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Kindle Fire 8 as a Backup eBook Reader for Accordance


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#1 Nathan Parker

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 12:27 AM

I currently own a 10.5" iPad Pro, plus a Kindle Paperwhite. I do quite a bit of long-term reading on the Kindle Paperwhite, plus I do some reading and run some of my school apps (Accordance being one) on the iPad Pro. 

 
After upgrading my iPad Pro to iPadOS 13, I've had some issues with battery charging this week (battery wasn't charging to 100%, plus draining on the charger). I've rebooted the iPad and tried another power socket, and I did manage to get it charged to 100% today, so I'm continuing to monitor it to see if the issue is resolved or if it re-surfaces (I've had a previous 10.5" iPad Pro have a similar issue which was due to a hardware issue, so I hope this isn't a hardware issue).
 
With Black Friday/Cyber Monday coming up, I know Amazon will be having Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. With the battery issue cropping up with my iPad Pro, I wonder if I should look at going ahead and investing in a low-cost Kindle Fire such as the Kindle Fire 8, mainly as a backup eBook Reader (especially for Accordance).
 
I wouldn't be using this as an "iPad replacement", nor would I be "switching" to the Kindle Fire as a dedicated tablet. I'm hoping my iPad Pro holds, as I love my iPad Pro, and I want to keep using my iPad Pro as my iPad. I am currently a Prime Student member, but I may be letting it lapse when it comes up for renewal, so all the Prime media stuff wouldn't be a big deal.
 
Here would be my main uses for the Kindle Fire:
 
1. Run a handful of eBook apps that I also run on my iPad Pro as a backup eBook reader in case I have further issues with my iPad Pro (Accordance being a big one). Since I'm in a PhD program, I constantly need to have quick access to my school books, as I usually use my iPad Pro for reading textbooks in class.
2. Run a copy of my school's video conferencing software (it's on the Amazon store) as a backup in case I needed to access it from another device.
3. Run a handful of troubleshooting apps for work, including a couple of weather apps (there’s a custom app I have from work that’s an APK I’d like to find out if it runs on the Kindle Fire if someone with one can manually test it for me, they can PM me for details).
 
Here are a few questions I have:
 
1. Most of the apps I'd run on it are on the Amazon store (including Accordance). There's a couple of eBook reading apps from my school not on the Amazon store, but they are on Google Play. Is it worth installing Google Play on the Kindle Fire for those? If so, is there a simple way to do it directly from the Kindle Fire (since I don't have a dedicated Windows PC)? Those eBook readers also have web app versions I can login to, so I could run them in a browser if that'd be simpler.
2. Is there a way to install apps and their settings on an SD card, and if the Kindle Fire ever dies, could I pull the SD card, pop it into a new Kindle Fire, and keep going? That'd be a quick way to have backups of these apps I use for school and a quick way to keep going if it'd work.
3. Should I run antivirus on the Kindle Fire? I have a Webroot license I could install on it.
4. Should I consider this investment over Black Friday/Cyber Monday as an extra device for reading eBooks for my PhD program?
 
Thanks!

Nathan Parker


#2 Nathan Parker

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 02:05 AM

Someone else on a tech forum I also discussed this on had a great experience with an iPad Mini (I keep forgetting the iPad Mini exists and only keep thinking about larger iPads). I should consider instead investing in an iPad Mini as a secondary iPad and backup.

 
I could mainly install the apps I mentioned above on it and treat it as the same as I would have with what I mentioned with the Kindle Fire, but the extra advantage is since it is an iPad, my full catalog of iOS apps would be available to install anytime, so if my iPad Pro ever did bite the dust and I needed a backup fast, not only would I have an iPad Mini with my critical apps on hand, but I could easily install any other app my iPad Pro was running I'd need access to, as well as have all my iCloud data at my fingertips.
 
The iPad Mini would be a great size for reading eBooks in classes, plus a good backup iPad in the event my main iPad Pro ever went. 
 
