Saturday, September 15, 2012

First Kindle Fire HD owner reports and many tips + software update 7.1.5. Also, magazine layout. UPDATE3

First user reports from Kindle forum are extremely positive and I'll quote and link you to some.  There is 24/7 help there user-to-user.

  Where there have been odd stalls or WiFi connectivity issues at first, the recommended "reboot" done once has fixed the problems (in my case too, when I had error messages when accessing Amazon Prime video).   I'm putting this at the top in hopes it'll help any who see problems at first, but a high percentage of people did not experience them.

A 'reboot' is done when you hold the power button in for about 20-25 seconds and then let it go (ignoring any "Power Off?" messages).  It'll reboot after that and almost always clear up any problems.

A difference could be in the Kindle Fire HD 7" software update, v7.1.5, that may not be on all devices after production until it is powered on and Wireless is on.  The instructions are to swipe down from the top to get your settings options, choose "More" and then "Device" to see if your software version is earlier than that.
  Directions are on the v7.1.5 update page if you need them.  But if your Wireless is On and you're connected to your WiFi network, you'll tend to just get the update "over the air" and the new KFire will then reboot (maybe twice).

  The unit comes with about a 60% charge on it, enough to start the setups without waiting the 3-4 hrs needed to charge the unit.  But general advice is to charge it for a few hours anyway until you see "100%" (this battery remaining info is also found under the 'Device' setting mentioned above).

Some tablets were shipped Sept 13, so the first arrivals tended to be on the 14th, for those ordering 1-day shipping.

IMPORTANT TIPs for ad-adverse users -- the first one was mentioned yesterday.
  . If you do your web browsing in landscape mode, Recommended buys seldom rear their heads.
  . You don't see the ones at the bottom of the Home Screen then. Even my Home screen is in Landscape mode so I had a very nice first day.
  . At BOTTOM RIGHT is a big star. That's "favorites" -- press it and some useful stuff comes up obliteraging any Recommendations in that area.
    It also serves as a kind of task-switching.

What are those images at the top of this blog article?
  The images at the top are of the KFire HD's magazine layout, with page turns nicely shown followed by the seamless joining of any two page-photos from the printed magazine.

  Now you can double tap the article to see the text in a special view-text format when you just want to read it more easily, without needing to pinch-zoom to enlarge, and it's beautiful.
  Earlier, I had kept my NookColor and magazine subscriptions because I felt it handled magazines better than the Kindle Fire 1 did.

  But the new magazine layout is extremely readable and the navigation very smooth.
  I screen-shot these images from a video by two reporters, Mobile Nation's Kevin Michaluk and Ashley Esqueda, at the after-press-conference demo stations showing very clearly the functioning of the new feature, but I've lost the link and I just found the URL to the duo's entertaining video, which covers several features of the Kindle Fire HD.

  Here's another good demo of this feature.

Finally, some Kindle Fire HD owners report in
(Next blog article will have some unusual reactions from news-site reviews, of functioning not oft mentioned.)

From Amazon's Kindle Forum,
' ...
I have to chime in! I received mine earlier today and have been playing with it for a few hours. I love it!  I had the original Fire and this new one is so much better. The screen and sound are fantastic. I t's much easier for me to type on.  I love the Amazon Kindle case as well. I give it a big thumbs up!

The device is indeed very sleek and feels good in the hand.  The screen can't be complimented enough.  I, like other posters, love how crisp it is.

The speed is responds to everything I throw at it without's very fluid.

I have sideloaded a bunch of stuff which I hope to be able to clean up in the future when devs update their apps for Amazon, but I can tell you the GSam Battery is not working properly...

And speaking of battery...I was impatient and only charged mine up to 94% before I had to unplug and sit down and start playing.  I started around 6 and two hours later I was at 72%, but I literally had not stopped doing stuff.  I have been downloading, emailing, internet, adding pictures, etc. So wifi has also been on.  I would say this kind of activity is close to "streaming" with all the downloading I've been doing.  And I would say that I can live with a 10% loss per hour of streaming.  I expect this is indeed going to have a decent battery life.  I am perfectly happy having to plug in every night when I got to bed so long as it can get me through a day no matter what I throw at it.

I really think Amazon has a winner here and with some updates to apps from the devs and perhaps some fine tuning by Amazon (though right now other than the keyboard I have no major complaints)...this will be a joy to use.

