Friday, October 19, 2012

Kindle Fire HD TIPS - How to Install Flash video player; Step-by-Step Guide; How to use Camera, Video, Panorama mode; app for WiFi transfers from/to computer to Kindle Fire


NOTE:  See "HOW TO INSTALL FLASH ON KINDLE FIRE HD" in the step-by-step version.

  In the end, it's also 'How to play Flash on Kindle Fire HD.'

  (The original non-HD version, with an older operating system can play Flash, as Adobe supports the older versions.)

Some of the answers below are solutions to questions asked in the forums.

Q: Why can't I zoom images with the Kindle Fire?
A: You can, on all the Kindle Fires.

  Long-press the Image and, after a couple of seconds, you'll get a popup with an option to "Zoom"   Click on that. If the image is in Landscape mode, rotate the KFire.  Then if you still can't see enough detail, pinch zoom to enlarge it, zooming-in even more for detail.

  NOTE: This also works for the Paperwhite and Kindle Touch except for the pinch-zoom.

Q: Why can't I play network TV (or, at times, Youtube) videos on Kindle Fire HD which are playable with the original Kindle Fire?
A: Although Adobe has ended support for Flash Player on mobile browsers, there are some browsers that support the final Flash Player file, still made available on some developer forums for devices like the Google Nexus and the Kindle Fire.  A few Youtube videos still need Flash to run (Les Miserables trailer was one.)

  Per Amazon's Kindle Forum discussions, users of the Google Nexus and Kindle Fire HD are using, as needed, older Adobe Flash files offered at XDA Developers Forum plus the Dolphin browser, which supports Adobe Flash while the last Adobe Flash update still works.

  When needing to see a video requiring Flash, you'd switch to Dolphin browser for that.  (It's been said that the Chrome mobile browser supports older flash files too, but I've not tried it.)

  A Setting that must be done before doing any of this
  Amazon allows users to choose to install apps from "unknown sources" and you can "enable" that (do this only with files recommended by people you trust) by going to the 'Home' screen and swiping down (lightly pressing and pulling down) from the top of the screen, to see the Quick Settings Menu; then click on "More" at the right, and go down that Settings list to "Device" to Check the box to allow installation of applications from 'unknown sources.'

  Also, when Android devices don't have rights to view some video material, the Dolphin browser has a "user agent" setting and you can then be seen by the video webpage as using an iPad or a Desktop instead, which usually solves the problem.  Remember to switch back to Android later.

Q: Why can't I use the front-facing camera for anything but Skype?
A: You can, as some popular apps can use the camera and there is a way to open or activate the camera via the versatile and free file manager app, ES File Explorer

There are many Kindle Fire apps that can use the camera as a secondary function, and Kindle owners have tended to recommend the Evernote or Facebook apps for this.  But that doesn't give you access to the several features and controls that are there.

Here's how to open the camera via ES File Explorer, once you've installed it.
  1.  Press Apps at the top of the Home screen (or find it in your Favorites
       if you made it a fave) and then click on the ES File Explorer to open it.
  2.  In the top row, click on AppMgr.
  3.  In the top row still, click on Category
  4.  Choose System apps button
  5.  Select camera
  6.  Choose Open

  And that's it!

You'll find yourself with a choice of
  1.   PANORAMA mode shooting (Yes! Works nicely too.)
  2.   NORMAL CAMERA shooting, with choice of scenes, exposure compensation,
        and type of white balance
  3.   VIDEO at 480p, 720p (DON'T use the 1080p one, it crashes)
        time lapse intervals; snd type of white balance
        (It can't do actual HD but it's decent.
         You can see his Skype image at the app page.

The camera's better than I had expected.  From what I've seen, it's just something under 1MB pixels but good enough for casual snapshots and videoclips (which are in MP4 format), considering it's a front-facing camera meant mainly for Skype video-chats.

When you're ready to shoot, including making a sweeping panorama, press the round red button.  For videos, it becomes a square red button that you push when ending the video.

After doing a brief videoclip almost in the dark, I tried pressing a button for 'BBC' to see what on earth that was for, and it offered to send my 'report' to the BBC.  Oh, I don't think so.

