Menu map: Kindle Fire 8.9″ 4G 8.3.0

Menu map: Kindle Fire 8.9″ 4G 8.3.0

In the Menu Maps series of posts, I take you through the menu options on a specific Kindle device. That will make it easier for you to find things, and may make you aware of things you didn’t know your Kindle could do.

This time, I’m going to run through the menus on the home screen (there are just too many to do in one post if I start on in-book menus and such…perhaps another time) on a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless 32GB (with Special Offers). This is based on firmware version 8.3.0. This is a recent update, and I do think some things have changed.

I think the menus here will be similar to those for an 8.9″ without 4G (except for the ones related to that), and likely similar for other Kindle Fire HDs.

I’ll add comments where I think that’s appropriate. Do feel free to comment on this post if you have more questions.

What is a menu?

It gives you options, just like a menu in a restaurant. You select a menu (you might be tapping, clicking, arrowing and hitting enter…depends on the device), and see a series of choices. You pick one (if you want), and that “launches” (starts) something on your device.

The Icon Ribbon

You reach this by swiping down from the top.

  • Unlocked/Locked (controls whether or not the inclinometer will switch the Kindle from landscape ((wider than it is tall)) to portrait ((taller than it is wide)) when you tilt the device. I believe some apps lock it in one orientation, and then you have to unlock it manually…but I’m not positive about that
  • Volume (there are also physical volume buttons on this device. You don’t have to slide the controller: you can tap where you want it to be, enabling you to mute it quickly)
  • Brightness (brighter in bright light is better)
  • Wireless
  • *Airplane Mode (turning it on turns off wi-fi, 4G, Bluetooth…note: you can turn on one of these services manually while you have the Airplane Mode set to On)
  • *Mobile Network (to enable 4G or not)
  • * AT&T AllAccess (one of the things this does, when the Mobile Network is on, is let you see how much data you have used and how much you have left)
  • * Bluetooth
  • * Wi-Fi
  • Sync (syncs with Amazon’s servers…if you’ve bought something and it isn’t showing up, try the Sync)
  • More…

“More” brings up another menu, which I’ll start below:

  • Help & Feedback
  • * Getting Started
  • * User Guide
  • * Customer Service
  • * Feedback
  • My Account (this is where you can register or deregiser a device, manage your social networks ((tell it how to connect to your Facebook and/or Twitter account)), and manage your E-mail, Contacts, Calendars…you can change your setings and add accounts here)
  • Applications (this is one of the most important menus you have. You can get to apps here and Force Stop them, or clear the cache)
  • * Notification Settings (for each app)
  • * Installed Applications (give this time to load…you can see all of your applications here. Long press ((hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second)) to be able to Force stop, Uninstall, Clear Data, Clear Cache, and choose to have the app be the default app that gets launched in certain circumstances…and stop that. For example, you might have chosen to use a particular video player each time you launch a video, and now you want to change that)
  • * Collect App Usage Data (this was new with the latest update, and some people think it is contributing to battery charge drain. It collects information about how often and how long you use specific apps…according to Amazon, that is just used in aggregate information (it doesn’t identify you specifically)
  • * Sync Amazon Content
  • * Amazon Applications section
  • **Amazon GameCircle (You can show your “Amazon GameCircle nickname or not…it’s defaulted to Hide. By default, some of your games can save your progress by using Whispersync for Games…you can turn that off here, if you want)
  • ** Amazon Home Recommendations (you can turn those off here)
  • ** App Settings (I don’t think people realize what’s here. You can see your Gift Card balance, turn In-App Purchasing on and off, turn off Automatic Updates ((not to the whole Kindle, I think, just to individual apps…you can also choose whether you want to be notified when an app has been updated)), External Market Links (I use the 1Mobile store sometimes, and that makes this important…I can chosose to have link open in the Amazon Appstore, which defeats the purpose of 1Mobile to a large extent, have it not open, or have it ask me before opening), and this shows you the version of the Apps app) 🙂
  • * Audiobooks (you can choose your download format…Standard, which is the default, or High, which should take more memory and sound better…there is also a link for Legal Notices here)
  • * E-mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • * Music (some cool things here…you can choose to have your Amazon MP3 purchases automatically downloaded to this device, clear the cache, tell it to stream only when on wi-fi ((as opposed to 4G)), or to download only using wi-fi…by default, the wi-fi restriction options are off)
  • * Silk
  • ** Requested website view (Automatic, Desktop, or Mobile…Desktop sometimes gives you functionality that Mobile doesn’t, but it also might not look as good)
  • ** Search Engine (Bing, Google, or Yahoo)
  • ** Block pop-up windows (Ask, Never, or Always…without pop-ups, you might not be able to enter a password sometimes)
  • ** Accelerate page loading
  • ** Enable Flash Forward (I believe this is new…not connected to Flash video, by the way…it will “Allow predictive loading to speed up page load time”)
  • ** New Tab Content (you can choose to “Show Trending Now & Selected Sites”, or Most Visited Only)
  • ** Display most recent page in Carousel (that’s on by default, but I think a lot of you would like to turn that off)
  • ** Clear history
  • ** Clear cache
  • **Accept cookies (some sites won’t function without them)
  • ** Clear all cookie data
  • ** Remember passwords
  • ** Clear passwords
  • ** Remember form data
  • ** Clear form data
  • ** Enable location (it let sites tell where your device is…Fandango, for example, can tell me nearby movie theatres using this)
  • ** Clear location access
  • ** Individual website data
  • ** Load Images
  • ** Enable JavaScript
  • ** Show security warnings (you know, when you see something telling you that a site’s certificate doesn’t look valid)
  • ** Prompt for experimental streaming viewer (this is new, and is a way for the device to try to play Flash video with Flash)
  • ** Reset all settings to default
  • * Videos
  • ** Mobile Network for Video (do you want your 4G used for video? You can also choose the video quality…this had some interesting data. “Good” is the lowest quality, “Better” is next, then “Best”.  Each level up uses more data from your plan. They listed some stats. At good quality, you can watch up to 43 minutes of SD video per month on the 250MB plan…with 3GB, you can watch up to 9 hours of SD, with 5GB, you can watch up to 15 hours of SD. When I jumped right to Best, that dropped down to only 14 minutes of SD or 3 minutes (!)  of HD on the 250MB plan…I guess you couldn’t watch that Stairway to Heaven video…) 😉
  • ** HD Download Quality
  • ** SD Download Quality
  • ** Clear Video Search History
  • ** Version (mine is Greenway-20903510 right now)
  • Parental Controls (you can turn them on or off here, and then you have a whole bunch more controls…for more information, see Parental controls and your Kindle
  • Sounds & Display (Volume, Dolby on or off, Mute All Notifications, choose your Notification Sounds, Auto Brightness ((off by default…I’m trying it now, although I assume it will take more battery charge)), Display Brightness ((same as icon ribbon)), Screen Timeout ((defaults to 5 minutes, but there  are eight settings)))
  • Wireless & Networks  (same as Wireless in the icon ribbon)
  • Device (About gives you your System Version, Serial Number, Wi-Fi Mac address, and Bluetooth Mac address ((when available)). Storage ((takes a while to calculate)), Date & Time ((you can set it here, and choose to use the Automatic Time Zone or pick one…you can also choose to use the 24-time format ((1:00 PM becomes 13:00 )), Allow Installation of Applications From unknown sources ((very important…that’s how I can “sideload” apps like Zinio)), Reset to Factory Defaults ((“Danger, danger, Will Robinson!” Sometimes, this is the right solution, but it should be used with great caution…it wipes all the personalization from your device, including Kindle Store books you’ve downloaded…you can download them again, though)))
  • Accessibility (important for the print challenged/disabled…you can turn on Voice Guide, so you have audible menus, and Explore by Touch, so it will speak what you are touching…it also has an orientation lock here, just like in the icon ribbon)
  • Location-based Services (it will use wi-fi, cellular networks, and GPS to locate you)
  • Language & Keyboard
  • * Language (choose one here)
  • * Keyboard
  • ** Keyboard (pick a language)
  • ** Keyboard Settings (Sound on Keypress, Auto-correction, Auto-capitalization, Next word prediction ((I find this is working pretty well)), Personal dictionary ((Oh, I thought this was going to be to pick your dictionary! No, this is where you can tell what words aren’t misspelled! This is important…you can have it stop predicting certain words for you. I always have to tell computers that “Bufo” isn’t misspelled, and that’s here. You don’t actually add the words here…you do that when you tap a word you’ve typed into the keyboard to get it to remember. However, you can delete them here…that could be very important if more than one person uses your Kindle Fire. You could certainly have  embarrassing  words there ((I have…um…”labradoodle” and “theremin”)) 😉 and this allows you to keep them from coming up as a predictive word)
  • ** Bluetooth keyboard (language setting)
  • Security (Lock Screen Password, Credential Setting ((you can install them here)), VPN ((hm…it says, “To use your Kindle on a virtual private network (VPN), you need to download an app from the Amazon Appstore that is compatible with your organization’s VPN. Then, there is a link to go the Appstore, but it doesn’t take you to VPN apps specifically. I do use a VPN, so I may need to explore this more)), Device  Administrators, Enable ADB )(it says it enables Kindle developers to debug over USB)))
  • Legal & Compliance (Legal Notices, Terms of Use, Safety & Compliance, Privacy)

