Now it’s time to begin taking advantage of your device, courtesy of our handy little guide below.
1. Set Up & Sync
After you’ve charged your Kindle Fire and connected it to your Amazon account (under Settings), you’ll want to sync the device with your existing media libraries and services.
Email: The Kindle Fire doesn’t come with a default email client; therefore, accessing your email through your browser is your best bet. If you’d rather use an app, download an email client for the Kindle Fire through the Appstore (from the top navigation, select Apps, then Store). If you have Yahoo Mail, download the dedicated Yahoo Mail client (free). If you’re using another email provider, we recommend Enhanced Email (works with a range of providers, $9.99), and/or Exchange by Touchdown (free, works with one Exchange server account at a time).
Calendar: Next, you’ll want to make your calendar(s) accessible on your Kindle Fire at all times. The best solution for that is a $5.99 app called CalenGoo, which syncs beautifully with Google Calendar.
Books: If you’ve already been downloading and reading Kindle books on another device, you can import your library by pulling up the Archives in your pre-loaded Kindle app. If you’re a first-time Kindle reader, you can shop for books by selecting the Store button. Make sure to check out the section for free books, most of them classics.
Music & Documents: To get your music on your Kindle Fire, upload your music library to Amazon Cloud Drive, which lets you store up to 5GB (about 1,000 songs) for free, to access on any Android device using the Amazon MP3 app. You can also store photos and documents on the cloud drive for access on your Kindle Fire.
Other: You can also download apps to access your content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Feedly (a visual RSS reader that can be synced across the desktop and other mobile devices), Read It Later (a tool that lets you bookmark articles on the web for later reading on your smartphone or Kindle Fire) and Evernote.
2. Download & Pin Your Favorite Apps
There are hundreds of great games, magazines, utility tools and other apps to download in addition to the cross-platform apps we recommended above. Make sure you read the reviews before downloading any app, particularly with magazines, as not all of them have been formatted for the Kindle Fire’s smaller screen. Among our favorites:
Other:SeekDroid ($2.99, lets you locate and remotely wipe your device in the event of theft), Adobe Reader and imo instant messenger (free, works with Skype, Facebook Chat, Google Talk, MSN, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo, Jabber and MySpace Chat) are among our must-haves.
Pin the apps you plan to use most on the bottom carousel by selecting and holding their icons on the main screen.
3. Sign Up for Amazon Prime
If you’ve never taken advantage of a free, 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, now’s the time. Amazon Prime gets you free, two-day shipping on all Amazon.com orders, plus access to Amazon’s library of hundreds of streaming films and TV shows on your Kindle Fire, laptop and HDTV. You’re also allowed to borrow one book from the Kindle Library Lending each month. After your free trial, an Amazon Prime subscription costs $79 per year.
Now that your Kindle Fire is all set up, you might want to outfit it with a few accessories, including a wall charger ($24.99) and headphones, neither of which comes with the Kindle Fire. U.S. owners might also want to look into purchasing a two-year warranty with accident protection for $44.99.
You can also find dozens of cases for your Kindle Fire on Amazon, Etsy and elsewhere. We’ve included a selection below.
If you have any additional apps, accessories or advice for first-time Kindle Fire owners, please share it with us in the comments section below.