You can find the resulting photos and videos under ES Explorer's /sdcard/DCIM/Camera folder.

  I personally find it ultra awkward to shoot a scene or subject without being able to view it except to twist myself into a position to see the front of the tablet at the same time or view it while shooting behind me.  :-)  But it's doable if you really want to record the scene.

Q: Can I transfer files to and from the Kindle Fire HD without a cable?
A: Yes. With WiFi File Explorer PRO ($0.99), you're free of trying to find the cable and make the connections.
  • Manage files between your Android device and computer without using a cable
  • View and send photos and other files from your phone via a secure Wi-Fi connection
  • See all files in a password-protected Web browser
  • Stream music from your phone directly to your computer
  • Configure port settings to your preferences

Amazon adds:
' When you open the app, it automatically detects nearby Wi-Fi networks and supplies you with a URL address to enter into the Web browser of your computer.   You'll also be prompted to enter a password (which you will create when you first begin using the app).

  Once your phone is connected to the Wi-Fi network, it's easy to go to the computer (which must also be connected to the network) and access the Web address. You'll find that your phone's files are there to be browsed, downloaded, or even streamed whenever you wish.

  In this PRO version, you can also upload, sync, delete, copy, and zip or unzip all the files on your Android phone and computer, which makes it a great overall file manager. '

The free version doesn't allow transfers TO the Kindle Fire, so paying the 99c should be worth it.  
  Be sure to turn off 'sharing' once any transfers are done.

Screen Captures
Remember that you can do a screenshot fairly easily.

RELATED posts on Kindle Fire HD 7" which relate also to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" (descriptions of Kindle 7" features will apply to the HD 8.9" model also).

  . Getting non-Amazon apps on Kindle Fires (non-HD Kindle Fires have storage space limitations)
  . How to install Adobe Flash Player
  . Google Maps, Street View and other apps on my Kindle Fire, via enabling one device setting
     Also, TubeMate app for Youtube will download videos to play on your Kindle Fire,
      and BSPlayer app will play almost ANY video format.
  . Using the camera and Video, Panorama mode, Time Lapses
  . Add Wi-Drive pocketable disk/stream'g for Kindle models
      and for other tablet or phone devices,
      or, Portable wireless 320G Patriot Gauntlet drive/stream'g for 7" & 8.9" devices.
  . 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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  1. Paperwhite and Kindle Touch do support pinch zoom of images for books in KF8 format.

    1. Tom, yes. I tried it out on the KTouch and did not like that it more or less raised the FONTS as well in jerky increments and was just not smooth. Didn't like the implementation, but I should modify it to show it does something :-)
      Wait, are you saying the books in KF8 format (I may not have one of those books, though most of mine are photography books on the Kfire) have SMOOTH zoom-in on both Paperwhite and Kindle Touch?

    2. Ah, I should have explained a little better. Pinch adjusts font size when in reading mode.

      As for image zoom, it is a little odd:

      With KF8, you can tap and hold on the image, and a zoom/magnification icon appears. Then tap the icon, then it zooms to fit screen but won't change orientation to fit better. You can also double tap on the image to go directly to zoom mode. Once there you can do your pinch to make it bigger or smaller, and use one finger drag to pan around. When you are done tap the 'X' icon to exit zoom mode. It is pretty smooth.

      With mobi format, tap and hold the image. You get a zoom/magnification icon. tap that and it zooms to fit screen, changing orientation if it fits better that way. You cannot pinch to zoom in or out, and so no panning. Then tap to return to normal view. Double tapping the image does not work as with kf8, it will just flip a couple of pages forward!

      Fixed layout KF8 (not supported on KT yet) is different still. In page or panel view, you can use two finger spread directly to zoom in, but you cannot pinch zoom out from the initial view's zoom level.

      It is a little harder on PW to tell if a book is mobi or KF8. On the Kindle Touch the line spacing of KF8 is noticeably larger. But on PW it looks like they have fixed it so they are the same.

