Profiles are here for the KFHDX

Profiles are here for the KFHDX

This morning, my Significant Other brought me their

Kindle Fire HDX 7″ (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

unable to get into it.

It had updated the system software, with what turned out to be a significant update…and wanted a password to get into the device, which hadn’t been true before for my SO.

I think, from looking at it, that occurred because I have set up Kindle FreeTime profiles on the account…it appeared to be intended to keep children out of the device. I actually set them up for our dogs, just testing it out for my readers. 🙂

Fortunately, I knew that password…and it worked.

The look of the interface is different (I’d say it is…crisper, easier to read. That also goes for the icons: the e-mail icon no longer has that gray background, for example), and there are some feature changes.

They list:

  • A personalized experience with profiles (for the US, UK, and Germany): it allows for individual e-mail, game levels, movie locations, pages in books, Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is clearly the big change, and I’ll have to explore it more. I don’t know yet if this has anything to do with the Family Library, which will allow (some) sharing of e-books between accounts
  • Office Document: I already have a Microsoft Office app on my Fire I like (OfficeSuite Professional 7 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), but this apparently also backs up Office files automatically to your Amazon Cloud Drive…allowing access on other devices
  • Longer battery life: this uses Smart Suspend to prolong battery life while it sleeps
  • New weather app
  • Full screen immersive mode: apps and games will now fill the entire screen (you’ll swipe for controls)
  • Backup and restore: this sounds nice! You have to turn it on, but it will store your configuration (bookmarks, even wi-fi configurations) to the Cloud for free making it easier to set up a new device

Since mine hasn’t updated yet (I’ll see if I can update it manually…these updates can roll out over weeks), I’ll do a quick comparison of the two devices:

  • When you are unlocking them, the lockscreen has just a chevron (an arrow without a stick) on the new one…the old one had a padlock
  • The lockscreen entry has a more transparent background
  • The lockscreen entry says “Go” rather than “OK”
  • On the homescreen, the clock is on your right, rather than in the middle
  • As mentioned, there are some icon changes
  • On the new one, it appears I needed to reenter the password for the AOL account…I’m guessing we’ll need to do that on mine as well when it updates, since we can now have separately protected e-mails
  • Swiping down from the top has the same choices…although weirdly, autorotate now looks like it goes anticlockwise, rather than clockwise…what was the point of that change? Feels like it is just change for change’s sake
  • Settings has some significant differences. There is a new category for “Household Profiles”. You can add a new adult or child (you have up to four child accounts, and two adult accounts, which will be, I believe, the same thing for the Family Library). When you go to add an adult, it sys, “Pass the device to new user: We’ll need  the preson you are adding to this household to login using their Amazon account. Please make sure they are available to take the tablet for the next step”. So, this is for the Family Library! Let me jump out of the bullet points for this

When you add the Adult Profile, it says, “If you share an account, you must set up a new Amazon account to share the customized experience”. Interesting…does it benefit Amazon for you to have multiple accounts? Sure! Some things are only good per account, and it looks good when they are selling services to other businesses, which I think is increasingly becoming their main business. I’ve commented on that in regards to the Amazon Echo
: I think what people aren’t getting about it is that Amazon never needs to make money by selling things to people if they can make money by charging other companies to use Amazon to sell things to people.

I know this is a sidestep here, but I think it’s important. Amazon is becoming our retail infrastructure. Let’s say I want to buy something from, oh, Target (from their website). If I can just ask my hypothetical Amazon Echo to do that for me, I would. If Amazon then charges Target for me having done it, they can make money with very little cost to them. If they actually do the fulfillment for Target (the shipping…via drone, or as recently was announced as a trial, taxi…and maybe the same day) they can charge Target and make more money.

This doesn’t need to be just physical products: it can be digital content as well…even, possibly, your internet.

The Amazon Echo isn’t a store…it’s the road that takes you to the store (and everywhere else).

