed perfectly started and are used by us constantly).
1. Search for applications
Now the network has a lot of resources on which you can download this or that application for Android. You can use the search and, I'm sure, within 5-10 minutes you will already have a couple of applications with the extension .apk on hand. Please note that the method works only with small games and programs that do not require hacking (this should be indicated in the application description). If a game or program comes with instructions for installing a cache or something, then most likely it will not start.
- For example, let's install Dolphin Browser HD - a very convenient and fast Internet browser that is not in the Amazon AppStore. This browser, unlike the pre-installed Silk, was able to go to Ex.ua and even gave it a chance to watch a movie online, which turned out to be very convenient.
2. Preparation of the tablet.
In order for us to be able to install something, we need to:
- In the settings, allow the installation of applications from unknown sources. To do this, go to Settings (icon near the battery) >> More >> Device >> Allov installation of Applications >> make "ON" orange.
- Install ES File Explorer from Amazon AppStore. With it, we will find and install our android applications.
3. Download applications to the tablet and install them.
- We connect the tablet to the computer. It is defined as a "Kindle" removable drive. We open the folder for viewing files and we see many folders inside such as Video, Pictures, Books, etc. For convenience, create the MyApps folder and copy your .apk applications to it.
- Launch ES File Explorer on the tablet, go to the MyApps folder and tap on the application you like. The installation will start, you will be asked for confirmation, click Instal and wait. The entire application is installed and ready to use. True, the icon will be a little blurry, but in my opinion this is no longer a problem.
Packaging and design
A new tablet comes in a proprietary black cardboard box in which the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 "itself rests, a small instruction leaflet and a microUSB cord. There is no mains charger, you have to be content with the cord or buy the memory separately from the same Amazon.
The novelty has similarities with last year's model, and its appearance can be called elegant minimalism. The display is bordered by a wide frame with a 1.2 MP front camera lens, and its protective glass closes.
The sides are made of plastic. On the bottom there are microUSB and microHDMI connectors, on the right - a headphone jack, volume key and, below, the power / lock button. There are no functional elements at the top and left.
The back side is made of matte soft touch-plastic, velvety in appearance and to the touch. At the bottom is a glossy strip with speakers at the edges.
Lying Fire HD in the hand, despite the size, conveniently, the weight does not interfere. Well, unless with prolonged work, but this is natural. For ergonomics, I personally had some questions: for example, the keys are too close on the right side of the tablet, which are also not easy to feel from a habit, and the lack of a charging indicator. But these are still trifles, the main thing is that they are assembled efficiently, look solid and reliable.
This is perhaps one of the most interesting moments in the new product. The matrix of the 8.9-inch display is made using IPS technology and has a resolution of 1920 × 1200 pixels. The pixel density is 254 ppi, which is only slightly inferior to the Apple iPad4 Retina reference. The display recognizes up to ten simultaneous touches.
Subjectively, looking up from the numbers, I note the following: a really very high-quality and smooth image, it is almost impossible to see the grain. Going on the Internet, reading, watching movies and playing is very comfortable.
In addition, the polarization layer of the display and the lack of air gap makes viewing angles almost ideal, and eliminates annoying glare. Unlike some other models on IPS-matrices, when viewed from any angle, dark colors do not acquire a purple tint. In short, an almost perfect display.
The information on the display, even in bright conditions, remains completely readable. But it’s just reading, sorry for the tautology, or working at night is at minimum brightness. So much more comfortable and excessive illumination will not irritate the eyes.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 "runs on one of the most powerful processors from Texas Instruments, the dual-core TI OMAP 4470 clocked at 1.5 GHz and the Cortex-A9 architecture. The PowerVR SGX544 chip is responsible for the graphics.
The RAM in the tablet is 1 GB, and the amount of internal storage is possible in two versions: 16 GB or 32 GB. There is no support for memory cards, but the manufacturer provides cloud storage for the applications purchased from him.
The speed of the tablet is enough for full work. There are no problems with playing videos, or with complex three-dimensional games or web surfing.
Fire HD 8.9 "is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules, and it can work up to 10 hours from a fully charged battery. The only caveat is that you will have to wait a very long time to fully charge the 2200 mAh battery via the USB port, so I advise still get a stationary charger to speed up the process.
Kindle Android, or work with a tablet
Amazon's new product runs on Android 4.0.4, on top of which a proprietary graphical shell is superimposed. The modified platform is very different from the classic look of the platform, you will not immediately recognize
.In order to see all the features of the Kindle Fire HD, the device must be registered. A valid mailbox address and password are sufficient for this. But making purchases in a company store is more difficult. Amazon Appstore simply does not work with Ukrainian accounts and credit cards, so you will have to go to some tricks, for example, change the address to American. In this case, the user will be able to download free and buy paid applications, music and games. But to buy movies you need to either physically be in the United States, or to convince the system that you are there.
The first thing you do when you turn on an advertisement. True, so unobtrusive that it can be mistaken for changing screensavers. This is a tribute to the low price of the device, but, again, absolutely not annoying.
