Last week, I wrote about how to change your Kindle Fire over to look like Ice Cream Sandwich. Since then, however, I have discovered several other tips that I think will make your Amazon Kindle Fire experience more enjoyable.
Like any other browser, the Silk browser can get clogged with junk and gunk. To free up your resources and improve the speed of the Silk browser, open it, go to the Menu option, and choose Settings. Then, scroll down to Clear All Cookie Data, followed by Clear Cache and Clear History. Just tap on each separately and your browser performance should improve.
Transferring files using Send to Kindle
After setting up your Kindle Fire for the first time, you are automatically assigned a Send to Kindle email address. To locate your Kindle address, go to Settings, More, and then My Account. Under your user name will be the email address that has been assigned to you, and it is the one you can use to send files to your Fire. The Kindle email will usually begin with your name and look something like this: firstname.lastname@example.org. However, before you can start sending files to your Fire, you must add the sending email address to the ‘Sent From‘ address in the Approved Personal Document E-Mail List. This will be found within your Amazon account. To find your account, go to amazon.com/manageyourkindle and log in using your Amazon username and password. Once you are logged in, select the Add Address option. Fill out the required information, and you will then be able to send emails with attachments to your Kindle address. You need to be aware, though, that there is a 50 MB file size restriction, and that Amazon limits the number of attachments per email to 25.
QuickOffice comes preinstalled on the Amazon Kindle Fire. Using the QuickOffice built-in programs, you can open transferred files from Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. You can also locate, in the Documents folder on your Kindle Fire, files that you have transferred from other programs as well as saved email attachments. Additionally, QuickOffice has a built-in file manager and search feature to assist you in finding any open documents that you have saved on your Kindle from Google Docs. If this resource doesn’t uncover one of those elusive files, you can try a free application that I use called ES File Explorer. So far it has successfully helped me and the price is right.
Keyboard quick numbers
Like most Android devices, when you have to put a number into a document, you must change the keyboard from alphabetic to numeric. But with the Kindle Fire keyboard, there is a trick you can use when inserting numbers. To insert the number, hold down any one of the keys on the top row of the keyboard. The number above it will appear, [in orange], and will then be automatically added to the document. Here is a picture of the Kindle Fire keyboard that shows the number 1 being displayed when the letter q is pressed. Each subsequent key will display a number from 1 to 0 (w=2. e=3, and so forth).
Many of us enjoy the many games that Amazon has to offer — some free, some paid However, if you have children at home, you may wish to activate the built-in parental controls for your tablet to prevent them from downloading applications without your permission. Some parents haven’t been aware that their children have downloaded several full price games until they become the victim of credit card shock. Sadly, they could have avoided this problem if they had just activated the parental controls that are available. To activate them, choose Go to Apps Store, and select the Menu button, followed by choosing the Settings option. When this dialog box comes up, select Parental Controls and enter in your Amazon password. Once you are allowed entry, you can choose to restrict access to your account by changing your Amazon entry password to a PIN number.
Where is that link going to take me?
When surfing the Internet, there are a million links to follow, but sometimes that link may take you to a place you don’t want to go. If you want to avoid this problem on your Kindle, long press on a link and the window will appear with several options. Note that the link description is displayed on the top of the screen, indicating exactly where the link is going to direct you. Next you can choose to open the link, open the link in a new tab, or any one of a variety of other choices.
Pop-ups can appear at the most inopportune times and this is not unique to any system or browser — including the Silk Browser. In fact, I was more than a little irritated this morning when one popped up while I was right in the middle of a page that I was viewing. To make it worse, this particular nasty pop-up refused to turn off until I persistently started clicking on the X box [aka close]. In order to help you avoid this irritation, the Silk browser has a built in pop-up blocker that can be activated by going to the Menu, Settings, and then scrolling down to Block Pop-up Windows. Once in this dialog box, select the Always setting. You must be in the Silk browser to activate this setting.
Default search engine
By default, Google is set as the search engine on your Kindle Fire’s Silk browser. For many of us, this is fine as we already opt to use Google, but if you prefer, you can change this default setting to use either Yahoo! or Bing. To do this in the Silk browser, click on the Menu, Settings, and then select Set Search Engine and make your choice.
Change the Web font
Even with a 7″ screen that allows plenty of real estate to view the webpages you visit, the text may be too small to read. To enlarge the font size used within your Silk browser, select Menu, Settings, and then scroll down to Text Size. You will be able to then choose either the Large or Huge font size option to make reading websites easier. Be aware that on some websites you may need to scroll from side to side to take in all of what it has to offer.
Using a USB cable to transfer files
To take advantage of this option, you will need to purchase a USB to Micro USB cable if you don’t already have one. These are sold separately for the Kindle Fire and can be purchased from Amazon (or other electronics suppliers). However, you may find that you already have this type of cable since they are sometimes included when you purchase a camera, back drive, or smartphone. I find that the cable that came with my Samsung smartphone works just fine.
Once you have connected the cable from your computer to your Kindle, your Kindle Fire will be displayed under Computer or My Computer as a USB drive. You can then access your Fire just as you would any other USB drive. In fact, I have successfully transferred applications from my Android smartphone to the Kindle Fire using a free application called Easy Installer.
I hope that these tips help you to enjoy your Amazon Kindle Fire and add more value to your tablet device.
Comments, as always, are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above of Amazon Box Man shared by blogeee.net