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Archive for the ‘kindle fire’ Category

How to connect your Amazon Kindle Fire HD to Wi-Fi

kindle fire

Depending on where you set you Amazon Kindle Fire HD up, you’ll probably be connected to at least one Wi-Fi network already, but what happens if you move location, or want to connect to an alternative Wi-Fi network?

No fear, we’re here to show you exactly how to set up additional Wi-Fi connections on your Amazon Kindle Fire HD so you’ll never be without an active connection again (assuming you’re always in an open Wi-Fi zone).

To access the Wi-Fi settings, pull the top notification bar down on your Amazon Kindle Fire HD and choose Wireless from the shortcuts.

Make sure the Wi-Fi toggle is turned on and choose the network you wish to connect to.

Enter a password if required and Connect. You can opt to turn the Show password option on or off – it’s a lot easier to enter the password with it turned on, but only do so when no one can see what you’re typing.

If you need to change the IP settings to DHCP or Static, you can do so by selecting IP settings.

If you want to join a hidden network, you can select + Add network which is right at the bottom of the list. To set up a hidden network, you will have to know the Network SSID (network name) and password, plus the type of security type of the network.

When you have selected the network and entered the password, or entered details for a new network, just tap Connect and you should be connected.


Running Google Apps on Kindle Fire Without Root

It was Cyber Monday, 2012, and Amazon was offering a deal on their Kindle tablets. I quickly snatched up a 2nd-gen Kindle Fire for my mom’s x-mas present, as she (like everyone else this holiday season) wanted a tablet. When the unit arrived a few days later on the doorstep, I immediately had my greedy little paws on it. It didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting in the Kindle Fire.

new kindle

I went directly to the Amazon app store and tried to search for Google Maps. Oh wait, did I miss something? Ok, stay calm. Try looking for the Gmail app. What? Wait…oh crap. I felt defeated..my nerd skills had failed me. I didn’t know that I couldn’t install Google apps on the Kindle Fire. Epic fail.

So I instantly set out to find a way to get Google apps on the Kindle. Because this was a present for my mom, I didn’t want to change things too much; the Amazon interface is actually pretty clean and easy to use for first time tablet users. Rooting was an option, but I wasn’t too keen on installing a custom ROM, even though there are some awesome Jelly Bean based ROMS out there. But I just wanted the functionality of Google apps like Maps, Voice, Talk, Music with the stock Amazon interface.

After a little research, I found a few different methods of getting some Google apps on the Kindle Fire. Since the architecture of the newest Kindle Fire is closer to the Kindle Fire HD, I researched methods for modifying the Kindle Fire HD. Without rooting, I found a way to install a few Google Apps, such as Maps, Gmail, Youtube and Currents. Even though the Maps app lacks a little functionality (no pinch to zoom or saved maps) the others work flawlessly. Xda-developers forum member abhijitxp modded these apps, and his guide can be found here. Before proceeding, make sure that you have gone to Kindle Fire Settings and enabled installation of applications from unknown sources, and that you have a file browser like ES File Explorer installed. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Download the Google Files here

2.Unzip files

3. Transfer files to Kindle Fire

4.Open up ES File Explorer and install GoogleLoginService.apk.

5. Restart Kindle

6. Open up ES File Explorer and install the apps.

I know, it’s only a handful of apps, but it’s better than nothing, and I’m sure the folks at XDA will have some more apps for us soon. Supposedly, if you root your Kindle Fire you can get full functionality, and if it was my device, I would root it for sure. But for a mom, this is good enough. If you’ve got the gumption to root your Kindle Fire, a great guide can be found here. Happy Holiday hacking!