Well, lo and behold -- the KF HD is streaming perfectly now. Not sure why, not asking at this point -- maybe it just needed to "warm up".  LOL.  verything else that I've tested is absolutely wonderful. T he sound is great; the picture of course, is amazing.  Other than the little streaming issue -- which appears to be just fine now -- a big thumbs up!!!

[Long posting of impressions by jsh1120 so am providing a posting name.]
...I have to say that it's a huge step beyond the original device.  Not to say that the original is obsolete but the new version is in another league.

Yes, the screen is magnificent (and I had no real complaints about the original.)  Sitting side by side in my study I'd say that the light reflection is reduced by at least 50%.  YMMV, of course, but I had no difficulty reading outside in the kind of wimpy sunshine we have in Seattle today...

Sound? Yeah, excellent

Wifi. ...completely satisfactory throughout a three story house with the router on the middle floor.

Memory management.  Too soon to tell if the frequent problems users report with "freezing," failing to charge, etc. have been addressed.  I have noted, however, that the Nexus 7 users report identical problems and the "fix" is identical.  Reboot it.
  I've long used Android Assistant to keep my RAM cleaned out and I immediately put it on the KFHD.  It has cleared the memory several times on its own

Sideloading.  Works well.  Same procedure as the original KF.  Downloaded the Chrome browser and it seems to perform flawlessly with very limited testing...

I was willing to put up with some of the weaknesses of the KF a year ago for the price of the device.  Almost all of those weaknesses have been addressed and remedied in a device that sells for the same price as the original.

When I commented on the original KF I almost always made the point that it was a value proposition and that if I had to choose between the KF and iPad, I'd have to go with the latter.  The KFHD almost (but not quite) eliminates having to justify it in terms of price.  It's simply a very good device. Period.

  [Good advice from Old Rocker for when there are problems]
Old Rocker says:
Turn off all of your wifi devices, reboot your router, then turn on the new Fire first.  See what happens.

It doesn't cut out and has a great picture! I love it over my old Kindle Fire!!

Just got it and the wifi is great.  On iphones, ipod touches, android phones, and ps vita the wifi in my room is never full bars and for the ps vita and android phones sometimes it is a struggle to maintain a connection.  With the kindle fire hd the wifi strength has been excellent and the downloads have been quick.

'you can buy the Square Trade warranty any time before, or I believe within 30 days after, shipment.  You may need the serial number to register it with Square Trade - if so, just wait until the Kindle is about to ship and the serial number appears in your device list.'  [By [Bruce Boyle]

I understand Purchase Recommendations don't go away but don't show up under landscape.

I don't have mine yet but I've read this in another post.

sideloading works fine.  In settings, under Device, choose "Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources"  Then I use to find apps not available from Amazon. I just installed the Nook app. Works great.   [by M Phelps]

Hi Jeffery download an app called evernote  it is free and it has a camera app in it.  Only front screen picture taking but i took a great pic of my puppies I'll stick to my nikon and download to my kindle for really good pics Enjoy   [by C. Cole]

Two pieces I meant to include in there from the forums but are worth adding in now
' From MobileRead Forum
  [Dave89rr posted:
...just wanted to say you CAN take pics with the KFHD 7".
I opened up Evernote and I was able to take a picture, as well as with QuickOffice Pro while editing a word document.
  The picture was portrait 768 by 1024 pixels.  72 dpi.  Bit Depth 24.  And for those curious, that's exactly a .75 Megapix cam.  Nothing compared with our phone and actual cameras, but kinda decent for a webcam.

[From Mobileread forum]

...the current show will buffer pretty much in total.  As long as you don't shut down or whatever it won't lose that buffering.

 [and a couple of points from one Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7" review, by the popular Michael Gallagher]
  When I went to the slowest / worst reception location of my house, the speed did have a noticeable difference in the other devices as this one was faster which I would attribute to the dual antennas, except it did lose connection on CNN but all of the devices lost connection to CNN.   On the signal strength bar, I always got one additional bar - meaning more strength - than all of the other devices.

Finally, there is a Bluetooth connection, which is the #1 thing I wanted on the $159 Fire and last year's Fire! I tested this by taking it out to my car, and having the Fire stream music through my car stereo. There were no delays or skips with the connection, and it paired up in about 30 seconds. Just make sure you give it a device name so you can recognize it and be recognized. '

Besides Evernote, QuickOffice making it possible to take (not high-res) photos with the front-facing camera, it turns out that imo (instant messenger) and Facebook apps can also do this. (9/17/12)

That's it for now. Some interesting and unusual news reviews will come later.

