Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet offers great power at a decent price. However, on first glance it might just flummox you. That’s because while it runs a version of Google’s Android operating system, it’s unlike any other version of Android you’ve ever seen.
Amazon has gone to town with its customisation, crafting a unique interface for the Kindle Fire that suits its own business as an online retailer. It isn’t difficult to use but it is different.
Fortunately, there’s no need to be perturbed – we’ll explain how to set up and get started with your new Kindle Fire.
Step 1: Do nothing…
OK, not quite nothing, but if you’ve bought a Kindle Fire for yourself, log in using your existing Amazon account and the device will be largely set up and ready to go.
However, assuming you want to go online right away you’ll still need to connect to a wi-fi network, so read the next couple of paragraphs and then skip to Step 4.
If you want to check before moving on that your Kindle is indeed registered, then use a PC to connect to www.amazon.co.uk and, from the home page, log in to your Amazon account.
Once you’re logged in, hover the mouse pointer over Your Account then click Manage Your Content and Devices.
Click the Your Devices tab in the centre of the screen and your Kindle Fire should appear, alongside any other Amazon devices you’ve used.
Step 2: Register your device
If you’ve received a Kindle Fire as a gift or have an unregistered device for whatever reason, then it must be set up from scratch.
To begin, choose your desired language and regional settings. Tap Next.
Assuming you want to get online now via wi-fi (which we’d recommend), tap the relevant network’s name then enter the password and tap Connect.
Now type in the email address and password registered to your Amazon account and tap Register. Tap Continue to confirm the account details.
If you don’t have an Amazon account, tap Start Here and follow the prompts.
Step 3: Connect to wi-fi
Unlock your Kindle Fire, and swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Quick Settings pane. Tap the wi-fi symbol in the top left, make sure the wi-fi is toggled on, then tap the relevant network name and type in the password. Tap Connect.
Step 4: Choose your social networks
Amazon Kindle Fire devices can integrate with Facebook and Twitter to make it easier to post stuff to these social networks.
Go to Home > Settings > My Account > Social Network Accounts.
If you wish to connect to Facebook, tap the Connect Your Facebook Account or Connect Your Facebook Account links and supply the relevant login credentials.
This step is not essential, so if you’d prefer not to do this just tap Next (at the bottom of the screen) to move on, then skip to Step 5.
Step 5: You’re ready to go
That’s it – your Kindle Fire is online and ready to use. The first time you reach this stage, your Kindle Fire will display a Get Started button – tap this for a brief tutorial.
There’s loads to explore in your new device but the key apps are displayed on the Home screen, with Silk perhaps being the most important – this is the web browser. Just tap to launch an app.
When you launch some apps for the first time, a tutorial screen will be shown – just follow the prompts to proceed.
To return to the Home screen at any time, tap the Home icon – it’s the small circle at the bottom centre of the screen.
Also on the Home screen are headings that run across the top of the screen – Books, Video, Games, Shop and so on. Just tap one of these headings to explore the content. For example, tap Apps to see what’s already installed on your Kindle Fire.
To search for new apps to download and install, tap Shop followed by Apps.