August 3, 2023 at 8:15 am #8259
I have an iPad but it is old, really old, like 2013. It still works and the battery still lasts up to 5 or 6 hours, depending on what I am doing on it. The problem is that it runs iOS 12, and it cannot be upgraded, which is really old. Many new apps won’t install and some apps that are installed are saying they will soon stop working, or will no longer be supported, which might mean the same thing, depending on the app.
I have been thinking about what I should replace it with. A new iPad is the obvious thing to buy, but the only thing I use my iPad for is watching streaming TV and movies. It still runs some outdated streaming apps, but they won’t update and the latest versions won’t install. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to spend a lot of money on a super powerful iPad just to watch TV on it.
Samsung recently launched a new Tab 9 range of tablets, but is it me or do they seem very expensive? They start at £799 here in the UK. For that price I could get a good iPad, which I think is better because of the Apple ecosystem, like millions of apps designed specifically for iPadOS.
Basically, I wanted something cheap that ran TV, movie, and music streaming apps. I few others might be useful, but I’m not going to draw on the screen with a pencil, use it for work, or run the latest games on it. The Amazon Fire HD tablets seemed to offer what I wanted.
I debated which size to get and the 10 in model was tempting, and the new Amazon Fire Max 11 looks great, but it is too close to the price of a 9th-gen iPad (last year’s) at discounters. I eventually bought the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus without ads costing £129. The Plus means a slightly higher spec than the base model and the ad-free model costs £10 more, but I thought it was worth it.
So now I have a soon-to-be-recycled 10-year-old iPad, and a new Amazon Fire HD 8 plus. I’ll post an update on how it has worked out soon.August 5, 2023 at 8:39 am #8260
Setting up the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus tablet was very easy. In fact, so easy it was scary! The reason is because I took it out of the box, turned it on for the first time and was expecting it to ask for my name, amazon account, Wi-Fi selection, Wi-Fi password and so on. I got none of that.
I unboxed it, turned it on and it said Hello Roland Waddilove, connecting to Wi-Fi, setting up your device… done. Or words to that effect.
It asked me for nothing and it knew everything, which was clever, but also a bit scary. It knew my name, it knew my Amazon account, it knew which Wi-Fi network to connect to, it even knew the password to my Wi-Fi. This is not my first Amazon device, so maybe it connected to my Fire Stick, which was plugged into a TV in another part of my home.
Basically, it set itself up immediately on turning on for the first time and was ready to use almost straight away.August 16, 2023 at 9:51 am #8312
What you think of the Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus depends on what you expect. If you think you are getting an iPad for one third of the price you are going to be disappointed. It is not brilliant at anything and not as good as an iPad. However, it is OK, it does the job, and you won’t need a bank loan to buy it. If that is what you want then you will like the Fire HD 8 Plus.
The screen resolution is fairly low, but like everything about this tablet, it is OK. There is nothing bad about the spec, but nothing outstanding too. It’s OK and it does the job.
After digging around in the settings, I found a reference to Android 11. The OS may be based on Android, but every app, service and mention of Google as been stripped out and replaced with Amazon apps and services. Fire HD tablets have their own look and feel. The end result is a lightweight OS that runs quite well on the hardware. It’s not super fast, but it is not slow either.
You get a lot of Amazon apps and services, like Prime Video, Amazon Music, online storage, Kindle, E-mail, Weather, Silk Browser, Clock, and more. All can be used for free to some extent, but you get more if you subscribe. For example, Freevee enables you to watch free Amazon TV and movies, but you get a lot more with a subscription to Amazon Prime Video.
Adding Gmail to the E-mail app was easy and done in seconds enter your email address, authorize it, and it’s done. Silk Browser is is based on Chromium, like many Chrome-based browsers.
There is no Google Play Store, in fact, no Google anything, and you get Amazon Appstore instead. Many of the most popular Android apps are in Amazon’s store and are no different. Not every Android app is here, but there are a lot. I will be using it to watch TV and movies, so I installed ITVX, BBC iPlayer, My5, Channel 4, Pluto TV, and several others. I’m in the UK and US residents will have their own TV and movie apps. These are all free, but you can subscribe to Netflix and paid services others.
So far, I like the Amazon Fire HD 8. Sure, I’d like an iPad even more, but it seems like an overkill just to watch TV, listen to music, check my email and so on.August 16, 2023 at 9:52 am #8313
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