Book Review: Kindle Fire: Out Of The Box (O’Reilly)

The Kindle Fire, like a lot of devices these days, does not come with a user manual. Kindle Fire: Out Of The Box covers the basics of setting up and using your Fire.

This 76-page book is divided into 6 chapters:

  • Get to Know Your Kindle Fire
  • Set Up Your Fire
  • Books, Newsstand, and Docs
  • Music and Video
  • Apps
  • Web and Email

The book is loaded with detailed, annotated screen shots, which makes it easy to figure out exactly what you should be seeing on your Kindle's screen. However, this comes at a price - the pdf file is 21 megs in size, which might make it difficult if you're wanting to email it to your Kindle.

The chapters on books, music/video and apps are very Amazon-centric, but that's because the Fire is designed primarily as a device for consuming Amazon's media rather than as a generic Android tablet. However, there are instructions for loading media via USB or Amazon's Cloud Drive. Also, there are some good instructions on some of the available options you have while reading a book - changing the font and typeface, highlighting and adding notes, and using the built-in dictionary features.

The Apps chapter is by far the smallest; take out the screen shots and there's only a single page of text. This is where I have my only real gripe with the book - I would have liked to have seen something about how to determine how much of the Fire's storage space your apps (and music, videos, etc., for that matter) are taking up.

The Web and Email chapter covers the basics of browsing and setting up your email client, but if you use an email provider other than one of the four included presets (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL) the setup instructions are pretty much "contact your administrator".

This book will save the average user many Google searches looking for answers to basic questions. While you're not going to find any in-depth technical information, I wouldn't hesitate to give it to my parents if they got a new Kindle Fire. O'Reilly has what appears to be a more detailed book coming up called "Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual"; I'll be curious to see what additional information it contains.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this e-book as part of O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program.

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Print | posted @ Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:15 PM

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