A Day in the Life of a Kindleer 2014
This is one in a series of posts which I write about once a year. I do this primarily to give my readers some ideas they might use to get more out of their devices. I also think it’s interesting to go back and look at the previous ones, to see how much things have changed…and it’s always a lot.
I usually wake up between about 3:00 and 3:30 AM. That’s hours before I need to go to work, but I get a lot of things done (including writing) during that time.
I know what time it is because I have my
set up next to the bed as a clock. I use the built-in clock app, set in nightstand mode. There is no problem at all in reading that in the dark, although it would be quite dim (it’s lit in red) in a normally lit room…there are other clock options for other situations. The battery will have gone down about 40% since I went to bed.
It’s in the
from Amazon, in a configuration that makes it stand up. I did think that case was expensive (it’s $39.99 right now…$10 less than I paid for it in October of last year), but I have to say, it’s held up very well and I do use its features.
I pick it up facing me, so it won’t bother my Significant Other (it wouldn’t anyway, but I’m just being cautious) and head for the bathroom.
The two dogs we have now (both new since last year) don’t get up when I do that: they can be incredibly active for an hour or so at a time…but they also sleep better than most humans. ;)
I have a Cloud Collection with my morning apps. I’ll prop the Fire on the towel bar, and start with the
That’s the free app from my local station. I check that first in case there is anything that’s going to mess up traffic, but it is quite well designed. For one thing, I can flip articles from there into my
and e-mail articles easily to people if I want.
Oh, I should mention: before I start using the apps, I turn the wireless back on (I leave it off at night), increase the brightness from the lowest possible setting to about 25%, and turn off the orientation lock (I don’t like the clock flipping around while I’m carrying the Fire to the bathroom). I do all that by swiping down from the top.
After that, and while I’m doing some other morning tasks, it’s on to the
app. Again, I can flip and e-mail from there. I typically read the following sections:
I won’t finish all that before I head for the kitchen, dogs thumping on to the floor and “shaking it out” (I hear the dog tags jingle) to follow me. Well, we don’t go to the kitchen first: we all go outside for a bit. I start my morning exercise there. I do about 45 minutes, twice a day…as the baseline. I track that with the free
app. Over the course of more than a year, I’ve lost more than forty pounds. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long time, and eating wasn’t really the issue for me: it was doing regular exercise. This app has kept me on track with that, entering my food and my activity.
We come back in and I feed the dogs. I eat a small bag of almonds myself (Trader Joe’s sells these “handful” size bags), then back to finish the exercise. I set the Fire up on the entertainment unit and keep reading while I work out. That’s not always convenient: I can only really change the pages between reps or sets (I’m doing my own brand of calisthenics, really…I walk with a cane, so I need to come up with things that will work and still burn the calories).
I’ll run out of CNN before I run out of exercise, usually, so it’s on to my morning
read. Again, this is a free app. I highly recommend it: you can customize what you see, and it very much fills the void of having a morning newspaper. I flip articles from into my magazines also.
Somewhere in here, I finish the exercise, and make and eat breakfast…still reading Flipboard usually.
I also have CNN on the TV…with the sound muted during some of this. There are exercises where I just can’t read my Fire…so at least I can read a news crawl. ;)
After Flipboard, it’s on to the
app. That’s where I’m going to approve your comments.
I honestly like to have seen the news myself first, before I get comments on it. That gives me a better perspective, and often makes it easy for me to make a valuable reply. I love it when a reader gives me a heads-up for something which I haven’t seen yet!
I’m not quite writing replies, yet, unless something urgent arises. If that happens, or if big enough news was revealed in the free apps, I’ll go to…a desktop. Yep, an actual desktop computer. While the built-in dictation app on the Fire works remarkably well (easily translating my spoken words into text), it’s faster for me to type on a full-sized keyboard.
Next is the Maxthon browser. I’m pretty sure I got that from Amazon originally, but it isn’t currently available for the KFHDX. It is my favorite browser, and the one I also usually use on the desktop (I’m using it right now). I believe you can get it at 1Mobile for the Fire. I like the privacy mode, and I like how it syncs my favorites easily between devices. I also have Chrome, Dolphin, and Silk available to me on my Fire, but don’t use them much.
I hit some favorites in Maxthon:
- I go Amazon and get the free app of the day (almost every time)
- I check the Kindle Daily Deals
- I check BoxOfficeMojo
- I check my Flipboard magazines reader counts (I now have thousands of readers for them)
- I may check IMDb.com news, but one negative for that is that I can’t flip from there into my magazines…for that reason, I may wait until I’m on Chrome on the desktop…and that’s the main reason I use Chrome, is for the Flipboard extension
One more morning stop: the built-in e-mail app on my Fire, where I check my incoming e-mail. Again, I won’t tend to respond there, but it’s a great place to read the mail.
