Major Changes in the 8.9-Inch Fire HDX Tablet
The 8.9-inch Fire HDX tablet is the largest and most feature-rich version of the Fire tablets introduced in 2014. The announced features, including Firefly and Family Library, are explained here. The following table also helps you understand the existing major new features, including separate profiles and SmartSuspend, in that edition of the Fire tablet.
|Profiles||You can create profiles for different people using your tablet
so each can have his own settings and content. This feature is like
providing unique tablets for all the people in your family,
|ASAP||ASAP stands for Advanced Streaming and Prediction. Essentially,
this feature allows your tablet to anticipate content you might
want to watch, like your favorite TV show, and pre-load it for
faster streaming. You don’t have to do a thing to use this
feature; just know it’s working for you.
|WPS Office||Amazon made a change in the latest Fire tablets from
OfficeSuite to WPS Office. WPS Office is more integrated into Fire
and allows you to create, open, and work with Word, Excel, and
PowerPoint files as well as a few other formats such as .txt files.
The working experience with documents is somehow more intuitive and
simple than in OfficeSuite.
|Fire keyboard||Only available for the 8.9-inch model, you can buy and attach a
keyboard accessory so you can work on your tablet comfortably as
well as use it to absorb content like books, music, and
|Support for 802.11 ac Wi-Fi standard||The 8.9-inch Fire has added support for the latest Wi-Fi
standard, 802.11 ac. This makes your connection to Wi-Fi networks
that much faster.
|Second Screen||This feature wasn’t yet available when Kindle Fire HDX
first shipped, but it’s here now and it’s cool. Second
Screen allows you to “fling” content from Amazon Cloud
via your Fire tablet to your TV. This causes the content to stream
to the TV so that your Fire tablet is freed up for you to do other
things with it while watching. You can even explore X-Ray
information about the content on your tablet while it plays on your
|Kindle FreeTime||This feature, which comes free for one year with the latest
Kids Edition Fire tablet, lets you create a unique environment for
your kids by limiting what content and apps they can use. When you
turn on FreeTime, your kids see only the content you’ve given
them permission to use, and it’s all shown against a
kid-friendly graphical background.
|Integrated Goodreads||This service is like a social network for readers.
Goodreads was available as an app in previous Amazon
tablets, but with the latest models this feature is more
integrated. Goodreads allows you to track and share what
you’re reading and get access to reviews and recommendations
from other readers via your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
|SmartSuspend||This is a battery setting that, when you turn it on in Power
Management Settings, turns off your wireless connection when
you’re not using your Fire tablet. You can even set up a
schedule for SmartSuspend to kick in.
|Dynamic Light Control (DLC)||This feature, only available on the 8.9-inch Fire model,
modifies your screen when reading ebooks to match ambient light.
DLC produces a more paperlike background.
|Firefly||A feature that was announced as “coming soon” at the
time of this writing, Firefly is essentially a text-recognition app
that allows 8.9-inch Fire tablets to ID text on movie posters,
music albums, and so on. Firefly then searches and finds any
matches for the movie, music, or whatever in Amazon’s huge
|Family Library||This new feature has also been announced but isn’t
available for Fire tablets as of this writing. Family Library
allows you to link accounts to share content among a group without
sharing a tablet.