Monday, December 12, 2011

Playing with Fire

First, a story. I'll try to keep it short. Last night Jeff and I went to his company Christmas party. They were having a drawing for different prizes. They probably gave away maybe 20 gifts, most of them gift cards. There were about 150 employees at this party, so there were plenty of folks who just got a free meal (and lots of drinks) out of the evening. Jeff was very hopeful he would win the big TV they were giving away.

He did not.

I was hopeful he would win the iPad they were giving away.

He did not.

We both kind of figured he would walk away from the evening with empty hands.

He did not!

He didn't win the iPad or the TV, but he did win the Kindle Fire!

Now, I love my husband, but he has a tendency to jump to conclusions. And he will admit that he is kind of behind on tech stuff. His assumption when he heard the word "kindle" was a black and white reading device much like the one I already own (and now rarely use because of the app on my phone!) So when he claimed his prize, he brought it back to the table and just handed it to me and pouted a bit. I noticed that it came with a gift receipt, so I offered to let him return it and use the store credit towards a TV. After all, it was his prize and I'm a good wife like that. BUT, I did make sure to tell him all about it. And he started looking at the box. And he got curious and interested. So the new toy stayed!

When we got home, we pulled it out of the box and started playing with it. Before long we were both TOTALLY in love. It really is almost like an iPad or any other tablet. In terms of what I would want or use an iPad for, I can do it all on this. I can read my books. I can check my e-mail. I can play free games to pass the time. I can surf the internet (as long as I have wifi access). I can even listen to music and watch a few videos.

Those aren't the primary reasons we'd use an iPad anyway, so that suits me just fine. The music downloading took a while, I think because the file types have to be converted. There also isn't a ton of space for music (at least not for free) but again, not the primary reason I use it, so that's fine by me. If that is your thing, you can always pay for more storage on their Cloud Drive. I won't be doing this because it's not worth it to me. If I want, I can upload documents and photos as well. I haven't tried that party yet. I could definitely see how having the documents accessible would be helpful, especially if I were in school.

There are two things that an iPad has that this doesn't - a camera and 3G. I had already decided I wouldn't want or need 3G on an iPad anyway since I have that on my phone, so that's not really an issue. I also have the camera on my phone, so that wouldn't really be a big deal to me either. So at the end of the day, they're even.

One thing I honestly didn't even consider at first was the calendar. It's not something that comes standard and I'm not overly impressed with the free calendar apps that I have found, but they work. I don't expect this to be my primary means of organization anyway since it will be a shared device so I may or may not have it when I need it! No matter what, I'm still gonna have the iPhone to take care of the odds and ends for me.

Now, had I been left to my own devices, I probably wouldn't have even considered the Kindle Fire to be comparable to an iPad. I knew I wanted an iPad and there was nothing that would have convinced me otherwise. I did have to add some apps that would have come standard like a note pad, but I also don't have to fool with stuff like stocks and youtube that I don't use that often and just take up space.

All in all I've been very happy with this new toy. As an added perk, we get a month free of Amazon Prime. The big advantage for us (right now at least) is the free streaming video. We've each watched something, and each had mixed results. I watched a 90 minute movie and he watched a tv show. My movie took several tries to be able to load, but once it got started it was fine. His show loaded up right away and started fine, but about halfway through went out on him, and he didn't bother trying again. Because we haven't been really wowed by the selection of freebies (not every video is available as a free Prime video) and because it's not always perfect, I seriously doubt we'll be paying for this service once our free month is up. Still, it's nice to be able to try it out!

So yeah, if you're in the market for a new electronic toy, I recommend checking out the Fire. The jury is still out on how this will add to my productivity, but stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. We got one last night and I am still learning, but so far, I LOVE it. I am not too thrilled with the facebook app, but I don't really know why, it's just like the one for iphone. I love that I can stream Pandora and still use other apps. I love the comic app actually. We have gotten into "The Walking Dead" (don't knock it til you try it, I didn't think I'd like it either!) and I can read the actual comics that it's based off of and it's really neat. I have tried netflix on it too, which doesn't seem to have any issues as far as loading.

    I've added a few pics too and they are amazingly clear! I have bought one game app and that was "Uno" and I can't say I'm overly impressed. Glad I only spent 99c on it! It's not very easy to use in bed, it's just a little big to hold comfortably in one hand, and I'm afraid if I hold it up over my head it's going to fall on my face and break my nose!! I did find an all recipe app, and I think that will be fun. No pintrest app though :(. But, so far, in the little time I have played with it, I really like it!!! Let me know if you find some fun stuff!