10 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts for the Amazon Fire Phone - dummies

10 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts for the Amazon Fire Phone

By Dan Gookin

Users are constantly discovering all of the great things they can do with their mobile devices. To help you get started, here are ten tips, tricks, and shortcuts to help you get the most from your Amazon Fire Phone.

Shine some light on the subject

Your Fire phone features a built-in flashlight.

To turn on the flashlight, which is really the rear camera’s flash or LED, pull down the Notification panel. Tap the Flashlight icon. The LED comes on. Fiat lux!

To turn off the flashlight, tap the Flashlight icon again.

Parental controls

The Fire phone’s parental controls can be employed to block specific apps, restrict access to content, as well as control what a wee one can do with the phone.

To enable the parental controls, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Applications & Parental Controls.

  3. Choose Enable Parental Controls.

  4. Slide the master control to the On position.

  5. Use the onscreen keyboard to set a parental password.

  6. Tap the Submit button.

    image0.jpg

Take some notes

The Fire phone comes with a simple note-taking app called Notes. This fact may seem trivial, but you’d be surprised by how many smartphones don’t come with such an app.

Open the Notes app from the App Grid. You see an overview of the notes you’ve already created.

image1.jpg

Tap a note card to open it, view its contents, or make changes.

Tap the New Note icon to start a new, blank note.

To remove a note, long-press its card and choose the Delete command from the pop-up menu. Tap the OK button to confirm.

Whip out your wallet

You can use the Wallet app to keep track of all your customer loyalty and gift cards.

To use the Wallet app, touch its icon on the App Grid. You see a list of any cards you’ve already added to the Wallet. Present that the card’s barcode to the scanner at checkout to use your card.

If you haven’t yet added any cards, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Add icon.

  2. Choose the card type, such as Rewards or Loyalty Card.

  3. Fill in the card’s information.

    To quickly enter the card number, tap the Scan Barcode button. Use the phone’s camera to scan the barcode.

  4. Use the phone’s camera to snap a picture of the card’s front, back, or both.

  5. Tap the Save icon to save the card.

  6. Repeat the steps to enter another card.

Voice commands

When you press and hold the Home button, you see the Voice Commands screen.

image2.jpg

At this point, you can direct the phone to carry out specific tasks, but you must know what to see. Here are some common commands and phrases:

Make a call

Send a text message

Search the web for Hungarian restaurants

Shop for adult diapers

After you bark an order, the phone may ask for more information. Respond as prompted. For example, say “Yes” or “No” or utter the name of a contact.

Say “Cancel” when you want the voice interaction to stop.

Choose default apps

As you use your phone, you may see the Complete Action Using prompt. It asks you to pick an app to complete an action. Then you tap Just Once or Always.

When you choose Just Once, you see the prompt again. When you choose Always, that same app is used to complete the action; the prompt never shows up again. That is, unless you completely undo that choice. The Always decision is reversible.

Avoid data overages

Surcharges can pinch the wallet, but your Fire phone has a handy tool to help you avoid data overages. It’s the Data Usage screen.

image3.jpg

To access the Data Usage screen, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Wi-Fi & Networks.

  3. Choose See Your Cellular Data Usage.

The best thing you can do on the Data Usage screen is to set warnings and limits for your data usage: Choose the command Manage Data Limit. You see the Manage Data Limit screen.

image4.jpg

Manage the dictionary

When you type on the onscreen keyboard and a word isn’t recognized, you can choose to add that word to the Fire phone dictionary. To review additions or otherwise examine the phone’s dictionary, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Keyboard.

  3. Choose Edit Your Personal Dictionary.

    You see a list of words added to the dictionary.

    image5.jpg

To add a new word, tap the Add icon. To edit a word, long-press it.

Use Firefly to dial a number

When you’re out and about, or just staring at someone’s business card, don’t bother typing in the number you see. Instead, long-press the Camera/Firefly button on the side of the phone. The Firefly app starts.

Point the phone at the phone number. In half a jiffy, the phone number is scanned and recognized. Tap the phone number’s entry on the screen to dial that number:

  • Similarly to phone numbers, Firefly also recognizes email addresses and websites.

  • Handwritten information can also be scanned, although the handwriting must be very, very good for Firefly to read it.

Find your lost phone

Someday, you may lose your beloved Fire phone. The software solution is to use the phone’s Find Your Phone feature.

To enable the Find Your Phone feature, or to confirm its settings, obey these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Location Services.

  3. Choose Enable Find Your Phone.

    The Location screen appears.

  4. Ensure that the master control by Find Your Phone is in the On position.

When that terrible day comes and you need to locate your lost phone, follow these steps:

  1. Visit amazon.com/mycd.

  2. Click the Your Devices tab.

  3. Choose your Fire phone from the list of devices.

  4. Choose an action from the Device Actions menu.

    What you do next depends on how lost the phone is.