Fire Tablet HD 10 - little tidbits

I’ve had my Fire device for maybe a little over a year now. On the whole it’s…well, a much better deal than either IPad, so I guess I have to stick with it. Since there are, of course, no user manuals for any of these devices, a few little things I’d like to ask now.

  • Is there any way to get a stylus or similar pointing device to work on it, for those instances where I want precision or want to keep my considerable finger grease off the screen?
  • Is there any way to magnify the screen in any way? I already have the font setting at the largest possible size, and it’s just barely adequate for most purposes. Of the 3 ebooks I have so far, only one lets me increase the screen size.
  • Is there any alarm clock function whatsoever? I keep finding stuff for “alarm” and “alarm volume” and “clock” but nothing that allows me to play a specific tone at a certain time of the day. I’m not a particularly heavy sleeper and would really rather not buy a whole device just for this purpose.

I have a Fire HD 10 tablet.

  • I have a pen with a touch capacitance tip on the non-writing end, which works fine with my tablet. I also have a bluetooth mouse which has greater precision than the pen, and a bluetooth keyboard which works well, too.

  • I have not fiddled with magnification. Amazon says it is adjustable in the accessibility features: Swipe down from the top of the screen to show Quick Actions , and then tap Settings. Tap Accessibility. Select your accessibility options.

  • The default clock app on the tablet has timer, stopwatch, and alarm modes. I can set an alarm to wake me at a preselected time, and there are several alarm tones to choose between.

Here is a link to better accessibility directions.

Wow, that was quick. :slightly_smiling_face:

I can find the “App info” for the Clock with a search, but I still don’t see any option for timer/stopwatch/alarm or to put the icon anywhere I can tap it. “For You” has a whole bunch of ad stuff, home has several default items but no Clock, and Library is just a sampler.

How does this device register contact? Is it heat-sensitive like an Ipad?

There is an icon for a Utilities folder on my Home screen. The clock is in there, and can be dragged out onto the screen.

I have never used an iPad, but being heat-sensitive sounds odd to me. I would assume it is actually touch capacitive or resistive. The point of contact between your finger and the screen either draws or repels an electrical charge at that location, which the tablet can detect. My pen has a soft rubber nub on the non-writing end which is permeated with an electrically conductive material, I think. It draws or repels the electrical charge at the point of contact with the screen in the same way that my finger does.

A bonus bit of information - The Android Open Office app runs well on my Fire tablet, and lets me open and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in several formats, including Word, Excel, etc. It makes the tablet much more of a multi-use device when I have the mouse and keyboard fired up.

Found the app! It was right where you said it would be! Thanks! :grin:

Just tried moving things around with my nail clipper, and it worked! Eventually of course I’m going to get something longer and less bulky, but it was great seeing it work. (And now I know my IPad Pro stylus didnt work because it has a plastic tip.)

Man…I’m frankly shocked at the number of things about modern technology I was supposed to just know somehow without any instruction whatsoever. (To put in in perspective, I learned about thumb drives…the biggest quantum leap in removable storage in history, fer chrissake…completely by accident.) It’s so great to have a board like this. :heart:

Thumb drives! I bought this: SanDisk 256GB Ultra Dual Drive Go USB Type-C Flash Drive

It’s double-ended. I can plug it into my Fire tablet using the little USB-C end, or plug it into my desktop computer using the bigger USB-A end. One drive that holds a ton of data, and I can use it on any of my devices. It costs about 30 bucks.

You can get light-weight winter gloves with electrically-conductive fingertips, so you can use your smartphone or tablet in the winter without taking your gloves off. I might get a pair as the weather gets colder this year.

Sounds like FireOS has changed. Back when I lasst used it, no apps came in folders, and you just swiped down to see them.

I still prefer my phone, though. I just have the icons I need on the home screen, and I can swipe to see all apps in alphabetical order. There’s no reason for all this other fancy stuff, IMO.

Still, those keyboard attachments work a lot better with tablets. My dad has one for his Fire 10. It’s technically designed for an iPad and doesn’t quite fit, but he modified it to work. With that addition, it can function more like a netbook.

Being far-sighted, trying to use my phone screen for any length of time gives me eyestrain and a headache. I can use the 10" screen on my Fire tablet for much greater lengths of time. My phone is mostly just for calls and texts.

Since my accessories are all Bluetooth gadgets, they don’t physically need to attach to the tablet. The mouse and keyboard are just generic Logitech stuff, and my external speaker is from JBL. I think lots of Bluetooth stuff is pretty cross-compatible, so people can stick to their own preferred brands with little difficulty.

I meant I prefer my phone’s UI. That said, if you wanted it on Amazon Fire, I’m sure you could probably side load Nova launcher and use that instead of the built-in interface.

That said, I did retire my tablet because I realized I could just hold my phone closer to my face. Being farsighted would definitely make that a problem. so I understand. For nearsighted me, however, I prefer the convenience of being able to put my phone in my pocket and not accidentally leave it places.

I think if I held my phone close to my face, my head would explode. :grin:

The only issue with using a USB-C thumb drive is that you can’t charge the Fire while using the drive. The Fire has a micro SD slot and it’s a much better option for adding the same 256 GB storage capacity while keeping the USB-C/charging port free. I use a Samsung card and it works very well. I carry dozens of movies and TV shows while I travel, as well as a pretty sizable amount of reference materials for teaching.

I have a 256GB SD card as well. (I am guilty of getting all the bells and whistles for my tablet in pursuit of making it as useful as I can. My one other so far unmentioned toy is an external backup battery. :grin: ) I agree with your points to an extent. I have a desktop PC at home, another PC at work, my Fire tablet, and an extreme (whether justifiable or not) aversion to cloud storage and cloud computing. A flash drive or thumb drive is a very handy way to access my documents, music, or photos regardless of which device I am using.

The OP likes thumb drives, and there is nothing wrong with that. I think the double-ended ones are nifty because they add one more bit of versatility, and I did not know if the OP was aware of them.

Yes, I’m just suggesting that a Fire owner would be wiser to spend the money on an SD card rather than a USB-C storage device, unless there is a specific requirement to move files from one device to another. (Of course, this can be done with SD cards as well, though it is less convenient.) I do wish that the Fire had either a second USB port or an alternate means of charging it. I’m often in a hotel and need to charge the Fire at the end of the day and would like to watch a movie while it’s charging.

With a bit of Googling, I see there are devices you can plug into the USB-C port that act as a hub and a charger. You plug it into your phone/tablet and into the wall outlet, and it has more USB ports on it (and at least one also has an HDMI output), so you can charge your device while still being able to plug in a thumb drive / flash drive. The first ones I saw pop up are intended for Apple products, but I don’t know why they (or something similar) wouldn’t work with non-Apple gadgets.

Maybe I need to buy another toy…