Additionally, I could always consider the low-end educational-priced iPad for a backup as well since it is close to the size as my iPad Pro, but with the Mini, I would then have two sizes, one super comfortable for reading, and one more optimized for work, and if I had to perform some work on the Mini in the event of a major issue with the Pro, I could.

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#3 Michael Hunt

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 04:19 AM

I haven't kept track of the changes to the iPad mini but has it seen a recent refresh? Last time I read about the mini the argument was made that it didn't really stack up as a value proposition since it hadn't been refreshed for some time. 


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#4 Michel Gilbert

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 10:56 AM

I have to come to the defense of the iPad mini. I have a mini 2, which just missed the cut for running iPad OS 13. But even so, I consider it one of the best pieces of technology I have ever owned. And, I probably will never buy a larger iPad as long as the minis are still available. 

 

First, it is the size of a book, easily held in one hand, and you can run the Kindle App. Second, it always had a higher pixel density than the bigger models, and even now it has 324 ppi compared to the iPad Pros at 264 ppi. I noticed the difference for reading when I tried them out years ago, and I can still tell the difference when I check them out in stores. Third, it is almost perfect for Unicode - you can install any Unicode font with AnyFont, and make your own custom keyboards with Unicode Pad, for any language, including ancient ones, e.g. Akkadian and Ancient Egyptian. Fourth, large files work better on my iPad than on their desktop versions, e.g., Word files over 2000 pages in length load and scroll effortlessly. Fifth, when I get a new one, it will have the A12 chip and Apple pencil support. Sixth, now that there is rudimentary mouse support in iPad OS, it will be even more productive. Seventh, to make this a perfect number list, I do most of my Bible reading on it, in Accordance, L, and my own custom PDFs. By the way, the PDF Apps are excellent, and I have a folder of readers that includes PDF Expert, GoodReader, Adobe Acrobat and Digital Editions, and others. Overall, I consider it the best reader of all time. 

 

Full disclosure: I don't own any Apple stock.

 

Regards,

 

Michel


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#5 mgvh

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Posted 21 November 2019 - 11:43 AM

I got a Kindle Fire HD 8" when it was on sale a while ago. It's easy and safe to turn it into a regular Android device. I installed the Accordance Android app, and it works perfectly. This Kindle does have an available microSD expansion slot, so there is plenty of room for storage.

I very much like using the device for reading, web browsing, videos, etc. It's large enough without being too large, and the high definition is very nice. The only thing I would recommend with this model is getting a case that includes a hand strap on the back. I.e., when I open the case, I slide my hand into the strap, and it's much easier to hold.


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#6 Nathan Parker

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 12:17 AM

I found out one of the apps I use isn’t on Kindle Fire, and another may be pivoting off of it, so doesn’t look like the Kindle Fire will long-term offer me enough for what I’d need.

 

Good points on the Mini. The only issue with them is the slightly higher cost than a full size iPad, but I already own a really great full size iPad Pro (if it keeps working). I use some of those PDF apps as well with it.


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#7 ukfraser

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 03:46 AM

In 2015 My ipad 2 had a major wobbly. I couldnt charge it and it didnt respond to anything. As i need the ipad for leading services, i rushed out and got a first generation ipad pro. However, I kept prodding the ipad 2 and after a few days i got a glimmer of life, charged it and my daughter now has it and uses it daily and its behaving. It was just playing with me.

While i accept its a backup to a large screen pro, however, i would seriously consider doing a pros and cons between the mini and the basic entry model. Would you use the mini more because of its small size or would you get more use because the basic has a larger screen? Also really understand what you want the backup for, an alternative os may actually help (or even a microsoft surface so you have full accordance?)

Edited by ukfraser, 22 November 2019 - 04:00 AM.

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Fraser Sims
Accordance 3x on iOS 13x on iPad pro and iPhone 8, occasionally accordance 13x on Mountain Lion on a reliable '08 mbp.
Other life enhancing software I use includes: forScore with AirTurn page turner for leading all aspects of a service from my iPad including liturgy, sermon and the congregational singing; HymnQuest for developing my selection of appropriate music for the service; Sibelius for preparing the music scores; Lightroom for my photo library!


