Fire 7 / Fire 8 Tablets - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 2018-06-24, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Fire 7 / Fire 8 Tablets

Anyone using either the Fire7 or Fire8 tablets and in which case what do you think of them?

Just curious with Prime Day supposedly coming up in a few weeks. Not looking for a full-fledged iPad'ish tablet - I know you get what you pay for. Thinking about them just for email (side loaded Gmail) and watching downloaded Netflix content on the plane or while travelling.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 2018-06-24, 08:04 PM
 
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We picked up a Fire HD8 tablet when it was on sale for $79. My wife's smartphone would not support upgrades for two of the shopping apps that she likes to use, so it was a choice of jail breaking the phone to upgrade the Android version or buying her a new phone. I talked her into trying the HD8 as it was not a big financial loss if it didn't work out.

I was able to install the Google Play store, as the versions of one of her apps on the Amazon store was not as up to date as on Google Play. She has been using it for most of this year and it has worked out well. It is small enough to fit in her purse but has a big enough display that my old eyes can still read it. Granted, the image quality is not as good as other tablets, such as my Galaxy Tab S, and in bright sunlight it can be a challenge, but for the price it is good enough. She has all the apps she wanted running, including some games she plays while waiting for doctors' appointments. Gmail is working fine, but we haven't tried Netflix on it.

Recently it has introduced a couple of features she doesn't like. There is some kind of launch program that kicks in if you touch the screen in a certain gesture, and I haven't figured out how to turn it off. Also at one point it slowed down to the point of being unusable. It turned out that clearing the cache solved the speed problem.

The only future caveat is that I have read that Google is planning on clamping down on "unauthorized" devices so that you won't be able to use the Play Store on a device that is not Google approved. Given the disputes between Amazon and Google, I suppose it is possible this might put some restrictions on software availability in the future.

All in all, it is doing what we wanted at what seems like a good price.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 2018-06-24, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Good advice - thanks.

If it drops back to that price again for Prime Day perhaps then I'll pull the trigger on it.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 2018-06-25, 03:01 PM
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Wife has one as a media device. It's versatile -- supports Overdrive and CloudLibrary, as well as Kindle, and Netflix and Crave, as well as Prime Video. Web broswer is passable. Didn't set up email as it's a distraction when reading/watching, and don't need it for music.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 2018-06-29, 10:33 AM
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I also picked up a Fire for $79 and I'm happy with it. Use it mainly to access content via my home network. Never did complete registration with Amazon and have managed to get access to Google Play store after a Google search. Using Firefox Focus as my browser.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 2018-06-29, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like it will be good for my purposes.... now just need to wait for Prime Day to hopefully get that price again.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-16, 02:38 PM
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Picked up a Fire HD 10 in the US for $159 US. I'm impressed. Able to load Google play store and only one magazine app does not run properly but pdf's available to me.
Fast hd tablet for about $200 CDN. Good deal for me.... Picked up in a Best Buy in Oregon(no tax, no extra fees). Alexa works.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-18, 11:14 AM
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my parents have 3 fire tablets. 2 of the older ones, one of the newer ones. My parents did not pay a cent for them. They received them as gifts from their comp from their frequent visits to US casino's over the years. Yes they got them free. My parents are not too savvy so they are easy enough for my dad and mom to use to browse the net, watch videos, and even play a few games here and there even though they are book readers primarily
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-19, 07:19 AM
 
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geode,

It sounds like the launch program you're referring to is "Show Mode" which effectively turns it into an Echo Show device. The control for it is found by dragging down from the top and turning off show mode at the bottom.

I'm curious which cache you cleared to improve performance.

Phil
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-19, 08:57 PM
 
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@Phils

It was the System Cache Partition which is wiped in recovery mode. The following were the steps:

Power off.
Hold the volume down and power buttons.
When the boot screen appears, release the power button.
Use the volume button to navigate to format cache.
Press the power button to select.
After formatting, reboot.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-20, 07:14 AM
 
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@geode ,

Thx, I've done this on a phone previously. In that case, it didn't help.

Was I right about show mode?

Phil
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-20, 09:14 PM
 
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@Phils
No, but you gave me something further to investigate. Show mode requires version 5.6.2.0. For some reason we are still on 5.3.6.4. Checking for updates does not indicate any outstanding system updates. Even though it is a 7th generation HD8, maybe there are different versions that aren't eligible for the upgrade.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 2019-03-21, 07:33 AM
 
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I think 7th generation should work with Show Mode.

Phil
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