Whew! That was a lot, but there are some interesting things in there…

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


4 Responses to “Menu map: Kindle Fire 8.9″ 4G 8.3.0”

  1. oldiesuz Says:

    Really appreciate this. I suspect that I am not alone in becoming a ‘creature of habit’ in using my many electronic devices and as such often overlook many of the options available on the device, as well as many shortcuts. I intend to copy and paste this column and then “Send To Kindle” to make my life easier!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, oldiesuz!

      Oh, you are not alone. 🙂 As a trainer, I’m very, very aware of “cognitive mapping”. The basic idea is that things that are in your environment, don’t affect you, and don’t change, become invisible to you over time. Your brain simply filters them out. If you don’t need to go to the More menu on your Kindle Fire, you might be hard-pressed to even remember it is there where you are on the icon ribbon changing the volume.

      I always remember when I had mixed group of trainers in front of me, some new to the topic, some very experienced. I asked the group how to perform a particular function, and the newbies new the answer right away, and the “pros” couldn’t get it without help.


      The answer was right on the screen…it was literally explained there how to do it. However, it wasn’t something we typically did or taught. Over time, those words had become invisible to the old pros. The newbies hadn’t mapped the screen yet, so they could still see it.

      That’s part of why I do these “menu maps”: to force myself to look at it for different reasons than my own functional use, which can reveal those things which are otherwise invisible to me.

  2. John Casteel Says:

    You should rename this blog “I love my Kindle Fire” I have given up on your blog and canceled my subscription because you now seem to only talk about the Kindle Fire.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, John!

      I’m sorry to hear that! I do respond to what people say, and it would have been more effective to raise that with me before taking those actions, but it is certainly your choice. You are always welcome back.

      I’m actually careful to try not to do that, although I know that there have been some posts lately that were more related to the Fire…I sort of ran into a cluster of those topics.

      Let’s take a look at the recent posts…that will help me be more aware, and guide me in deciding what to post in the future. I try to do these sorts of self-checks, but hearing a comment like yours is certainly a specific impetus:

      Last post: the first part was about the Marvel deal, which certainly is more applicable to the Kindle Fire than to a reflective screen Kindle (RSK…anything but a Kindle Fire)…but I also (and partially for this specific reason of not making the whole post all Kindle Fire related) included a link to a deal on an e-book which would work on an RSK.

      -1: Menu Map: Purely Kindle Fire
      -2: In this Round Up, two of the stories were Kindle Fire related, one was of general Kindle interest (about the nature of e-books)
      -3: About the Macmillan pricing: general interest
      -4: About the price-matching: general interest
      -5: About Isaac Asimov: general interest
      -6: an app review: more related to the Fire, but again, I included a link to an e-book partially so that it wouldn’t be of interest only to Fire users
      -7: 100 Kindle books for $3.99 or less: general interest
      -8: Judge rules on ReDigi: general interest
      -9: my monthly snapshot: general interest

      As I keep skimming back, the vast majority of articles are of general Kindle interest…but it has been a while since I did one just of RSK interest.

      I’d be interested to hear what types of articles you would like to see. Even if you choose not to read them, that could help me make the blog better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: