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This grandma has a new tablet. It’s the Amazon Fire HD 10. I made sure to get the one without “Special Offers.” Jeeze Loueeze! The thought of purchasing a tablet with built-in advertisements gets my goat. Anyway, I got the 64 GB (expandable up to 256 GB) version of the tablet. I also got it for a steal! I was browsing around on Amazon on Monday, which was Cyber Monday, and saw the tablet. Since my Samsung tablet had been giving me the blues, I figured it was time to get something new.Amazon HD Tablet

Grandma Needs a Basic Tablet

Over the years of owning a tablet, I realized I only used a fraction of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1’s features. I overbought when I got it. Sort of like putting too much food on my Thanksgiving plate (and menu). I only needed the basics. As such, the Amazon HD tablet is just perfect. I did, however, have to configure it to meet my basic needs. By downloading the following apps, I made my tablet whole:

  1. Google Play Store: I found YouTube videos on how to install it. Actually, you have to download the following 4 files in order to get the Play Store app to work properly:
  2. YouTube: To continue my education
  3. Google Docs and Google Sheets: Makes it so easy to get work done
  4. Solitaire: Yes, this is what I use the tablet for the most in my spare time. I play solitaire if I’m watching a TV program so I don’t have to look at or listen to the commercials. I turn the volume on the TV down and play solitaire until the commercials are over. It’s amazing how many games one can play during commercial breaks.

The remaining necessary apps were:

  • WBGO (jazz station) – Although not really necessary with Alexa because she uses Tune In
  • IPVanish – Gotta protect my privacy as much as I can
  • Cinema HD (yep, that’s why I have IPVanish)
  • Optimum
  • PlayStation Vue
  • Instagram (I get to see what my younger relatives are doing)
  • SnapChat (Stay in contact with those very same young relatives)
  • Bitmoji (To pretend to be cool with the young relatives)
  • Messenger (no facebook.): To communicate verbose messages that are too long for texts.
  • FMTV – Helps me with my attempts to stay healthy
  • Libby: My library’s app. I use it to listen to my audiobooks for free ( no audiobooks account needed)
  • Harvest Host – for when I finally get out traveling

Learning How to Use Alexa

Okay, this Alexa thing is new to me. Yes, I do have an Amazon Fire Stick, but I never use the voice commands. I prefer typing using the Rii i8 keyboard. However, with this tablet, I decided to try using voice commands. I usually have Alexa off as I don’t like folks eavesdropping on my conversations.WBGO

Throwing caution to the wind, I decided to give it a go. I asked Alexa to play my favorite jazz station so I could listen to it through my Bose speakers. She complied and I listened to great music while I bopped around and cleaned the kitchen.  Once the kitchen was cleaned, I wanted to turn the music off.

Did I mention that I’m a newbie to this Alexa stuff? Anyway, I said, “Alexa, turn off WBGO.” To which she replied, “I’m not sure what you want.” (or something like that). Then I said, “Alexa, shut off WBGO.” Again, she couldn’t understand what I wanted.

I then said, “Alexa, close the WBGO app.” That was still a no go. My frustration began to rise and I called her an unflattering name and demanded, “Turn the music off!!” That didn’t work either (what an immature outburst on my part). My daughter, who was in the other room said, “Mom, I can hear you!”

Embarrassed by My Language

I then substituted the unflattering name for Alexa and we’re all good. She turned the music off. It’s quite obvious that I need to learn Alexa speak.

Amazon Fire HD Show Mode

For the life of me, I couldn’t understand what show mode was. So, I asked Alexa (very nicely) to enter show mode. With show mode, it’s just like the term sounds. The tablet will show you things, but you cannot input anything. You must exit show mode to begin using it as a tablet again.

Impressive Battery Life

The battery life is much longer than my old Samsung and it takes much less time to charge it. Also, the beauty of charging the Amazon HD fire is that any USB charger will do (unlike the persnickety Samsung tablet). I was even able to charge it from my portable battery charger. Something I could not do with the Samsung tablet.

Battery Charger

Blue Tooth Connectivity

All my Bluetooth devices connected hiccup free! As a matter of fact, the Bluetooth keyboard that I previously used with the Samsung Galaxy Note (it came as part of the Samsung-specific case) works much better with the Amazon tablet than it did with the Samsung. Go figure.

I’ve only had the tablet for a few days, but this Low-Tech Grandma is thrilled with her Amazon Fire HD tablet. Now I’ll freely allow my grandson to view his favorite movie, “Ghostbusters” on the old Samsung. He won’t get his adorable little sticky mitts on grandma’s Amazon Fire HD.

FeliciaFelicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.

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