Imagine if you owned the roads fifty years ago…and could charge every store (and doctor’s office and movie theatre and…) when people used them.

Of course, they won’t monopolize the internet…it will simply be a choice consumers make, for the convenience…no monopoly there, right?

Okay, back to the update…

  • The new one says “Wireless & VPN”, rather than just “Wireless”: the old one does have VPN options
  • “Device” has been relabeled “Device Options”: those have more choices…including the ability to change the name of the device from the device itself. That’s also where you’ll find “Backup & Restore”. It will backup automatically once a day
  • Enable ADB is no longer available…that was something that could “Enable Kindle developers to debug over USB”…not something people used much, if at all
  • I was guessing that the Shopping might have changed, and there is a new category for “Fire Accessories”, but otherwise, it looks pretty similar. Looking at the Bookstore, it also looks similar

I’m guessing mine will update soon, but I think that’s enough of a comparison for right now. If you have specific things for me to check on the new on this morning, let me know…I might get to check a few yet this morning.

Oh, one more big thing! They’ve really changed the system software numbering system! My old one is…the new one says “Fire OS 4.1.1”.

If you want to update it manually, here’s the page:

Kindle Fire HDX update page (at AmazonSmile*)


Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

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.

14 Responses to “Profiles are here for the KFHDX”

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    I started playing with profiles on my Fire HD6 last weekend, creating a couple of ‘child’ accounts and adding my wife’s Amazon account as a second ‘adult’ account, thus comprising a ‘family’. Note you can’t create a new ‘family’ (pair two Amazon accounts) until 60 days after dissolving a previous one, and your account can only be in one ‘family’. This is similar to how you can add a second account to a Prime membership. Presumably, if the other account has Fires registered to it, they can add the paired account to that as well as the other ‘adult’ account.

    So far, the respective libraries are separate, so I only see my content, and she can only see hers (a measly 3 ebooks). But once they throw the switch on the server side, I assume the libraries will be combined, while retaining account specific reading settings, collections, reading position/annotations, etc. Will all ‘on-device’ books be visible to both profiles? And removable? or will each have its own managed storage? How does it work with side-loaded books (or those downloaded from a web site)? Do both accounts see those in Docs? It will be interesting to see how it will work.

    I am seeing some issues already: I downloaded a book to one of my child profiles, then tried to download the same book to my own profile. It went through the motions of downloading it again, but then failed to open the book, and it no longer shows up as being ‘on device’. Storage management could become an issue as you can only remove things by signing in to the profile in question (it is not clear that ‘1 tap archive’ will free up space from any but the current profile).

    The ‘child’ profiles are interesting. Each ‘adult’ account can add books, apps, and videos from their respective libraries (no audiobooks or music for some reason). There are pre-set content filters to limit the content list to child appropriate material, but you can add anything. It’s a bit onerous if you have a large library as there is just this long scrolling list to navigate to items.

    Then when you sign in to the child account, all you see is a carousel and tabs for Books, Videos, Apps, no storefront, no Sharing, and except for Brightness, Settings are protected by PIN codes set for the Adult accounts. You can make annotations, but it seems those would be marooned with this device-specific child account. Unfortunately there’s no ‘immersion reading’ option because you cannot download and play audiobooks.

    My thought is that you could use the ‘child’ accounts as ‘guest’ accounts for visitors, bed & breakfast libraries, lending the device out to friends etc.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      I appreciate you sharing all that! I’m looking forward to experimenting with it.

      My thought is there may be different licensing deals in place for the music and the audiobooks at this point that prohibits it. Even when you get the audiobooks from Audible (owned by Amazon), that doesn’t mean Amazon can unilaterally change the licensing.

    • AndiLynn Raiser Says:

      FYI… I thought the same about child profiles and immersive reading. It turns out that if you (the adult with full powers) download the audio book as well as the eBook, when the child opens the eBook and taps as they would to bring up the contols, there is a Play button on the bottom. So, it does support immersive reading. Kids just can’t access standalone audio books.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, AndiLynn!

