- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Kindle Fire HD UK
A tablet not an e-reader
Dolphin Browser enables the Kindle Fire to behave more like a tablet than a book reader.
As Google play is not available on this particular device you may become frustrated by the selection of Apps, games and utilities in the Amazon App store. There are some good finds here, YouTube downloader being my particular favourite as it allows you to download any YouTube video to the device to view later. The easiest way to get almost any other App on the KFHD is you visit 1mobile. Install the program and you will have access to hundreds of thousands of free games and utilities that you won't be able to get from elsewhere. As well as must haves such as Candy Crush, you can get Google Chrome, eBay and plenty more. One thing you do need to download is a file manager such as ES file explorer which can be got from Amazon.
Don't forget the Kindle is also for reading books! You can also get thousands of books for free all over the web as well as in the Kindle Store on Amazon. Kindle is an Amazon product so it's designed to work with the store. The few simple downloads I have made have given me the functionality of an ipad but at much less cost.
Photo credit: screenshot from my KFHD
The Kindle Fire HD tablet was released onto the UK market on 25th October 2012, with the 8.9" version released in March 2013 at the same time the product was reduced in price in the US. This page is not about the technical specifications of the device, it shows you how to get free apps and games as well as hints on obscure features. I have discovered several hidden functions and downloads that have made my Kindle my must-have tool for business and pleasure.
The 7" model, from Amazon, is one of the most sophisticated touch screen tablets on the market and is perfect for watching films, playing games and social networking. At 254 ppi the 8.9 inch KFHD falls just short of the new iPad with 264 ppi but so good as to be unnoticeable.
My Android device, with a highly modified Amazon interface for reading books and streaming movies via Its online store can also be used to browse the internet and play games. Amazon Prime in the UK currently does not include movie streaming which you need to do through LoveFilm. Get Flash Player and you can also watch YouTube and other sites requiring flash plugin. This is only compatible with the Dolphin Browser which can also be downloaded below.
I think this is a very real rival to the iPad with a host of cool features and possibilities. It is being sold by Amazon at less than cost price. The 7 inch device fits easily in the palm of your hand for comfortable use. It is a highly capable machine, perhaps the best 7 inch device available. Amazon are selling this at a loss to tie you into future purchases from the App site. It's priority is to sell as many Kindles as it makes to the most enthusiastic buyers of content. This is the reason why you may struggle to interact with third party content.
On this page you will learn how to Install Android Apps from other websites and find out all the tips and tricks to make full use of this tablet computer. You will not need to root your device or perform complicated actions, it's just a case of click and download. There are hidden features on the KFHD which are very simple to initiate and are detailed here.
Everything on this page I have done on my own device. I can now watch live TV, watch the latest US shows, watch BBC iPlayer abroad, download movies and access third party content. Options for streaming and downloading your favourite movies and shows even when not connected to the internet include Flixster and youTube downloader. The Kindle Fire HD also has a video recording capability which although not great is a good to know and is accessed via a secret menu.
Dolphin and Flash
I have downloaded Flash to my device which enables me to watch online content that require this plugin. I can watch catchup TV and itv player with the KFHD. ITV needs to be downloaded from the 4shared web page. In order to utilise the Flash plugin, you need a slightly older version of Dolphin. I have installed this version of Dolphin to my device. The browser is good for most online tasks and of course to view media content however it is not very good for adding your own written content to the internet. If I wish to update my own pages I always opt for Google Chrome from the 1mobile market. This is the only browser that I find user friendly when wishing to enter text using the Kindle tablet. Once you have Flash you can enjoy the sites listed on Watch Movies on Kindle Fire.
Photo credit: http://www.follybeach.com/dolphins.php
Bluetooth function on the Kindle Fire allows you to add wireless devices to the Amazon tablet. A wireless keyboard will allow you to use the Kindle Fire for more than just reading books. Adding a wireless keyboard to the Kindle Fire HD will allow you to create letters, documents and articles using the KFHD easily and in comfort. With a wireless keyboard you can work in a position that you find comfortable.
Amazon sell a range of wireless keyboards but it is very hard to find a bluetooth keyboard that is advertised as compatible with the Fire. The one that I use cost less than a tenner at Amazon and is also compatible with the iPad and iPhone.
Kindle Fire HD
Dual antenna for super fast WIFI
Best places for downloads
There are several sites that I have visited in order to beef up my touchscreen. 4shared allows you to download ITV player. You can use catch up TV and 4oD directly from the internet if you have downloaded Dolphin and Flash Player.
My favourite 1mobile downloads
1mobile is the only marketplace you need for games and applications for the Kindle Fire HD. I have downloaded most of the stuff I use via this site as Google Play is not available for the KFHD. In order to get this on your device you need to ensure that you have enabled "download sources from third parties" in the settings menu.
- The Economist
- Candy Crush Saga
- Tunnel Bear (free VPN)
- Google Chrome
Taking a photo with your Kindle Fire can be done by selecting the photo tab on the Fire and then clicking the camera icon on the next menu. The Kindle has an inbuilt video recording feature but this is actually hidden from the user. To access it you need to go into the es file manager. Enter settings menu by pressing the three horizontal lines inside a square icon at the side or bottom of your screen. Choose the Manager option and then the application manager option, you may get presented with a third choice menu which you need to select the system applications option. You will now see icons for all of hour system apps, one of which is the camera. Choosing this now will enable the video recording device to function. Its not great quality and it can only be accessed from the es program but its an extra feature which means your Kindles video camera
Amazon Android Store
Free Apps available from Amazon for the Kindle Fire HD include YouTube downloader.. With this YouTube download you can put any YouTube video onto your device and watch at your leisure, ideal for long journeys by plane, train or car, especially with the extremely good battery of the device. What's more you can fits hours on entertainment on to the Kindle and the super long battery, HD images and excellent surround sound make it a great choice.
I also download radio programmes from the BBC which are available as podcasts on the BBC website.
Now I have a micro HDMI cable, I can also have this content on my TV!
First off a very simple, if obscure trick, probably familiar to some. If you want to take a screen shot with your Kindle Fire. All you need to do is depress the power off button and volume down button at the same time. Both need to be depressed for over a second and it can be a bit tricky to get the timing right. However you will see a flash and the image appear when you have successfully completed the operation.
The next thing to do is download n App called ES file explorer. You can search for this in the App store on the Kindle itself. This App makes it easier to navigate your Kindle. This App will be very useful as you become familiar with the KFHD capabilities. We will use this App later on.
You have probably already found the settings menu. To access it, swipe down from the top of the screen. From here you can set up and monitor wireless connections as well as brightness and volume settings. The "locked" icon is for your screen rotation. Locking it will prevent the display from changing from horizontal to vertical and vice versa. Very handy if you are using the Kindle lying down in bed!
Click on the "more" tab for user settings, most of which are self explanatory. Do click on devices and enable installation of Apps from unknown sources as this allows you to download third party apps which gives you access to more content on the web. You can also check you battery here, adjust your settings and add bluetooth devices such as a keyboard.