Monday, December 12, 2011

Amazon to push update to Fire software soon.

While I have not really experienced any of the issues that people have been complaining about, other than having to reboot the device because of WiFi problems on a single occasion, which was probably caused by one of the apps that I had installed on the device anyhow, it is nice to see that there is going to be a software update to the firmware of the fire.

The only thing I am looking forward to seeing if they fixed is the ability to choose your own input device, so that we can install Swype on our devices with out needing to root them.

The update should be automatic, and is scheduled to go out over the next 2 weeks or so. I would advise you to keep your WiFi on when you are within range at home so that you can get the new update.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

WiFi Analyzer

WiFi Analyzer is a free program for Android devices. This is one of the first programs that I installed on my Fire when I got it. It is an extremely impressive little program. It will show you all of the near by wireless access points, their signal strength, and channel that they operate on. This is extremely useful if you are trying to set up a wireless network for the first time, or attempting to optimize or troubleshoot WiFi connectivity.

I would say that this is a must have app for just about everyone.

Send documents (PDF files) to your Fire.

One of the more practical uses that I have for my Kindle Fire is that I store all of the user manuals for the various hardware that I install and troubleshoot on the device. I had them all stored on my nettop, but it can be a hassle to lug around my netbook all of the time. The Fire fits nicely in the back pocket of my jeans, or the inside pocket of my jacket.

To add PDF files, or other documents to your Kindle Fire, all you need to do is find out what your email address is. You can easily find this out by going to the home screen, then clicking DOCS. At the top of the screen it will say "send documents to (the xxxxxx being whatever username that is set up for your Kindle)

Now all you have to do is open up your email client on your PC, and send the PDF file(s) or other documents as an attachment and they will appear in the DOCS folder of your Fire. Your Fire will need to be connected to the internet in order to download these documents onto the device.

Pulse not updating? (how to force an app closed)

Sometimes the Pulse RSS feed reader that was included with the Fire gets stuck and will not update.

Currently the only option to get this to fix itself is to force the app to close. The way that we do this is that we swipe the gear at the top right corner, then click the more link, then click on the applications link.
From there we can see a list of all of the running applications , third party applications, or all applications. The best thing to do is just to leave it at running applications, and scroll down to Pulse - or whatever app you want to force closed. At the top of the page, right underneath the name of the app there will be a button that says "Force Stop" click this button and the program should shut down.

Now go back to the home screen, and choose the app again, and it should refresh like normal.

Don't forget, you are not limited to the suggested sites that Pulse provides to you. You can search for your favorite sites RSS feed and add it to your Pulse feed. *Not all Pulse features will work with out an internet connection (such as images or videos), so if you use your Pulse feed for reading material on the subway, as I do, sites like The Art of Trolling, which is mostly a photo blog will not display the images while you are not connected to the internet. Also, not all sites syndicate their entire content on their RSS feed, many will only provide just a portion of the articles or posts that are on their website. While you have internet connectivity this is not a problem, you can just click through to view the entire post/article, however reading in an area where you do not have an internet connection will not allow you the ability to view the entire post/article for all RSS feeds (just something to keep in mind) 

Add a microphone to your Fire

Disappointed that your Fire does not come with a built in camera or microphone?

Well you may feel a little less disappointed when you find out that you can add one of those corded headsets with a mic that are usually used for cell phones with your Fire. I have not yet tried this out myself, but you can read more about other peoples success with this here

Install the Amazon app store on your Android phone

I tried submitting my Google Voice number, and my T-mobile number and never received the text message with the download link. I tried entering my email address twice until I was finally emailed the link to download the Amazon app store apk link

You can save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out how to get the link sent to you by just clicking this link

or entering it into your mobile web browser, the apk will start to download automatically.

As long as your phone is set to install software from "unknown" sources you should have no problems installing it onto your phone. If you have any problems, there is information on Amazon's website in the "my apps and devices" tab that will walk you through set-up.

Once you install this app to your phone, all of the apps that you bought from the Amazon app store will be available to you on your Android phone.

Where did the files I downloaded to my Kindle Fire go?

The menu system seems pretty easy to navigate around on the Kindle Fire. Perhaps too easy at times. When I realized that I wanted to continue reading a PDF file that I had downloaded directly to my Fire from a website, I could not for the life of me figure out where the folders were for me to find this file.

I ended up redownloading the file to continue reading it. But again, I wanted to continue with this file.

Fear not. You can easily get to your downloaded files rather easily. It does not seem to make complete sense to me why it is set up this way, but what you need to do is open the web browser, then click on the little bar of paper icon (that's the best that I can describe it) found on the bottom black bar. There you will find a link to your downloads, that you will be able to access, with out having to download that file every time you want to access it.

Sideloading Opera Mobile onto the Kindle Fire

First you need to click on the gear on the top right bar to bring up the settings, then click the + more link

Now you want to click on the Device tab.
Next to where it says "allow installation of applications from unknown sources" set that to ON

Then go back to your home screen, and click web.
go to from your silk browser, and search for opera mobile. Click the link when you find it, and it will download the operamobile.apk onto your device. Once the download is complete, click the downloaded apk file and you will then go through the installation process of installing opera mobile onto your kindle fire.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Welcome to my Kindle Fire blog.

Welcome, This is my latest blog, dedicated to the Kindle Fire. I have had my Kindle Fire for over 2 weeks now and I am still finding interesting ways to integrate it into my life. I never go anywhere with out it, and will be using this blog to share my experiences, as well as any other information on this amazing product.

I currently do not have my Fire rooted. I am trying to refrain from rooting the device unless, or until I find it absolutely necessary. Not that I fear messing with the firmware (well maybe a little, since I can hardly put the thing down) but I prefer to maintain the stability of the official operating system.

So far my only reason for considering rooting the device would be to be able to use Swype, however at the present time I have read that you lose the audio when rooting the device, and since I do use the audio of the device to view YouTube videos, and other audible content I will probably hold out rooting until at least a stable modified version with audio support is available.