How to Hear Podcasts on a Kindle

Kindle e-readers were not initially designed to directly support podcast downloads. The 8GB Kindle Fire, 4GB Kindle Touch, Kindle DX and Kindle Keyboard, 2GB second-generation Kindle or 256MB first-generation Kindle all support MP3 audio. The internal capacity of each Kindle model influences how many podcasts and audio titles you can install along with book titles. For all models other than the Kindle 4 which does not support audio, this has the additional benefit of music play back as well as podcasts. Adding podcast audio allows you to increase your Kindle’s versatility, mimicking a full-featured tablet rather than simple an e-reader.

Step 1

Navigate to a website featuring podcasts you may want to listen to by entering the address into your Web browser’s search engine. Many news organizations and technology sites, including the Kindle store, feature free and premium podcasts for download.

Step 2

Save the podcast to a folder on your computer. Drag the downloaded files into folders on the desktop for fast reference later on. The Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, Kindle DX, Kindle Keyboard as well as first and second-generation Kindles support unprotected MP3, Audible Audio Format 4 and Audible Enhanced AAX files.

Step 3

Connect the Kindle to the computer with the Kindle’s USB cable. Allow the computer to recognize the device. The Kindle says “USB Drive Mode” at the top of the display when the connection is made.

Step 4

Click the Start button and select “Computer” a Windows PC to view the Kindle, or find it on the desktop as a mounted drive on Apple machines.

Step 5

Double-click on the “Kindle” drive on your computer. Look for the “Audible” or “Music” folder on the device.

Step 6

Drag the individual podcast files or the entire folder into the chosen folder on the device.

Step 7

Use the five-way controller or directional buttons on your Kindle to highlight and select the “Audible” or “Music” folder. Tap the “Audible” or “Music” folder with a Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire. Look for the “Audio” label attached to the podcast files.

Step 8

Tap on the icon of the file you wish to listen to. Click “OK” to play the file.


  • Organize the files into collections on your home screen to consolidate multiple podcasts into manageable folders.

How to Add Storage to a Kindle

Only the first-generation Kindle accepts SD cards.

The Kindle reader comes with enough space to store dozens of e-books, newspapers, magazines and other media files. If you are running out of space and you don’t want to delete any of your content, you may think about adding an SD card for extra storage. Unfortunately, only the first-generation Kindle allows you to install an SD card; this model supports SD cards up to 4GB.

Items you will need

  • SD card (4GB maximum)

Step 1

Power off the Kindle and turn it over so that you are looking at the back cover.

Step 2

Press down firmly on the back cover and slide it to the right to remove it.

Step 3

Locate the SD card slot on the right side of the Kindle.

Step 4

Slide the SD card into the Kindle’s card slot with the logo facing up and the gold-colored contacts facing down. Push the card in until you feel and hear it click into place.

Step 5

Place the cover back on the Kindle and slide it to the left to lock it in place.

Step 6

Turn on the Kindle. The new SD card is detected automatically.


  • You can use the Kindle’s Content Manager to move items between the Kindle’s memory and the SD card. To do this, launch Content Manager from the home screen, select the items you wish to transfer, and then choose “Menu.” Choose “Move to SD Memory Card” or “Move to Kindle Memory.” The files will transfer to the destination immediately.


  • The process described in this article only applies to first-generation Kindles.

Amazon Kindle finally coming to China?

Last week with the Kindle Paperwhite’s software update came the newly added support for Simplified Chinese. This maybe another hint alluding to an incoming Chinese release of the electronic reader.

Addition of Chinese support alone isn’t enough evidence to justify this theory of course. There may be been technical issues in the past which prevented Amazon from supporting the complex Chinese script. However, that’s not all.

Another clue comes from the China Radio Management Agency’s website, which shows that four Kindle devices were submitted for evaluation for a Chinese radio license. If that’s not a big X marking the spot, I don’t know what is.

Finally, Chinese support. What took you so long, Amazon!

What’s more, in 2011 Amazon already confirmed that they were planning a future Chinese launch, so what is really surprising is that its took them this long. Amazon would be foolish to miss another Christmas’ worth of sales, and may be ramping up for a festive release in the mainland.