  2. I am new to kindle please forgive my ignorance. I just purchased two fire hd's for my children as xmas gifts. They are both linked to my account, therefore one has the name at the top listed as Tina's Kindle, the other as Tina's second Kindle. Is there a way to put their names on them to identify which one belongs to which child? Thank you.

  3. Tina, no "ignorance" involved. Kindle owners have all been new to Kindle at one time.

    Yes, since the two Kindle Fires are linked to your account, you can go to your Kindle Management page at

    At the left -- under "Your Kindle Account" -- click on "Manage Your Devices" and when you're brought to that page, you'll see a row of info for each Kindle device you own.

    The first column is "Kindle Name" -- and there's a blue "Edit" option there in smaller font. Click on that to change the name on the Kindle to anything you like.

    Hope that helps. If you have any problem, let me know. Your children must be pretty excited!

    1. Thanks for this post. We bought the kids Kindle Fire 2's last year also and I thought we were doomed to the given names. The kids were excited when I sync-ed the kindles and their names came up. Yeah!

    2. Whoa, Tina! Good to hear back from you and that things went well. Thanks for taking the time :-)

  4. This was really helpful.

  5. i'm still able to download flash player for my kindle fire hd. i want to watch a movies from other websites apart from youtub....can someone help me please?

    1. Anonymous, I think you may have meant that you're still -not- able to download flash player for your Kindle Fire HD and especially for flash needed beyond YouTube -- it's the same procedure though.

      Try the blog article here, with the first section being How to Install Flash Player on the Kindle Fire HD and let me know where there might be confusion in the steps.

  6. help!! I'm unable to view any web content such as pictures or images-. for example when I log in to I'm only able to see the words and not the pictures. does this have to do with Adobe or something?

    1. Anonymous, your web browser menu settings may be set accidentally to check the box for no images.

      It's easy to accidentally mark the setting boxes, with a touch screen, unfortunately. Just click on Web and then Menu and check your Settings. Good luck!

  7. i recently bought my kindle fire and i live in the west indies i cannot view any movies or games or books they say it free even adobe is not accessible to me

  8. I have a Kindle Fire HD 7 and am considering selling it and purchasing a Kindle Fire HD 8.9. Is there a way through Kindle management to "transfer" content without having to go thru the set-up processes again> (ie e-mail accounts and settings/bookmarks, etc)

    1. Anonymous, Jan. 2, at 1:21PM PST
      Email account has to be set up again but it takes only about 3 minutes. Bookmark settings are browser-driven and those are re-installed but no settings are memorized. If you made a lot of changes from default settings, I'd go through them and make a list of what you want to change with the new one....

      Books and apps are all in the Cloud and are merely downloaded. With books, your last-page-read and annotations have all been kept and will download with the book...

      Good luck!

  9. Anonymous, Jan. 2, at 6:41AM PST
    For those outside the U.S. who are unable to use Amazon's Android appstore or its instant videos, the following articles give ideas for how to get and install non-Amazon apps.

    I've received word that people in other countries can get apps (games, tools) with the instructions in those articles.

    See Getting and installing non-Amazon apps

    and How to install Adobe Flash player

    As for Kindle books, does Amazon sell the Kindle in the West Indies? I guess you bought it probably knowing Amazon doesn't have int'l rights on most books. Waterstones sells them in the UK.

    Kindle Fire can use apps "Montano" and "Aldiko" which are available at and several other app stores. These two can read ePub books even with Digital Rights Management on them, legally. See the first link, re getting non-Amazon apps. Sorry I don't know anything re book rights and the West Indies.

  10. Just bought a Kindle Fire HD 8.9" for someone who is 82 years old and wanted it solely to read the newspaper, magazines, etc. He needs to enlarge the fonts on articles, and I cannot find a font-enlargement button, icon or app! If he can't get bigger fonts easily, the Kindle is going back to Amazon...can anyone help?

    1. Anonymous,
      1. For Books and Newspapers on the KFHD 8.9"
      Tap lightly anywhere in the center of the KFHD 8.9" while reading one of these and that'll bring up the 'Aa" font options either at the top or on the side.
      You can enlarge the font or change the style/face, reduce/enlarge margins or lines between rows etc.

