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Ten handy Amazon Fire tablet tips and tricks

Amazon offers quite a range of tablets, from the entry-level Fire Tablet, which starts at $50, up to the top-of-the-line HDX 8.9 for $430. They all run Amazon’s Fire operating system, which is the company’s own take on Android. The latest version was built on top of Android 5 Lollipop. If you’ve never used it before, then you might not be aware of the possibilities it offers. That’s why we’ve put together this roundup of Amazon Fire tablet tips and tricks. We’ve got simple tips for beginners and more advanced tips for people looking to get a bit more out of their Amazon Fire tablet.

Related: Nine kid-friendly tablets for keeping your tiny ones tamed

Beginner tips for the Amazon Fire tablet

How to name your Fire tablet

If you use a number of different devices with your Amazon account, then things can quickly get confusing. Why not pick a descriptive name for your Fire tablet, rather than sticking with “Mr’s 3rd Fire”? All you have to do to change the name of your Fire tablet is pull down the notification shade from the top and tap Settings > Device Options > Change Your Device Name.

How to uninstall apps

You generally tap and hold on an app, or another piece of content, if you want to remove it from your Fire tablet. If you’re in the carousel, then you should get the pop-up option to remove or uninstall whatever you’ve long pressed on.

If you’re on the home screen, then you can tap and hold on an app icon to get the Uninstall option to appear in the top right. Now, you can tap to select multiple apps and then tap Uninstall to get rid of all of them at once.

You can also uninstall apps or games one by one by going to Settings > Apps & Games > Manage All Applications. Tap on the app you want to get rid of, and then tap Uninstall in the top right.

How to manage notifications

Some apps on your Fire tablet will send you notifications that pop up in the notification shade. That can be useful when you have an incoming email or there’s an update worth downloading, but sometimes you’ll get notifications that you simply have no interest in receiving.

If you find that a particular app or game is sending you too many pointless notifications, then you should turn them off. You can do so by going to Settings > Sound & Notification > App Notifications. Tap on the app in question and you can block notifications completely. Conversely, if there’s an app you always want to hear from, toggle Priority on and the app’s notifications will always appear at the top of your notification shade.

How to free up storage space

You may find that you run short on storage space after having your Fire tablet for a while, especially if you use it to take photos or shoot video. If you want to check on how much storage you have, go to Settings > Storage.

If you tap on Internal Storage, you’ll get a detailed breakdown of what’s on your tablet. You can go into each category, and choose to delete files to free up additional space. We’ll look at how to automatically upload photos and videos to the cloud in the next tip.

You can also free up some space by offloading items you haven’t used in a while under the 1-Tap Archive option. Tap View Content to review the candidates for archiving and Archive Now to go ahead and do it. If you need to get the items back, you can always tap on them to download them again from the cloud.

How to back up photos and videos

To preserve your memories and keep the photos and videos you take with your Fire tablet safe, you can automatically back them up to Amazon Drive. Every customer gets 5GB for free, but Prime members also enjoy free unlimited photo storage.

If you want to turn on the automatic backup option, then go to the Photos app, tap to expand the menu via the three horizontal lines in the top left, and choose Settings. You’ll see separate options to turn Auto-Save on for Photos and Videos. You can also choose which files you’d like to back up, choose to only back up when your Fire tablet is plugged in and charging, and manage the backup for your child’s profile if you have one set up on the device.

When a photo or video has not been backed up, it will have a wee icon of a cloud with a line through it in the bottom-right corner. If there’s an arrow, then the file is currently uploading. When photos and videos have been backed up, you can access them in any browser by visiting Amazon Cloud Drive and signing in with your Amazon account.

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