Fun things to do with your new Kindle Fire HD

Fun things to do with your new Kindle HD

If you just got a Kindle, congratulations!

Once you’ve taken care of the most important thing (choosing which account you’ll use), and maybe set the parental controls so you don’t have any surprise charges, it’s time to have some fun!

While all Kindles are fun, they can’t all do the same things. Before you plunge into these quick suggestions, make sure you know which Kindle you have:

Which Kindle Do I Have?

While just to keep things simple, I’m just listing items for a Kindle Fire HD, some of these will also work with other models.

Note: while most of these are free, some do require purchase of an app. Please check the price before clicking or tapping the Buy button. In many cases, they do require download of an app, even if it is free. Also, these are available to US customers, and may not be available elsewhere.

This is mostly just a listing. If you have questions about them, please free to ask by commenting on this post.

One last thing: I have used all of the apps listed here. There are certainly many other options, and I won’t guarantee that each is the best possible solution for you. :)

Fun things to do with your new Kindle Fire HD

  1. Take a picture (tap Photos: there is a camera icon)
  2. Send a text
  3. Make a phone call
  4. Make a videocall using Skype (Skype is installed; you may need to set up an account)
  5. Play Magic Piano
  6. Play Angry Birds Star Wars
  7. Get a free trial for a magazine
  8. Send an e-mail (E-mail is installed; you’ll need to configure your accounts, which is generally easy)
  9. Check the weather
  10. Watch webcams around the world
  11. Go retro and play Atari games
  12. Get a free e-book
  13. Get a free song
  14. Get the free app of the day
  15. Check out the Kindle Daily Deal
  16. Set up a free Flipboard account and get news and your Twitter feed
  17. Make plasma sounds
  18. Watch Netflix
  19. Listen to Songza
  20. Listen to local radio stations
  21. Turn the world into art with Paper Camera
  22. Enhance your TV experience with Zeebox
  23. Level a table
  24. Measure something
  25. Put a pricewatch on a Kindle book, so you know when it goes down in price
  26. Have your Kindle read a book out loud to you (tap towards the top middle of the page, tap Aa, tap More options, turn Text-to-Speech On)
  27. Chat with other people inside a book (long-press ((hold your finger or stylus on something for about a second)) something, choose Share)
  28. Find local movie showtimes with Fandango
  29. Make notes (including pictures) about who gave what with Evernote
  30. Play my favorite game on the Kindle Fire, the word game Dabble
  31. Light up the room (including flashing police lights)
  32. “X-Ray” a movie (Videos- Prime Videos…you can see if a movie has X-Ray or not before you start it running. Tap the screen while the movie is running, and you’ll see a choice for X-Ray: tap that, and get info about actors in that scene, including links to other movies in which they appear)
  33. X-Ray a book (open a book and tap towards the top middle of the screen…you’ll see the option)
  34. Have a Roku? “Throw” your pictures or personal videos on the screen with Juice for Roku
  35. Make a voice recording (perhaps have the group in the room say something appropriate for the event)
  36. Make a video recording

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

21 Responses to “Fun things to do with your new Kindle Fire HD”

  1. Jennifer J. Martin (Gran Jen) Says:

    Merry Christmas, Bufo! Thanks for all you do!

  2. Joseph Holmberg@gmail.com Says:

    Hello!

    Maybe I miscounted but didn’t you say there is a hundred things to do with a Kindle Fire HD and you only listed 36 things to do? I am kidding you! :-)

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Joseph!

      Thanks for catching that! I’ve corrected it.

      I originally set out do do 100, but ran out of time (not things). I corrected it in a couple of places, but I didn’t realize I’d missed one.

      Thanks again! I really appreciate it when someone takes the time to help make a post better and/or more accurate.

    • Mimi Says:

      thx for putting this on here because i am having a yard sale and if i raise enough money im going 2 buy a blue kindle and a red kindle

  3. danny63 Says:

    Number 3 on the list leading to Magic Jack app was astounding–you can make free calls, as advertised. I have one question that I haven’t been able to run down, however. Has anybody had the problem of not being to delete particular numbers? I’ve only found the option of deleting all your numbers. Not important, I guess, but it bugs me.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, danny63!

      What problem are you having? In Magic Jack, I tap the Contacts button. If I am on the Magic Jack list (as opposed to the Android list…I have both), I long press (hold my finger or stylus on it for about a second). When I do, I get a choice to “Edit”, and tapping that gives me a choice to “Delete”.

      Hm…that’s deleting the contact. Are you trying to delete one number for a specific contact?

      • danny63 Says:

        Thanks for clearing this up. The list in question is called the calls list and it is accessed by pressing on the recent icon..I was trying to save numbers there instead of entering them in contacts. How stupid! Also have trouble with touch screens so I was calling people I didn’t mean to. Mr. Low Tech strikes again. But I love the app–thanks for writing about it.