      Best, if you rotate it to Landscape mode you can choose an Aa option of 2 pages at a time while raising the font to make it readable.

      2. For Magazines, double-click on the TEXT of a normal magazine layout page and it presents you the page in book-style form. Very readable.

      Hope this gets to you on time if you didn't find the answer already.

  11. Sometimes I can play hd movies thru my projector using a mini hdmi to hdmi cable,I think it's 720 from the looks of it, sometimes I can't, I get a message from the kindle fire had saying their is a problem with the hdmi connection, and I see a 480p in the corner of the screen, any thoughts?

    1. Yes, on the HD 7", it's 720p. I wonder why sometimes you can't... Could it be the connector -- does jiggling help it be more secure?

      Maybe the Internet connection gets slower or more congested in your neighborhood and then the Internet host will cut back the speed and drop it to a lower resolution. You get better luck with Cable, as it's about 20mbps while DSL tends to peak at 6mbps...

  12. Have not had any luck finding an answer to my dilemma! So here it goes...hope someone knows what's going on with my Kindle HD Fire 7". My son loves to watch things on Youtube (such as angry bird videos) via Youtube app. Haven't had bad problems with it until yesterday. It "crashes" and kindle either doesn't respond which then i turn it off. But then sometimes I can't get it to come on again. It happened all day yesterday. Do you think it's dying? I have not really tried other apps etc yet.

    1. beribboned, I'd "reset" it by pressing the power button and holding it down for about 21 seconds and then releasing the button. After about 10 seconds, press the power button again and leave the area for awhile, as it will probably slowly reconfigure memory and sort of soft-reboot the device as we do our computers.

      Also, I'd download tubemate from the Amazon appstore, as it is more reliable and just more effective for Youtube than the Youtube app is. It also allows you to download the videos, though it's better if you have a 32Gig device before downloading too much in the way of videos, as they're large files.

      Amazon recently added Experimental Streaming Viewer, which will play Flash on most sites through its browser now. Hope this helps. Let me know if you can. Thanks.

  13. I'm trying to get my grandma's new kindle fire hd 7" set up for her. She is post-stroke and can't see well anymore. Is there a way to zoom in on the home screen and in apps other than her books?

    1. Anonymous, July 13, 2013 at 1:18:00 PM PDT

      It depends, with apps, on how the apps are programmed. With web-browsing, you can use two fingers (or more) to pinch-zoom (spreading the characters further apart and making them bigger), but many apps are fixed in size to fit the screen.

      The home screen Carousel is pretty large, as it is but MAYBE she is viewing it in vertical or portrait mode rather than horizontal or landscape mode. The latter will help a lot in the size of the content, though not as much will show at a time (depending on what you're viewing).

      Hope that helps...

  14. how can i use internet stick in kindle fire 2012 as i don't have access to WIFI all the time? this is important for me..plz help

    1. To anonymous as well as to Rahul:
      There's no way to attach an internet stick in the Kindle Fires... That would be a rare capability in tablets...

    2. Thank you Andrys for our prompt reply..

    3. Sure thing, and thanks for letting me know you were able to see it. I think some people aren't able to get back to find the answers at times.

  15. can I use internet connection stick/modem on kindle fire to brows internet ?

  16. Recently I bought my kindle fire and I live in Australia I cannot view any movies or games or books they say it free even adobe is not accessible to me.Regards.

    1. Makeover Games, in Australia you can't access Amazon video streaming services (they're U.S. only) and, from what I understand, you still don't have access to Amazon's U.S. app store. There IS an Australia Amazpn website, which might be helpful. In the meantime, you CAN view movies and games from other sources, if you use the steps in this blog entry. Also, the Adobe Flash player that I link to here should be accessible to you. Have you tried it yet?

  17. Hello Andrys, I hope you can help me once again!

    My gmail account on Kindle says it is unable to open server connection. It's been like this all day. Do you think I should remove it from the device and then add it again? I have gmail on my mobile, and although there is no message saying there is no connection, I've had no new messages since this morning there, either. Help!


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