The shell is very simple, even minimalistic. At the top of the desktop is a search bar: by library, store or network. Below is a horizontal scroll bar containing access to the store, games, applications, books, music and video, the list also includes audio books, a browser, photos stored in a tablet or cloud storage, documents and two additional items, new arrivals to the store ( broken down by category) and offers, which contain recommended for purchase applications.
Below is the "carousel" of the latest installed applications, downloaded applications and books. Also, if you have another device from Amazon, for example, an e-book, the carousel will display its content, which can easily be used on a tablet. The last line of the home screen is the offers of the most popular applications for the current day. Perhaps you will be interested. An asterisk in the lower right corner of the screen has a standard value: add to favorites. In fact, this way you can create a list of the most used programs, music, videos, etc.
From the top of the screen “rolls out” the settings menu with volume, brightness, synchronization and access to wireless networks.
The “More” item opens the menu of the tablet’s main settings: here is access to the registered account (including the ability to deregister or install social network clients, configure mail, a list of contacts and a calendar), and a file manager and parental control.
Also here everything is configured that is possible - the parameters of audio books, music, browser, video, etc.
An important point is the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 "interface and keyboard, however, like any other device from the manufacturer, they are not Russified! The interface language will not succeed without breaking the tablet and gaining root rights, but install the Russian keyboard by some manipulations To do this, you need to allow the installation of applications from third-party sources, download the ES File Explorer file manager in the Amazon Appstore and then follow the instructions, which can be found on the network.
Each menu item, whether it’s a game, a photo or an application, is organized in approximately the same way. Downloaded content is divided into saved on the tablet and in the cloud storage, below it is displayed on virtual shelves by icons. Books are sorted by latest arrivals, title or author, music - by playlists, artist, albums and tracks.
Video is sorted by the most popular films, genres, and many other parameters. From here you can go to your own library, using the corresponding button below, call up the settings, browsing history or video assistant.
The sound of the stereo speakers of the tablet is good, with a good supply of volume and fairly pronounced bass even without headphones. It pleased.
The pre-installed Silk tablet browser supports full-screen display of content and a reading mode that cuts off all unnecessary information from the page. The native video player supports a limited number of formats: MP4 / VP8 / H.263, the audio player is slightly larger, MP3 / WAV / AAC / OGG / E-AC-3.
As a reader, the Kindle Fire HD is excellent. Reads magazines in .pdf format and books in mobi. And the IPS-display at minimum brightness does not let the eyes get tired too quickly.
In general, about the possibilities “out of the box” is all, because the tablet is very easy to use. But there is another option for working with a tablet, designed for citizens of enthusiasts. About him below.
Kindle Fire HD and root
Some of those who buy tablets from Amazon are firmly convinced that buying them is entirely “hacked,” which gives hope for a very humane cost to get a full Android tablet. True, not just like that, but after the shamanistic action to reflash the device. Trying to do this, of course, is possible, but only at your own peril and risk, since an unsuccessful attempt to root the list of warranty failures does not apply in any way. And judging by the “cry” at the thematic forums, there are already many of these.
In general, in the tablet’s settings there is an item “allow installation from third-party sources”. A checkmark in front of it and the apk file of the application downloaded using a browser will help you not depend on the Amazon Store. In this way, the problem of loading the desired content is solved. But limited functionality and lack of localization fixes only root. If you firmly decided that a full Google Play store and alternative launchers are simply vital and necessary, then all the necessary information about the procedure can be found on the Web. But, I repeat, at your own peril and risk.
Among the 9-inch tablets, the American Barnes & Noble Nook HD +, also slightly adapted to our realities, will compete with our review hero. It has support for memory cards, a charger is included in the package, but there is no front-facing camera and microUSB port. The price for both devices is about the same.
Another competitor I will name Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. A bit more expensive, with a 10 "display diagonal, but with a similar Kindle Fire HD 8.9" resolution. The display matrix is called Super IPS +, the device runs on a processor from Nvidia, has 32 GB of internal storage and a slot for memory cards. As you can see, a very worthy competitor.
Is it worth comparing the iPad 3 with our review, the question is debatable. The same type of IPS screen, approximately the same diagonal (iPad has 9.7 ") and the lack of support for memory cards. These are probably all the common features of the two devices. Another not quite competitor is called Galaxy Nexus 10. Display with Super PLS matrix technology TFT and a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, a quad-core processor and a 5-megapixel camera put this device several steps higher than the Kindle Fire HD, but, nevertheless, all options are worth considering.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 can be recommended to those users of two almost non-overlapping categories:
a) For those who do not want to solve anything, but want a simple, relatively inexpensive multimedia device with a good display. Just watch / read / listen / sit on the Internet.
b) For those who are an enthusiast of firmware and flashing various devices, a fan of building power and increasing functionality. This tablet is quite amenable to the root procedure (although not without “accidents”), and the lucky ones can get to use a fully functional Android device with excellent performance characteristics. Or - a "brick", but then how lucky.
In general, despite the small ergonomic flaws and Amazon services that do not work in our country, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 can only be praised. Display, hardware, appearance - everything is with him. I liked it, I would go with it.