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Old 09-19-2017, 01:19 PM   #16
Purple Lady
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I just have to trust apks downloaded from unofficial sources. But thanks for the info.

I am pretty heavily invested in Google Calendar (for both my personal and my work schedule). Didn't really think about that angle. We'll see how it plays out.
I've found APKMirror to be reliable, and you can trust links in XDA in these kinds of posts. A lot of people are using the links so if someone changed what was in the link to be a virus, you probably wouldn't be the first to get it before it's fixed. I've never heard of the Google Play stuff being replaced on APKMirror. If you happen to be very unlucky though I guess it could happen.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:14 PM   #17
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Here's an interesting feature. I wonder when they'll add it to other Fire Tabs?

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Now with hands-free mode

When connected to Wi-Fi, simply say the wake word, “Alexa.” Alexa will respond to you—even when the screen is asleep—and will show visual responses to certain questions. Click here for instructions on enabling hands-free mode.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:10 PM   #18
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Good to know. I'm obviously out of touch; as it was a bit of a project on the original HD7s if I recall.
It's really easy. Click four links. Each one you download and run. Then you have Google Play Store
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:12 PM   #19
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I don't care about the OS or launcher. I'm more interested in getting apps not available at Amazon and newer versions of those that are available.
That's how I use it...to get the few apps that I want that aren't available in Amazon's store. I mostly use it as a reading and tv/movie watching device anyway. Really handy these days for watch Udemy.com training videos as I commute to work (on a train).

Nonny
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:38 PM   #20
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I'm almost sorry my Fire HD 8.9 shows no sign of dying.
The lower weight would be welcome, as is the SD card capability.
(Sigh)
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:31 PM   #21
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I'm sorry my 2015 Fire 8 is worth only a pittance on the re-sale market. If it was worth more, I could sell it and buy the 2017 model. My brother just got one, and he likes it. Mine is slow as molasses...I put Nova Launcher on it today, and it took forever to install. Everything is slow on that device.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:32 PM   #22
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My 8.9" HDX is still running great although I wish it had gotten the update to Fire OS 5.
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:59 AM   #23
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I'm still trying to determine how different the "new" HD8 is. It has Alexa, but that's software. I'm THINKING I'm getting better battery life and it appear to be a tad faster. But I couldn't swear by either. I still can't just leave it alone for a few days or a week or more and expect there to be any battery life. That's one of the nice things about an iPad. They really don't lose much if anything when you aren't using them.

Still, I like the size and the expandable memory. When I travel I load movies and shows on my Kindle Fires even if I bring an ipad along as well. My latest gig I'm commuting and not traveling. I've loaded a bunch of training videos from Udemy.com (great place).

One thing that is still frustrating is that -- from time to time -- the Kindle Fire's bog down. For no good reason I can discover, they just get REALLY slow. And then some time later they are ok again. Happened with my 7, first HD8 and the new HD8.

I have made my peace with FBReader as my Android epub reader. I like Marvin on my iDevices much better than any of the Android reader apps. Reader apps, btw, are the biggest reason I had to install Google Play. Kindle books and Audible books work very well as one would expect.

I don't see the night and day improvement between the old and new HD8. I see improvement, but if money is an issue...keep your old HD8 and wait for a more significant upgrade. For me, the price falls into discretionary spending and I just hand my old HD8 to a family member.

How are the rest of you finding the new HD8 compared to the old one?
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:00 AM   #24
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I'm sorry my 2015 Fire 8 is worth only a pittance on the re-sale market. If it was worth more, I could sell it and buy the 2017 model. My brother just got one, and he likes it. Mine is slow as molasses....
Mine, too. As a result, I mostly use mine for reading when I can't be bothered to sideload something to an eink device and use the web browser only in a pinch. It's fine for reading. I toy with the notion of doing a factory reset and seeing if that helps, but so far I can't be bothered; it's not worth the nuisance of resetting up the device, at least not yet. Has anyone gone the reset route and has it helped? That might tip the balance one way or the other.