It is interesting to note the timing of this move too. 2 weeks ago I wrote an article about Amazon China’s president Wang Hanhua resigning amongst rumors of Amazon attempting to ‘speed up’ the strategy of the Chinese branch. This would correlate with the sudden rush of events to indicate a Kindle launch. Amazon have also just released their Kindle devices in Japan, and this may be part of a larger strategy to take on Asia as a whole.

Until Amazon get a move on, we always have… this thing….

With billions of potential customers, Amazon would be silly to miss out on this opportunity. While e-book piracy is rampant in the mainland, that doesn’t mean that people wouldn’t be willing to pay for quality content should it be easily available. Hopefully Amazon can rectify that situation better than any local tablet clone has in the past.

Kindle Fire HD 7″ Video Review

The Kindle Fire HD 7″ tablet is Amazon’s follow-up to the successful $199 Kindle Fire (now reduced to $159 and rechristened the Kindle Fire SD). The HD Fire improves just the things we wished for as first gen Fire users, but it’s not the power monster that the also $199 Nexus 7 is. And that’s fine with us because the tablets go for two very different kinds of users. The Kindle Fire HD is for those who want a tablet primarily for easy content consumption; primarily Amazon’s content though Netflix and Hulu Plus are here too. In fact, you can even side-load the Android Nook app if you like!

The Kindle Fire HD 7″ runs Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, though you’d barely guess from looking at Amazon’s highly customized user interface with the big carousel of content and tidy bookshelves. No geeks, there’s no way to make this look like standard Android without hacking the tablet. It has a very sharp IPS 1280 x 800 display that’s very noticeably better than the 1024 x 600 Kindle Fire SD display. Movies look so much better! Text in books is extremely sharp and clear. Graphically rich magazines in page view mode actually have readable tiny text.

The Fire HD has a new TI OMAP CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, and the tablet feels more responsive, though that may in part be due to better software tuning. On Quadrant, it scored 2174, which would be par for the course among last year’s Android tablets, but falls way behind the mid 4000’s we see in Tegra 3 tablets. Still, that’s a bit faster than the original Fire and it’s more than adequate to power the apps and services on the Fire HD. Movies render fine without stalling (the dual band WiFi with MIMO certainly helps too), web pages render much more quickly and games run smoothly. The UI lags less than on the first generation Fire.

In terms of looks, Amazon isn’t going to turn out a design contest winner for $199. That said, this is a very nice looking tablet, though it still manages to look chunkier than it is (its’ the same thickness as the Nexus 7 but appears thicker). The tapered sides look modern and attractive and we like the racing grille that traverses the soft touch back and showcases the excellent stereo speakers with Dolby audio. The bezel is wide and that makes the 7″ Kindle Fire HD look less modern and aggressive, but ergonomically it gets the job done by giving you a place to grip the unit when reading.

Here’s our Kindle Fire HD 7″ video review. Our full written review will follow soon.

The Kindle Fire HD And Second Gen Kindle Fire Both Have Locked Bootloaders

So, you were thinking about picking up a Kindle Fire HD, rooting it, and throwing a ROM on it for an impressive $200 tablet? Turns out that idea may not work out as well as we initially thought: both the Kindle Fire HD and the second gen KF have locked bootloaders. Bummer.

This may not mean that custom ROMs are impossible on these devices, only that it’s more improbable.

For those who may not know, the bootloader is responsible for checking the firmware’s signature before a device boots. In this case, if it doesn’t match what Amazon says it should, then it simply won’t do anything. In order to make it work, this key needs to be cracked or otherwise bypassed, which isn’t always an easy task.

It’s worth mentioning here that this probably won’t make the KF and KFHD unrootable, as we’ve already heard that a root method is currently in the works.

What this does mean, though, is that you should probably hold off on putting your order in until the development community can spend some time working with the new Kindles to judge how difficult a hack is going to be. With that said, initial reports aren’t looking good.