Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Gadgets and Digital Lifestyle

10 Cool Things You Can Do with Your Kindle Fire

  • Print
  • + Share This
Did you know that you can email documents, load your own content, and sideload apps with the Kindle Fire? Scott McNulty, author of The Kindle Fire Pocket Guide, offers a list of ten cool things he loves about the Kindle Fire.
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

As the author of The Kindle Fire Pocket Guide, it will come as no surprise that I'm a fan of the device. The Fire can do many, many things, but I've been asked to limit myself to just ten of my favorites. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Read. This one might be a given, but the Kindle Fire is a great reading device. It is about the same size as a paperback, not too heavy, and because the screen is backlit you can even read on your Kindle Fire in a dark room. Amazon's WhisperSync technology syncs your current location, notes, and highlights to Amazon's servers. Anytime you open that book on a supported Kindle device (either one of the many Kindle apps available for a number of platforms or any of the hardware Kindles) it'll open to where you left off.

  2. Better with Amazon Prime. You've probably heard of Amazon Prime, the $79 membership program that gives you two-day shipping on many Amazon.com items, but did you know Prime membership makes your Kindle Fire even better? Prime members can stream an unlimited number of movies and TV shows from Amazon Prime Video in the Video section of your Kindle Fire. Plus, Prime members can borrow a book once a month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library right on your Kindle Fire at no additional charge.

  3. Apps. Having an app store for your device isn't unique nowadays, but the Amazon App Store does have a few neat futures you won't find anywhere else. Every day Amazon gives away a paid app for free. This is a great way to load up your Kindle Fire with some high quality apps without breaking the bank. The Amazon App Store also allows you to test drive certain apps on the App Store website (no on-device demos of apps, yet). Clicking on the green Test Drive Now button opens a browser window with the app running inside of it. Click around, test out the app and decide if you want to purchase it before you spend a dime.

  4. Email documents. Did you know that your Kindle Fire has an email assigned to it? You can use this email address to send files to your Kindle Fire wirelessly. First you set up an approved list of senders to prevent spam, and then you can email text documents, PDFs, Word documents, and more to your Fire. Amazon's servers either convert the document to Kindle format or, in the case of PDFs, just pass the file along to your Fire. The file is stored on Amazon's servers, which means you can delete it from your Fire to save space but you'll always be able to re-download the document whenever you want from the Amazon archive.

  5. Load your own content. There is a common misconception that the Kindle Fire only supports movies and books purchased directly from Amazon.com. It is certainly very easy to fill your Kindle with content from Amazon, but you can also load your Fire up with ebooks, movies, music and pictures right from your computer. You'll need a mini-USB cable to do this, which isn't included with the Fire. Chances are you have one lying around your office though, since lots of computer peripherals use the same cable. Plug the cable into your Fire and the other end into a USB port on your computer. The Fire will go into USB Drive mode and show up in your computer's file system as an external USB drive. Double click on the Fire drive icon, and you'll see a bunch of folders with names like Music and Books. Just drop your files into the proper folder, and when you disconnect your Fire from the computer your content will be waiting for you.

  6. All your music. The Fire only has 6GB of space that can be used to store content. That isn't too much space, but yet I can listen to any of over 16,000 songs in my music library (which take up something like 80GB). Did I use dark arts? Nope, I just uploaded all of my music to Amazon's Cloud Drive (basically storage space on Amazon's servers). Everyone with an Amazon account automatically gets some free space in their Cloud Drive, with additional space available for a small fee. Upload your music to your Cloud Drive using Amazon's uploader utility, and it will all show up in the Cloud section of the Kindle Fire music app. This does require that you have a WiFi connection to listen to your music, but since the music is streamed from Amazon none of it takes up any space on your Fire.

  7. Sideload apps. Your Kindle Fire runs a heavily customized version of Google's mobile operating system known as Android, which you may have heard of. Google has an app store with lots and lots of apps for Android, many of which aren't available on Amazon's app store. Amazon only offers a select subset of apps on their official store, but you can "sideload" apps from other sources onto your Kindle. The whole process is a little too involved for this article, but I outline it in my book (see what I did there?).

  8. Lock it. As you start to use your Kindle Fire more and more, you'll fill it up with your content and lots of information about yourself (email, contacts, documents). This is great, but what happens if you lose your Fire or it is stolen? Someone will have access to all your content and information. They'll even be able to purchase more content from Amazon with your credentials. This can be averted by setting a lock screen password. Go into the "More settings" section and tap "Security." Here you can turn On, or Off, your lock screen password. Make it complex!

  9. Gift giving. If you want to be very popular, why not give the gift of a Kindle Fire? Normally, when you purchase a Kindle Fire from Amazon, it is automatically registered to your Amazon account. It is also shipped to your door in a box that proudly declares a Kindle Fire is inside. If you want to ship an unregistered Kindle Fire in a plain box to the lucky person you're buying one for, be sure to look for the "This will be a gift" checkbox on the Kindle Fire's Amazon product page. Check it and the Fire won't be registered to your account and will ship in a plain box.

  10. Manage Your Kindle. Technically, this isn't a feature of the Kindle Fire, but it is something that most Kindle owners aren't aware of. You can manage a number of your Fire's features via Amazon.com. Point your browser to http://www.amazon.com/myk/ and log in with your Amazon account. From here you can add email addresses to your approved sender list (for use with the document emailing feature), manage your subscriptions, and even download purchased books to your computer so you can manually transfer them to your Fire in case you can't connect your Fire to the network for some reason.

These 10 items are just a small glimpse at all the cool things you can do with your Kindle Fire. Have a favorite tip or trick I didn't mention? Let me know in the comments.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020