Now, let me point out: I’ve been reading the Fire for over an hour at this point…and it’s all been free items.
Then, it’s usually on to the desktop to write. I may have the Fire open alongside that, but usually not. At this point, it’s charging. It doesn’t take it very long to charge to 100%…I don’t think it’s an hour. I use the
I like it a lot! I broke one (not the device’s fault…the Fire slipped off the arm of the couch and slid between the arm and the cushion: that, not unreasonably, bent the jack) and replaced it.
If I have more time to read before I leave, it may be sight-reading a book (some times borrowed from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, or now, from Kindle Unlimited). I may also read Fortean Times using the Zinio app, which you get from the Zinio site. I pay for that, and I may have paid for the book I’m reading (or I’m reading it because of Prime or Kindle Unlimited…that’s no additional cost, but there has been a cost). I also do read books I’ve gotten for free. Oh, and I also read
I’m not averse to paying for content…it is nice that a lot what I like is available for free to me. :)
Heading off to work (and my commute varies, since I go to different places…it can be an hour), it’s text-to-speech in the car, so more book time. :) My adult kid did get me an Audible subscription recently…I used my first credit to get a Pimsleur beginning Japanese course. I’ve listened to that in the car (using the Audible app), but it’s much more likely to be TTS.
I have my Fire with me all the time at work. I can sometimes get by with that rather than with my laptop: I work in cramped spaces sometimes, and it’s a relief.
sometimes (which I got as a Free App of the Day) to do viewing and light-editing of Microsoft Office files), and I use
(yet another free app) to make quick notes, often using the dictation feature again (speech-to-text).
I have Evernote, but I’ve never gotten into it, for some reason.
Mainly, though, I’m reading at breaks and at lunch. :) I am not normally connected to wireless, so I use my phone to approve comments and check things. Starting later this week, that should be my
I’m excited for that!
When I get home, I turn airplane mode back off, and it’s back to e-mail, checking the web, and reading.
It’s probably worth noting that I use the
We do seem to save a lot of money with it (it’s free)…and it lets us know what savings it has on things we have bought before. That’s very convenient!
As a nightly thing, I switch to the
for actually reading in bed before going to sleep. I’m usually asleep by 9:00…I get about six hours sleep a night. Just two years ago, I regularly got eight hours (9:00 PM to 5:00 AM), but I don’t know if it’s the lost weight or just getting older, but I don’t need that much any more. I wake up naturally…no alarm.
One more thing which I use a lot more on the weekend than I do during the week:
I do use it some during the week. In one of our rooms, we do not have cable access at all: we just use the Fire TV. I watch Amazon Prime video on it. For one thing, I’m working my way back through
Some of it is quite ahead of its time! I just got to enjoy some SmartWatch jokes…with the AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the watch not enjoying what it sees when, for example, the wearer puts hands in pockets. ;)
I also use Netflix, and a couple of apps which didn’t come with it:
Once again, it’s free…and it’s a good source of news stories (I like keeping up with the news). I can start a category of news story, and it will play them like a playlist…not that different from watching a news channel. There are some ads, but it’s not like the amount of commercials on a cable channel. The only annoying thing is that you may see the same short commercial over and over again. One tip: if it, or any app on your Fire TV locks up, you can go to Settings – Applications, and similar to on a Kindle Fire, clear the cache and/or force stop it.
It’s a decent interface (although I wish it had voice search), and it’s good for something short. I usually check was trending, and I may search for something, although it is often obscure (I recently watched Frank Gorshin doing impressions on the Dean Martin show, for example).
Let’s see what else I use on the Fire:
Oh, I use
every day…consider that part of the morning routine. I didn’t think of it at first, because I don’t invoke it: it’s in my notifications. I find it to be pretty accurate…and again, it’s free. I have it set in centigrade: I decided to convert to that a while back. I have trouble thinking of the temperatures in Fahrenheit now, so it’s nice that it has the option. Centigrade is just simpler: zero is literally freezing, ten is cold, twenty is fine for most people, thirty is hot. That’s rule of thumb, but works pretty well.
I tend to use the calendar on my phone, rather than on my KFHDX, but I will check an app which is no longer available. It shows my Google calendar: I could do that in the built-in calendar app, but this one had a nicer format.
I also suggest you use
I use it more than once a week to clean up junk files on my Fire, and it seems to work very well. Guess how much it costs? ;) Nothing…
I also use
on the weekend (not to purchase tickets, just to get times), and without thinking about it I use
The only reason I even notice it is it places a little tone when the Fire is 100% charged: nice to be able to hear it when I’m working on the desktop.
There, I think that’s about it! I do some shopping from Amazon it, but I think that gives you a sense of a day in the life of this Kindleer…2014, and pre-Fire Phone. :)
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.