About

On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

Recent Comments

September 2016
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Funamo! Parental Controls for Kindle Fire May Cover For Lack of Built-in Options

The lack of intricate parental control options has been a popular complaint about the Kindle Fire since about the time it was released.  Amazon has made some moves to address the most pressing issues.  We haven’t heard any horror stories about people going into debt over Smurfberry purchases, for example.  Still, until Amazon comes up with more options that allow parents to manage how these devices are used, there is going to be a steady stream of complaints.  Funamo has stepped up to handle that need in the meantime, for a small fee.

At $20, this is not a cheap application.  Not only that, Funamo is not yet available in the Amazon Appstore for Android.  This means that it needs to be purchased through the developer’s website.  The hassle and expense may be worth it considering what can be accomplished by having it around.

The default settings are fairly straightforward.  You install Funamo and log in, after which the device settings will be completely locked out.  It comes with its own web browser, which has all the usual things one would expect parents to want to keep blocked already cut off, and encourages users to put the Silk browser onto the “Protected Apps” list.  Besides that, everything else is up to the user.

This isn’t just a matter of locking out certain content, either.  Yes, it is likely that many parents would approve of the ability to block porn viewing from their child’s tablet.  Using Funamo, it is also possible to say that the same child’s favorite games will only be available between 9am and 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Parents can set limits on everything from media viewing time to reading.  Many will even be quite encouraged to note that it is possible to block the Kindle Fire’s access to the Appstore entirely when desired.

Any of these settings can, of course, be overridden with a password.  You never know when exceptions to the normal rules might be in order.  They can also be changed on short notice as well, and not only from the Kindle Fire itself.  Nightly syncing allows parents to maintain control through any internet-connected browser.

Through this web interface, it is possible to add, change, or remove access restrictions.  It is also possible to view a detailed history of everything that has been done on the tablet recently.  If a child does something unexpected that the parent never thought would come up, it is a simple matter to adapt the rules to cover the new situation.  While the Kindle Fire does not support Push updates, Funamo is set to sync up nightly by default.

At a glance, this seems to be slightly overprotective.  Users are encouraged to take control of literally every aspect of their kid’s tablet experience.  That sort of control is precisely what many parents are looking for, however, and if this allows the child to enjoy ownership of their own Kindle Fire where it would otherwise not be allowed, it is probably worth the hassle for everybody involved.

Draw Something for the Kindle Fire Now Available

Have you been wanting to engage in a social experience with friends using your Kindle Fire despite its lack of camera or microphone?  If so, it’s a good time to head to the App Store and check out the new releases.  OMGPOP’s hit game “Draw Something” is now in stock.  With both Free and Ad-Free flavors ready for your download, everybody has a way to play.

Much like the ever-popular Words With Friends, a game which came packaged with the Kindle Fire, users are matched up with friends in a turn-based back and forth game.  There are no time limits, and you can have a number of simultaneous games going if that suits your mood.  Don’t have friends who play?  No problem.  Draw Something will match you up with complete strangers at random just so you have something to do with your time.

The core game mechanic in Draw Something is…ok, you can probably figure that one out on your own.  Anyway, each player takes turns either drawing one of three word options presented at random or trying to guess what word the other player was trying to represent with their drawing.  It’s a pretty straightforward kind of game.  Scoring is done using in-game currency, which can then be used to purchase things like extra colors for your use when doing more drawing.  Naturally there is also a micro-transaction option, but it is unobtrusive and easily ignored.

This new release still has a couple problems with it compared to more established incarnations.  There have been issues reported when logging into your account from multiple devices.  There have been similar, yet seemingly unrelated problems for people who own multiple Kindle Fire devices on the same account.  Perhaps the biggest problem that people are running into is the lack of an option to take a screenshot.  Since achieving popularity, Draw Something screenshots have been shared all over the internet and the inability to save a particularly good one due to limitations in the Kindle Fire’s software may be frustrating.

As with many other popular social games, Draw Something is a cross-platform program.  Players can connect with their friends over Facebook or via usernames chosen within the app itself.  If you want to do without a Facebook account then you will need an email address, but there have been no reports of these addresses being abused or spammed in any way.

What it all comes down to is that Kindle Fire users have access to perhaps the most popular time-waster type of game on the market for the moment, which by extension more than doubles the potential Android Tablet user pool.  Better late than never, of course, and there will most likely be months yet before something else comes along to capture popular attention.  Have fun with it and exercise your creative side.