        I appreciate you sharing that field report! You taking the time an energy to do that really helps other people. 🙂

      • Tom Semple Says:

        There is a ‘play’ button, but it is for Text-to-Speech. Or at least I could not get it to switch to immersion reading even after downloading the audiobook (and or ebook) to the adult profile (where immersion reading does take effect). I tried a few variations, and none worked, so it still appears to me that the feature is not available for child profiles.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    I have a brand new Fire HDX 8.9. It arrived on Oct 21. I’ve not used it much beyond some basic setup and test (this is a busy time for me — I have a whole bunch of new devices that I’m trying out — I’m giving a talk on what to buy for the holidays this coming Wednesday).

    Anyhow after reading your post I went and checked and I have the new version — all the things you mentioned are there.

    When I went to device options>system updates, it says I’m up to date and that I’m running Fire OS 4.5, which was installed on October 26th!

    If I then click on “learn more”, I see release notes (very good that they’re doing that) for OS 4.5, OS 4.2, and Fire OS 4.1.1. 4.2 is an “update to support Fire HDX 8.9 tablets”; 4.5 is ” an update with improvements for Fire HDX 8.9 tablets”. Regarding that latter one — I don’t see anything beyond what you described for 4.1.1 (although I haven’t looked very hard :grin).

    There is on the tablet a “Fire Tablet User Guide” which seems quite complete — better than what I’ve seen on previous Amazon Fire iterations — I’ll have to dig into it more when I have time.

    The HDX is amazingly fast and fluid, and the screen is to die for (I’m coming to this from the original Fire HD 8.9). I also have the keyboard which has not been reviewed well elsewhere, but it seems ok to me — better than the on-screen keyboard. The keyboard attaches magnetically to the origami case — so one side has the HDX, and the other has the keyboard. The two together fold and lock. The combination of the HDX+keyboard+origami is about the same size and weight of my old Fire HD 8.9 with its magnetic case.

    Without the origami, the HDX is incredibly thin and light — a very svelte package. The origami came with little or no documentation — it took me a while to figure it out.

    My collections as I have them set up on my PW2 seem to be there for books and docs on the HDX — though the listing and selection mechanisms seem to be different.

    I’ll have more to say when I have more to say 😀

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      I’ll look forward to reading more when there is more to read. 😉

      My KFHDX7 has updated again since I manually updated it…it’s at 4.1.1, updated on November 7. That’s actually the same that I reported after the manual update, but it did show it updating again…I wonder if it was confused by my having done it manually, and it did it again? That hasn’t been the case in the past.

  3. angie Gifford Says:

    I have a new fire, with the new system and it doesn’t have an endless carousel. Items “fall off” the end. I asked Mayday and it seems that this is the new standard. I miss my “timeline” and apparently this is not an option now.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, andgee!

      I also noticed that the Carousel was different, but I haven’t noticed things (that I’ve used since the update) falling off yet.

      I’ll keep track. I have thirty items on there now…I’ll see if it stays the same, or if it changes. If you get a chance, check for me how many you have: if it’s also thirty, that might be the new standard.

      • angie Gifford Says:

        Yes, thirty items.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing!

        I checked on mine…when I opened a different item, I still had thirty, so that does appear to be the maximum.

      • Edward Boyhan Says:

        I’m doing this from memory, but wasn’t there something in last year’s Fire HDX and Fire OS announcements about an alternate home page display? Wasn’t there something about being able to change from the Carousel display to a grid one — more like Android?

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Edward!

        That sounds familiar to me, but I’m not finding anything quickly to back that up.

  4. Round up #275: why the Echo will succeed…and why it won’t, Amazon’s Best Books of 2014 | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Fun and information about the Kindle and the world of e-books « Profiles are here for the KFHDX […]

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