The Preinstalled Functionality of Fire Tablets - dummies

The Preinstalled Functionality of Fire Tablets

By Nancy C. Muir

Your Fire tablet is generally easy to use, with a simple, Android-based touchscreen interface. Its primary focus is on consuming media — and consuming media is what Amazon is all about. Fire tablet also offers its own Silk browser; an email client; clock, calendar and contact apps; and an available Skype app, as well as the Kindle ereader.


In addition, the WPS Office productivity app is built in and allows you to work with word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation documents.

Just because a particular type of app doesn’t come preinstalled on your Fire tablet doesn’t mean you can’t get one — you can, and often for free.

At this point, the selection of apps available for Android devices isn’t nearly as robust as those available for Apple devices, but that is changing.

Here’s a rundown of the functionality you get out of the box from preinstalled apps:

  • Ereader to read both books and periodicals

  • Music player

  • Video player

  • Audiobook player

  • Contacts app

  • Calendar app

  • Clock app

  • Docs document reader for Word, PDF, RTF, and HTML format files

  • Silk web browser

  • Camera and Photos in which you can view and make edits (such as rotate, change brightness and adjust for red-eye, and crop) to photos

  • Email client, to set up the Fire tablet to access your existing email accounts

  • Integration for Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter

  • WPS Office for simple word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet functionality


Check out the apps stored in the Cloud (meaning that these apps are stored at Amazon, rather than being preinstalled on your device) by tapping Apps on the Home screen and then tapping the Cloud tab. Here, you may find a number of free apps, such as a Wifi Analyzer (to check your Wi-Fi connection), free games, and more.

Here are some of the things you can use your Fire tablet for:

  • Shopping at Amazon for music, video, apps, books, and periodicals, and viewing or playing that content.

  • Storing Amazon-purchased content in the Amazon Cloud Drive and playing music and video selections from the Cloud instead of downloading them to your device. Amazon content doesn’t count toward your Amazon Cloud Drive storage limit (20GB), but other content backed up there does. Note that you can go to Amazon Cloud Drive and purchase anywhere from 20GB for $10 a year up to 1000GB of storage for $500.

  • Sending documents to yourself at a Kindle email address that’s assigned when you register your device.

  • Sideloading (transferring) content from your computer to your Fire tablet by using a micro USB cable that comes with the tablet. Using this cable, you can copy photos, music, videos, and documents (Word or PDF) from any computer onto your Fire tablet.

  • Making video calls using the free Skype for the Fire tablet app.

  • “Flinging” movies from your device to your large-screen TV using the Second Screen feature.