Nov 202011
 
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I was super impressed with the Kindle Fire when I started testing it last night in my house.  My wife and I both were left disappointed by previous low end Android tablet models in the sub $300 range and we were not expecting much honestly even though I have read positive reviews on the device.

The thing is, we have the grand daddy of all tablets the iPad 2 and it would be tough to review a Kindle Fire without some comparisons.  That being said the Kindle Fire did quite well in testing and I was even surprised to see that Netflix worked perfectly on the Kindle fire as well as many of the games my son’s play and love.

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I was intending to purchase 3 Kindle Fires as presents for family members as they seemed to fit a great niche for my wife’s mother and my two kids who wanted iPad devices but I don’t have a grand to drop on an iPad for an 8 year old and a 5 year old honestly.

Kindle Fire Can’t Password Protect App Purchases

I had read other Kindle Fire reviews but unfortunately didn’t find the one on Ars Technica or elsewhere on how the Kindle Fire lacks the ability to block app purchases or even password protect app purchases as you can on the iPad and iOS devices.  This means the Kindle Fire isn’t an ideal gift for younger kids (especially my 5 year old who can get click happy when downloading apps from the iTunes store).  There is also no ability to disable the 1-Click purchasing for the device once it is setup with your Amazon account.

I saw several other concerned parents in the Amazon forums and I opened a feature request to Amazon to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

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Can’t Screen Capture or Screen Print on Kindle Fire

Another deficiency on the Kindle Fire and this one is particular for bloggers and reviewers like myself is that there is no default way to take a screenprint on the Kindle Fire.  You simply can’t capture the Kindle Fire screen at all to show what app you have open and there were no apps in the Amazon Android Store to take a screen shot of the Kindle Fire.  This means you are stuck using a camera if you want to try and capture what is on your Kindle Fire screen which is far more cumbersome.

We know other Android based devices have built this feature in, so this is something Amazon can support if enough people request it as a feature.  I opened a 2nd feature request to Amazon to add screen capture capability to the Kindle Fire as well.

Kindle Fire Is Good However

The Kindle Fire is good however and the screen is vibrant, colorful and movies/video content look great.  The few free games I tested were fluid, smooth and played easily though I saw some ad popups cause a little crash with a free version of Angry Birds the first time I loaded it.  It never happened subsequent times.

The Kindle Fire also has one of the easiest to browse Android App stores out of any device I have tested.  It is easy to find and select from one of the over 16,000 apps currently in the app store.

Kindle Fire Email Sync Documents

Oh, the Kindle Fire can also natively open .doc, .pdf and other files and has a great feature where you get a @kindle.com email address and can just email yourself documents which instantly appear on your Kindle Fire.  This makes transferring files effortlessly, I just wish you can email yourself mp3 files and have them sync to your Kindle Fire as well.  You can’t though, I tried and got a message that the file type was blocked.

Kindle Fire Cloud or Local

People who were concerned over the Kindle Fire only have 8GB of local memory shouldn’t find it too much an issue.  You can very easily select which items you want to sync from the cloud to your local device, and remove them from local and sync other apps/music/video’s later.  Most people just need to remember if they will be out of range of a Wi-Fi network for more than a few hours they will want to manually download content locally to the Kindle Fire so you have some content available.  8GB is still plenty of local content if you are going to be off the Wi-Fi for several hours, and even a day or so.

I didn’t see it that big an issue as some complaining it filled up too fast, Wi-Fi is everywhere and even if you aren’t going to be home you can simply go to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot and just switch up or add new content.

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Overall I was super impressed with the Kindle Fire and am excited that I will be giving 1 or more away in a contest which starts Cyber Monday on DragonBlogger.com.  The only major disadvantage at this point giving the Kindle Fire to younger kids and trusting they won’t accidentally purchase apps on the app store, the Amazon team really should resolve this as quickly as possible.  Allow for the removal of the 1-click or password protect each app purchases on the Kindle Fire so that you can give one to your kids and not have to worry about them charging your card on file.

Note, the Kindle Fire is still amazing and I think a better bang for the buck purchase than the Nintendo 3DS since it is $30 more and way more versatile.

-Dragon Blogger


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Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 13 years and specializing in web based technologies. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

Technology, Gaming and Wordpress blogger who runs gadget giveaways, helps others with blogging tips, monetization, earning and more!
Toothbrush with a touch of Bluetooth http://t.co/epyIEiie0l #GadgetReviews #oralb - 3 hours ago
Justin Germino
  • http://maddencorner.com/ maddencorner

    Timely post Justin I have been wondering about the Fire and not being able to PP apps is good to know.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      @maddencorner I still decided to get my kids Kindle Fire’s for Xmas, I found a work around sort of. Just get a $10 gift card and tie it to the Amazon account you create for the Kindle Fire, and then you can download all the free apps without any chance of purchasing anything over the gift card. It a little inconvenient but works.

      • BuySellWordpress

        @Dragon Blogger@maddencorner Are there many free applications that I can get? And do you find them interesting?

        • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

          @BuySellWordpress@maddencorner Yes, there are over 6,000+ free apps on the Amazon Android store, some are better than others they have your typical stuff like Angry birds. Dungeon Defenders, Evernote…etc.

      • http://maddencorner.com/ maddencorner

        @Dragon Blogger Good idea! You would think they would have given you account limit of some kind so kids wouldn’t go crazy.

  • BuySellWordpress

    That’s good that you changed your opinion about Kindle Fire. According to the description that you gave above, it seems to be excellent! Thank you!

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      @BuySellWordpress It is an excellent device, and I have been testing it for about 2 days now. It only has the one issue with password protecting the download of apps so may make parents think twice about getting it for little kids, but with a separate Amazon account and a limited gift card you can get around these issues.

      • BuySellWordpress

        @Dragon Blogger Oh, thanks a lot for these warnings

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  • FromMe

    On the Fire: Select Apps. Select Store. Select the Menu (at the bottom). Select Settings. Select Parental Controls. Select Enable Parental Controls. This will require your Amazon password to purchase apps. Also, from your desktop (its easier) go to Amazon and disable 1 click purchasing. This will require your Amazon password for any purchases using a browser.

    • http://www.dragonblogger.com/ Dragon Blogger

      You are mistaken, this only blocks in app purchases, not downloads from the app store. Also if you disable 1-click purchasing you cannot download free apps at all for your Kindle Fire until you add an account to 1 click. The Kindle Fire requires a card setup with 1-Click purchasing to download even free apps. Again though with your method, the password protection does not come up if you buy an app from the app store, only in game purchases are password protected.