NEW FEATURES in latest updates for the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch and Kindle Fire 2 tablets
The two new updates -- v7.2.2 for Kindle Fire HD 7" and v10.2.3 for Kindle fire 2 -- will automatically download and install for most Kindle Fire customers.
UK Links are: Kindle Fire HD 7" v7.2.2, UK and Kindle Fire 2, v10.2.3, UK.
GeckoFriend and Betsy the Quilter at Kindleboards.com discovered the updates ready to go on the Amazon servers and they include features people have requested -- one for the front-facing camera app for the 7" HD model and the long-awaited SWYPE keyboard mode for both newer 7" models. Moderator Ann in Arlington points out that the 8.9" Kfire HD tablet already has the camera app built in and comes Swype-featured, which I hadn't noticed
Amazon's sending these over the air already
I just found that I received my v7.2.2 update over the air - Checked by swiping down my Top Menu to get "More" and then "Settings," where I looked at "Device," then "About" and saw that I already have System Version 7.2.2.
The Swype Keyboard mode is accessed by just starting to draw a line through the keyboard characters you want 'typed' pausing slightly at each letter. I just did 'erstwhile' that way and it worked right away. Had never used it before. I could type it faster, but others love this feature.
Although we mentioned on Nov. 10 the HD Camera app, which has unusually fast and thorough customer support from the appmaker and repeated earlier instructions on how to activate the many front-facing camera features such as panoramic mode, time-lapses and video via the ES File Explorer, Amazon is now offering their own (very basic) camera app.
NOTE that the new Camera app is initiated with an icon of a camera in the Photos section (top menu - Home screen) but it's limited to taking a picture and, as with the more flexible basic mode using ES File Explorer (free) and also the HD Camera app, the basic camera function allows you to send the photos through email or to your Dropbox, for instance.
For those who don't want to wait for the software update to arrive over the air, you can *start* the update from the Kindle Fire (see the appropriate software update page for each on how to do that -- essentially it's sync'g the Kindle Fire with the servers via the option on your top-menu quick-settings row but they want you to make sure you have a full battery before doing the sync).
For those who prefer to do the updates via USB cable because you don't have WiFi), the update files are at the Amazon server locations linked above.
The Kindle Fire HD 7" update includes the following, in Amazon's words (Amazon kept changing the software-update page wording on new features while I was writing this blog and driving me bonkers).
- Camera app. You can now use the front-facing web camera to take pictures of yourself with an included camera app in the Photos library.
[It earlier said "New and improved keyboard functionalities" and now says]
Swype. Swype is a keyboard feature that provides a fast way to enter text. It lets you create a word by drawing through letters. Swype also provides additional keyboard functions like copy and paste [ YAY ] and the ability to change the keyboard language.
- Japanese support Customers can now select Japanese as the device language.
[This was dropped as a stated new feature while I was typing this article.
But I do see it in my updated software under 'Keyboards.']
- Location based services will now be part of the parental control settings and will appear on the page where you can set parental control for individual apps/features [Amazon removed this while I was copying it, but the feature is in the new software.]
- Kindle FreeTime Unlimited. Kindle FreeTime Unlimited is a subscription service you can choose to sign up for within Kindle FreeTime. Parents can subscribe children's profiles to a wide variety of videos, apps, and games appropriate for ages 3-8. For more information, see www.amazon.com/freetimeunlimited.
The newer Basic Kindle Fire 2 doesn't have a camera, so no camera app for those.
UK residents: NOTE that the UK listing doesn't include FreeTime Unlimited.
IF Downloading Version 7.2.2 or 10.2.3This update automatically downloads and installs for most Kindle Fire customers; however, you can initiate the software update from your Kindle or manually download the software update via USB (some use WiFi File Explorer PRO app rather than USB).
Before you begin, confirm your current software version:
- Swipe down from the top of the screen and tap More.
- Tap Device, and then tap About.
NOTE that when it does, your Kindle Fire will reboot and sometimes it does that twice, so don't be alarmed when it happens while it's idle and you're nearby.
EARLIER posts on Kindle Fire HD
. Basic Features Comparison Table for iPad mini, Google Nexus 7", Kindle Fire HD 7"
. Comparison reviews of the Kindle Fire HD 7" and Google Nexus 7" tablets
. Step-by-step guide for installing a working Adobe Flash player when needed.
. Google Maps, Street View and other apps on my Kindle Fire, via enabling one device setting
. Downloading and playing YouTube videos on Kindle Fire HD
. Using the camera and Video, Panorama mode, Time Lapses
. App for WiFi file transfers w/o cable.
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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