#8 mgvh

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 02:26 PM

I found out one of the apps I use isn’t on Kindle Fire, and another may be pivoting off of it, so doesn’t look like the Kindle Fire will long-term offer me enough for what I’d need.

 

Good points on the Mini. The only issue with them is the slightly higher cost than a full size iPad, but I already own a really great full size iPad Pro (if it keeps working). I use some of those PDF apps as well with it.

It's easy and safe to install standard Android on the Kindle Fire. That's what I did to get access to all my apps not on the Amazon store.

HERE are directions.


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#9 Nathan Parker

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 09:13 PM

@ukfraser Good points on the pros/cons. The nice thing about the entry level educational model is it would work with my Smart Keyboard, so it’s similar to my iPad Pro, with a few fewer luxuries. In fact, if my iPad Pro ever bites the dust, I should decide on whether I need to invest in a Pro, or if a lower-cost iPad or iPad Air would work for me (but that’s for way later).

 

If I invested in a secondary iPad as a backup, I may be interested in the smaller size for reading, so I’d have the smaller iPad for reading and the larger iPad for heftier work. Before I would finalize my decision though, I’d look at both in person (no Apple Store near me, I could try Best Buy, although they lock everything down more so it’s harder to really get a feel for them).

 

The reason I considered the alternative OS was for the work APK I could test out. Then again, I can always get work to send me the hardware it officially runs on free so I can test it out without investing in the hardware needed to test it. :-)

 

Surface is totally out. Had a Surface Book. Hated it. Ended up giving it to my corporate attorney when I closed out my company (which I hope wasn’t a bad idea). I always had issues with the Surface hardware, where I’m totally burned for life ever using Surface hardware.

 

@mgvh Good to know. On the Kindle Fire, I don’t mind Fire OS since I have other Amazon hardware, but good to know that’s easy to do. In my case, it seems I am better off sticking in Apple land.

 

On my iPad Pro now, good news is it may be OK. I’m beginning to think it’s more of a faulty socket it was plugged into. I’m trying it in another socket, and all is working OK so far. Will continue to test over the weekend. If it turns out to be OK, then I can continue to enjoy my iPad for now, then decide on what I could do about a backup a little later.


Nathan Parker


#10 R. Mansfield

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 07:36 AM

FWIW, the iPad Mini was updated earlier this year, so one bought today is completely current and will be for some time. It even works with the Apple Pencil! I don't have one right now, but I took one with me on an 8-day trip to Panama a few years back and was amazed at how productive I could be with it and a Bluetooth keyboard. Currently, I have a 12.9" iPad Pro, but it is admittedly not an ideal device for casual reading--especially in bed!

 

On the Android front, I have two general recommendations: (1) The 8" Amazon Fire HD* on the low end, and (2) the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 on the high end. I have both of these, and they are excellent Android devices. The Amazon Fire (note that it hasn't been referred to as a "Kindle" by Amazon since 2014 as they have been careful to differentiate their e-ink and Android devices to create less confusion) at 8" is a perfect-size reading device. Although there is a less-expensive one at 7", the screen makes all the difference in the world in the better quality 8" version. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is meant to be an iPad Pro competitor, and I especially like the DeX option for connecting to external monitors and keyboards. 

 

*If you're reading this on the day I'm posting (Black Friday), Amazon has an exceptional deal on the 8" Fire tablet: $49.95. It's really too good of a deal to pass up at that price.


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#11 Nathan Parker

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Posted 29 November 2019 - 08:05 PM

Great tips. Thanks for the info, Rick. I found out that a handful of reading apps I use in addition to Accordance are slowly pivoting away from Fire Tablets, so in my case, even with the Black Friday deal, I guess I’m better off sticking with iPads. Right now, my iPad Pro battery is charging properly now (battery life is a little off with iPadOS 13, but I expect Apple to slowly resolve that). I may consider an iPad mini as a secondary iPad for reading sometime next year, since it would be more compact than my iPad Pro for intense reading.


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