If you have anything pro or con to share on a newly delivered Kindle Fire HD, please feel free to add that in the comments area.

  For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard(U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

  *Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE.  Or click on the web browser's BACK button Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!


  1. Hi,

    Could somebody tell me the exact width and the height of the Kindle Fire HD 7" screen. For Kindle Fire, Wikipedia says 'The visible area of the screen is 6×3.5 inches (150×89 mm)'. Is it the same for the new device?

    In the old 1024X600 I found that when you view a dense text manual like a PDF in full page portrait mode it's not readable because the 600 width side is not enough and I always thought only if it had just a bit more pixels in width. I wonder the extra 200 pixels make it possible to read text documents in full page mode now. I would appreciate if anybody can publish some high quality pictures of opening a text rich PDF or something in full page in the portrait mode.


    -- Matthew

  2. Matthew,
    The Kindle Fire HD is wider than the Kindle Fire 1 but is just as long. So you have a better chance of seeing the full width of your document.

    In any case you can pinch-zoom in and decrease size until you get it all in.

    With some docs you can double-click and it will enlarge the fonts of any pure text and rewrap it but that's not true of all PDFs and more likely not so with text manuals with heavy illustrations.

    I use the ezPDF reader (free) and it does fit-to-page on most of mine. It's a favorite PDF reader though some like the Adobe app for PDFs too.

    Try ezPDF with your old KFire and see how it goes...

    I haven't put any on my KFireHD that are too wide and don't have time right now. But am curious how you find the reading with ezPDF.

    1. Hi,
      I would greatly appreciate if you could, measure the width and height of the visible screen area of the 7" Fire HD with a ruler. I couldn't the find the exact specs anywhere, other than the full dimensions of the whole tablet.

    2. I've no ruler but have a measuring tape and the front part has a metal start that doesn't allow me to measure it flush against the surface.
      The old KFire ia a bit more than 6" x 3.5"

      The new one is 6" x 3.75" or a little over.

      For PDFs that are complex, I'd get a 10" display though! These PDFs were made for paper that's 8 x 11.5 and so the text will always be smaller. The iPad with retina would likely be best if you're PDF intensive.

  3. It's great that we're seeing tricks and other things already coming out. Good for the Kindle lovers.

  4. could anybody tell how to switch the bluetooth keyboard kindle fire to spanish version. I need to write in spanish but no way to find the "ñ" nor accents

    1. Anonymous,
      The new Kindle Fires had a software upgrade to v7.2.1 and one thing it now offers is:

      " *Ability for customers to set the default device language to one of six languages, including English (US), English (UK), German, French, Italian, and Spanish. "

      I don't have time to look it up right now but I think that if one does this, then the keyboard would have the necessary characters since you can set the default device language to Spanish.

      If you try this today, let us know. Thanks.

  5. my kindle fire hd froze then the screen timed out and is stuck black,it wont let me do anything,any ideas?

  6. Nathan,
    The power button is hard to press and keep in but hold the tablet against you and hold the power button for about 30 seconds. Then let go. After awhile it will restart by itself or you can press the power button (or long-press it) and it should start-up again.

    Must have been a memory freeze, as with computers. Let me know.

  7. i have problem in wifi in my new KFHD IF U CAN ADVICE OR HELP ME

    1. hakim
      You don't mention what your problem is.

      Two other things.
      First, you can reach Amazon Kindle Support for help as this may be a complicated matter.

      Go to to give them a way to reach you.

      Second, go to Amazon's Kindle Community forum, where other Kindle owners can help you at any time of the day or night, as it's a world-wide community.

      Hope that helps.

    2. my problem is i can connect to router but not to internet i found x white mark on wifi logo
      in the right side of screen.
      thanks in advance

    3. hakim, I've never seen an 'x' white mark on wifi logo.

      But I suggest you first turn off your device (you still haven't confirmed you have a Kindle Fire HD) and THEN turn off our router too.

      Then turn your router back on and when it's working, try to connect your maybe-Kindle-Fire-HD again.

      If that doesn't work, please use the two links I gave you to try to get you some other help outside of here as well, where I'm not available too often.

      You may also need to contact your Internet host.


NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

[Valid RSS]