Kindle Fire

What it is
Most everyone has purchased something from Amazon in the last decade. One of America’s largest retailers has gotten more creative over the years, venturing first into the e-reader market with the Amazon Kindle, and now into the tablet market with the Kindle Fire.

Their new display is as sharp as it gets, giving Apple a run for their money. It’s become easier on the eyes to read a book or watch a movie. With a long lasting battery and some serious horsepower, these tablets have become powerful gaming devices as well.

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What it does
Since Amazon entered the tablet scene, they’ve created their own AppStore. You’ll notice that this appstore is stocked to the brim with the latest and greatest apps for virtually any need. Whether for business or pleasure, Amazon has you covered.

Built on Google’s Android operating system, Amazon has developed their own look and feel for the Kindle Fire, allowing users full Amazon integration with their cloud content, from their Kindle books and music, to Amazon’s cloud-based storage.

Where Amazon has begun to seperate itself from the pack is their on-device tech support. The “Mayday” button allows users who are stumped with a task on their device (and too embarrased to ask their child) to simply touch this button so a real person will pop up on your screen and walk you through your troubles. Seriously.

Kid Appeal/Pitfalls
Amazon has made a splash offering products and apps that cater to classrooms, teachers, and students, helping bridge the gap between learning and fun. Just like most iPods/iPads or Android tablets, the Kindle Fire has access to virtually all of the same content and apps, meaning your kids can enjoy most the same content and games as their friends.

Kids are able to read books for homework or video chat with their grandparents. They’re able to socilize with their friends on Facebook, message them with WhatsApp, or watch Netflix, just like any other device. And with more and more classrooms utilizing the Kindle Fire, kids are becoming more comfortible with using them.

What’s Good?
Now just like the iPad or Android tablets, giving your child access to the internet and apps can be potentially dangerous. Amazon has taken some big steps towards keeping your kids safe. Parents can create a profile for their kids and choose exactly what they give their kids access to. Parents can even set Screen Time Limits, down to how many minutes they can watch videos or play a game after doing their reading. A parent’s dream.

Simply open the quick settings, tap More, then jump into parental controls, where you can enter a password and make your changes. It’s that simple.

What separates the Kindle Fire from the pack is “FreeTime” mode. This is like kid mode on steroids. For $2.99 a month, parents can easily set up “FreeTime” for their kids, making the device even easier for younger kids to navigate. With this service comes an all-in-one subscription service just for your kids, from books and educational apps, to movies and games that both kids and parents will love.

As well as similar devices, Amazon’s got your back; the Kindle Fire is always backed up in the cloud, so if your toddler decides the device needs a bath, all your music/books/photos/etc will all be backed up in a safe, dry cloud.

What’s the verdict?
Whether you’re a parent who’s a heavy reader, or looking for  something to distract your kids for an hour while you make dinner, we think the Kindle Fire might be right up your alley. With price points that rival Apple products, you can get yourself a Kindle Fire that’s easy on the wallet and heavy on the security. Giving parents a very solid piece of mind knowing that once that device leaves your hands and you turn your back, your kids will remain protected from content you don’t want them to see We give the Kindle Fire a solid thumbs up.