  4. Janine Wieland Says:

    Hi – a general app query : my daughter uses the maps app from Google on her iPhone – and it’s really good. Is it possible to download this app onto the Kindle Fire?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Janine!

      Google Maps would generally be downloaded from Google Play. Google has chosen not to recognize the Kindle Fire as a device for download from Google Play. I put it that way because it appears not to be an actual question of whether or not apps from there would work on the device, since you can get some of them from other sources.

      For example, there is

      http://www.1mobile.com/

      I checked that one for Google Maps, and it didn’t have it…which didn’t surprise me. My guess is that Google will keep close tabs on that one.

      You can use the web-based version of Google Maps, which will give you directions (but not, I think, turn by turn). I get to it through the Maxthon browser on my Fire.

      You can also get other map apps through the Amazon Appstore:

      Kindle Fire compatible map apps at Amazon

      Not every app is compatible with every Kindle Fire model…you do want to check that before you get the app.

      • Janine Wieland Says:

        thanks for your comments – (you’re so speedy!) I thought this would be the answer… Why Google should single out the Kindle as not being worthy I can’t imagine – you can download this app to just about every other device known to man. I haven’t found a map app at Amazon that comes anywhere near Google maps. If you hear of any shift in this Google resistance, please post it big and bold!
        Cheers.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Janine!

        If the Play store ever recognizes the Kindle Fire, I’ll certainly trumpet it. :)

        As to why…well, Google and Amazon are clearly competitors, and they’ve been on opposite sides of some things. Amazon has allowed competitors to have apps in its Appstore (Netflix, for example, which is a competitor to Amazon’s Instant Video), but not everybody does that. Maybe I’ll try some apps and let you know…

  5. smoothreentry Says:

    The main thing I want to do on an electronic reader is read blogs on wordpress.com and be able to write comments! What do you think is the best e reader for that specific purpose?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, smoothreentry!

      It’s easy enough to read blogs on, say, the Kindle Paperwhite. The Paperwhite is the most comfortable reading experience I’ve had, including reading on paper. You can read them on the “Mindle”, for that matter (that’s the least expensive Kindle).

      Commenting, though, is going to be more difficult. Short comments are doable, but you don’t have a keyboard and can’t attach one. For that reason, the Kindle Keyboard might be a better bet (but even there, lengthy comments may be a challenge). Another important thing to note is that you’ll have to go from the Kindle-packaged blog to the website to actually make the comment.

      A tablet with Bluetooth (like the Kindle Fire HD), lets you use a full-sized keyboard, if you think you want that.

      If all I wanted to do is what you describe, I’d probably go with the

      Kindle Keyboard wi-fi only

      although Amazon appears to be out of the wi-fi only version right now. That moves you up to the 3G version at $139 in the USA at time of writing:

      Kindle Keyboard with wi-fi and 3G

      At that point, for $60 more you can get a Kindle Fire HD (but you would pay separately for a Bluetooth keyboard, if you wanted that). That might be worth it if you also visit other websites, watch movies, use apps (like Flipboard, which is how I get to the blogs I read, usually) and games, read magazines…and don’t already carry another tablet or other mobile device that can do that:

      Kindle Fire HD 7″

      I’m always reluctant to say that anything is the best, because people are so different, but I hope that helps.

  6. smoothreentry Says:

    I have a Kindle Keyboard LOL. I wonder what I am doing wrong that is making it hard to read wordpress.com blogs? I am going under “experimental” to get to the web browser.

    I will check for firmware update when I get home…

    Also, I just found out about the “Send to Kindle” plug-in for chrome. That is huge!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, smoothreentry!

      You can subscribe to many of the

      WordPress blogs in the Kindle store

      which is what I had thought you might be doing. :)

      You do pay for those (this one is ninety-nine cents a month, for example), and it’s a way to support the author (I’m very grateful to my subscribers).

      However, you aren’t able to comment directly from there.

      Yes, Send to Kindle is great! :)

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  10. Angela Mccombs Says:

    Im tryin to purchase a kindle,im just wantin to know,will i be able to browse the web,do facebook,instragram,play candy crush,play music.watch movies,take pictures.and how much would my activation fee be monthly? Like to.get the kindle up and running

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Angela!

      In order to do those things, you would need a Kindle Fire (other Kindles can’t do several things on your list).

      A Kindle HDX would do many of them well. The only issue would be taking pictures. Only the 8.9″ has a rear-facing camera. The 7″ has a front-facing camera, which is mainly for videocalls (although I have taken pictures with it).

      There is no activation or monthly fee for a Kindle. To use it effectively, you need to connect it to the internet. If you have wi-fi at home, that can work well. If you want a model with 4G access (similar to a cellphone), you would need a data plan for it, and you would pay for that monthly…but not to Amazon.

      While not required, the $99 annual Prime service really enhances the use of a Kindle Fire. It is primarily a shipping service (two-day shipping at no additional cost on many items), but also has lots of no additional cost video (which would match your desire to watch movies).

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