I still really, really like my 2013 Nexus 7, but there's no denying that the battery life has taken a big hit over time.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:42 AM   #25
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I still really, really like my 2013 Nexus 7, but there's no denying that the battery life has taken a big hit over time.
I hear you. I love mine too, but whether through normal battery decline, or power consumption increases on the road from Jellybean to Marshmallow (or a combination of both), it's needing to be recharged much more often.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:44 AM   #26
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I'm still trying to determine how different the "new" HD8 is. It has Alexa, but that's software.
I suspect that the always listening "Alexa Hands-Free" feature relies on hardware assist to avoid draining the battery.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:51 PM   #27
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I have the new Fire 7". I bought it for $30, which is about all it's really worth to me. I find the interface to be convoluted and difficult to use and about as counter-intuitive as can be. And yet I use it. It's the tablet I keep always turned on, charging it every couple of days. It holds up pretty well and at that price I don't care if the battery dies in half the usual time.

I did install Google Play on it. As other said, it was easy. Download a file manager, then download and install 4 files in the correct order, reboot. That's it. Log in on Google Play and you're ready to go. Oh yeah, first enable 3rd party apps.

I had the previous Fire 7" also, purchased on sale for $33, and I did the same with it. I never had any problems after enabling 3rd party apps or installing Google Play. Everything worked just fine. Except the Fire interface, of course. That never worked fine.

If they come out with a new one in a year or two I'll get that too, assuming it's very cheap. It's not a very good device but everything works okay and it's handy having one I never turn off. It's always ready to use.

As for the 10" one, if the speaker is as improved as the screen I'll be interested. I watch a lot of Prime videos and my 8.9" Fire is getting old and has no micro SD slot. I'd like to replace that. But only if the speaker is very good. The speaker on my 7" Fire is pretty poor.

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Old 09-20-2017, 05:35 PM   #28
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As for the 10" one, if the speaker is as improved as the screen I'll be interested. I watch a lot of Prime videos and my 8.9" Fire is getting old and has no micro SD slot. I'd like to replace that. But only if the speaker is very good. The speaker on my 7" Fire is pretty poor. Barry
I have the Fire 7" from 2015 and the Fire 8" from 2016. I guess those are the 5th and 6th gen. respectively.

As you say, the single speaker on the Fire 7" is dreadful. You have to either use headphones or powered external speakers. The Fire 8" has very much improved audio. It has two speakers with much better placement. They're much louder and even have a little bass. When holding the tablet, you can feel the whole device vibrate to the sound, so I get the idea that the whole tablet acts as a speaker enclosure while the 7" tablet doesn't. So I'm pretty sure the new 10"'s audio will be at least as good as last year's 8HD. It will probably have the two speakers on the left edge, in portrait mode, instead of the single speaker in the back like the 7".

Still, some audio sources are not loud enough. I tried to find an equalizer app that would boost the volume. There are lots of apps that claim to do so, but, in my experience, they don't work. They all seem to just attenuate frequencies and over all volume, and trick you into thinking they're working, but when you move all of the sliders all the way to the top, you just get the same loudness that you'd have gotten with no EQ or volume boost app.

I did find one app, and only one app, that really boosts the volume a lot. VLC for Android, but that's a media player not a volume booster or EQ app for all the device's audio. I play all downloaded content through VLC if it needs a volume boost, but that still leaves audio that plays in the browser, like news sites, for which VLC is no help.

Are there any EQ apps or volume boosters for Android that really work? Or other media players with EQ settings? I read somewhere a long time ago that without rooting, real audio boosting isn't possible on Android.
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Old 09-20-2017, 05:40 PM   #29
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Are there any EQ apps or volume boosters for Android that really work? Or other media players with EQ settings? I read somewhere a long time ago that without rooting, real audio boosting isn't possible on Android.
There's none that I've found (though every one and their brother will tell you THEY have the one that works).
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:41 PM   #30
Barty
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I've gotten used to high DPI screens. I don't know if I can go back to 1080p @10". I would pay a little more for a new HDX.
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