Android 2.3

Open web pages in a new tab

If you are viewing a website and you see a URL, you can long press on it and then choose to open the site in a new tab

How to remove a favourite

To remove a favourite, press and hold on the favourite. A menu should appear. Then select Remove from favourites.

Some users have reported that you may need to restart your device for the favourite to be removed.

Stop Photos or Music files being indexed

To stop the Photo app or the Music player from indexing your files, place a blank text file called .nomedia in the folder

Remove large applications

If you are running low on phone memory, you can look for your largest applications to uninstall. Go to Settings - Applications - Manage Applications and press Menu. This will then filter your apps by memory use

Access the scientific calculator

When using the standard calculator, rotate the phone to landscape mode. The calculator will change to a scientific one

Close all tabs in Silk browser

If you are a surfer that likes a lot of tabs open, sometimes it can be a nuisance to close them all at once in the Silk web browser. There is a solution however. Instead of pressing the x on a tab, press and hold on the top of the tab. Then select Close all tabs.

View / stop currently running Apps

To see what Applications are currently running, go to the Settings Menu. Then select More - Applications.

To close an Application, then select the App and press the Force Stop button.

How to use Android Market

Sideloading is the process of installing Apps that are not from Amazon, on your Kindle Fire - for example the Android Market. In order to do this, you must enable it in the settings first.

From the homescreen, press Settings - More - Device. Then find Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources and change this to On.

Now you can copy other Apps on to the device as files. In order to open the files however you will need to get a free App called ES File Explorer from the Amazon marketplace.

Once you have installed this, copy the App installation file to your computer via a USB cable and open it in ES File Explorer.

Clean up / remove items from the carousel

If your carousel is getting cluttered with frequently used items, then here are some tips to clear it out:

To clear Apps: Go to Settings - Applications. Then filter by All Apps. Then App Manager - Clear data (this will clear your Apps from the Carousel, so if you want to keep them then they need to be favourites).

To clear web pages: Go to your standard browser, then Menu - Settings - Clear history.

To remove a video: Go to Settings - More - Applications - Amazon video Clear data.

Make a note in an eBook

The Kindle Fire allows you to make a note in an eBook, similar to placing bookmarks or post-its on a real book.

First, find some text you want to highlight. Press and hold at the start of the text, then drag your finder to the end of the text. Then remove your finger and select Make a Note. You can then type in the note.

Check the available memory

Go to Settings - More - Device. This will show you how much memory has been consumed and how much is remaining

Send and receive text / SMS messages

While you can't install a text / SMS messages without rooting your device, there is another method.

Simply download the IM+ App and then set it up to use Google Talk.

Check the remaining battery / storage

From your homescreen, press Settings (top right) - More - Device. Under this section you will see exactly how much battery life and memory storage you have left.

Highlight text in an eBook

The Kindle Fire allows you to highlight text in an eBook, similar to using a highlighter pen on a real book.

First, find some text you want to highlight. Press and hold at the start of the text, then drag your finder to the end of the text. Then remove your finger and select Highlight. The text will be marked in yellow.

Lock your screen orientation

By default, if you rotate your Kindle the screen will rotate with the device. You can lock this into either Portrait or Landscape mode.

From your homescreen, press Settings - Then choose Locked or Unlocked.

Display notifications / URL bar while browsing

When browsing the notifications bar will be hidden. Press Menu and the Browser menu and Notifications menu will appear

Improve the keyboard accuracy

There is no need to be stuck with the standard Android keyboard.

Go to the Android Market (you may need to enable this first) and search for 'Keyboard' to see some great alternatives, many of which are more accurate and make typing much easier.
A good one is GoKeyboard.

If you see a warning saying the keyboard will collect all information (including credit cards) just ignore this. This is just a security feature that Android shows for every third-party keyboard that you install.

Open ePub files on your Kindle Fire

If you try to open an ePub file on the Kindle Fire, then it won't open by default. There are two ways to get around this.

The first is to convert the ePub file to a PDF file via an online converter. Go to: and use their converter, which is free and doesn't require registration. Then copy the PDF file to your Kindle Fire via USB.

The other way is to use an App outside the Amazon App store. First you must allow this in your software. Go to Settings - Device and turn on 'allow installation of applications from unknown sources'. Then you can download the Apps from third-party websites. Some good Apps are as follows: 1Mobile Cool Reader, Aldiko, Calibre, FBReader, Nook for Android and OverDrive.

Create shortcut to websites on your home screen

Go to your browser bookmarks. Long press on a site and select Add shortcut to Home

Turn on PIN for security

If you haven't already, then make sure your device requires a PIN number to unlock. Go to Settings - More - Security. Then turn Lock screen password to On.

How to hard / factory reset

Warning: This will remove ALL data on the device.

From the homescreen press Settings - More - Device. Then choose Reset to Factory Defaults.

How to find Free eBooks for your Kindle Fire

Here are some good sites providing free Books to download to your Kindle Fire:

Double tap for a full stop (period)

While typing emails or notes, you can simply tap the space key twice and the phone will insert a full stop / period.

Save images while browsing

To save an image in an email or in the browser, long press on the image and a menu will appear allowing you to save it.

Images should be stored in the /sdcard/Downloads/ folder.

Speed up your browser / ensure privacy

By default your device sends all web pages through Amazon's EC2 proxy servers. While Amazon claims this speeds up the browser, many users say it actually slows it down. Also it means all of your website browsing goes through their servers meaning they can technically see what you're browsing. In the Silk browser T&Cs Amazon state that they may keep browsing data for 30 days.

To disable this, go to your browser and choose Settings - Advanced. Then uncheck Accelerate Page Loading. It may seem counter-intuitive, but many users say this claims speeds up your browsing and your privacy will not be compromised.

Another way to speed up your browser is to only load Flash when you need it. To change this setting, go to the standard Silk browser. The Settings - Advanced - Enable plugins. Then choose On demand.

And lastly, if you're still not happy with the default Silk browser, then download another browser such as Dolphin.

Transfer Kindle Books to Kindle Fire

If you have an old Kindle and you want to transfer your eBooks to your Kindle Fire, then the process is pretty straightforward.

First, plug your old Kindle into your PC via a USB cable. A new drive should appear on your computer. Go into the drive and find the eBook folders. Create a folder (call it anything) on your computer and drag the eBooks into this folder. You might have to go into each folder individually and drag the contents out. Once you have done them all, unplug your old Kindle.

Then get your new Kindle Fire and connect that to your computer via USB. A new drive should appear again. Open this and go to the Documents folder. Then drag the files you coped before into the Documents folder.

How to change the sort order of collections / books

If you want to sort folders, collections or books in an order other than alphabetical then there are a couple of simple ways.

The first is to simply put a number like 01, 02, 03 etc in front of the book or collection. Another way is to put a # (number / hash) sign. To use the #, press. Then you can label your folders like this:

# Read First
## Read Next
Completed books
History Books
Reference Books

Enable / disable vibrate / haptic feedback when you type

From the Homescreen press Menu - Settings - Sound.

Then under Feedback you can adjust certain features like Audible touch tones, Haptic feedback and so on.

Change keyboards

If you have additional keyboards installed, you can switch between them by long pressing the 123 button while in keyboard mode

How to soft reset

To soft reset your device press and hold the Power/Lock button for a up to 20 seconds it should restart. Then wait about 30 seconds and then press and hold the Power/Lock button again to restart.

Remove content

To remove content from your device, press and hold on the item and select Remove from Device.

Content that you have purchased will remain stored in the Amazon Cloud allowing you to download it again at no cost.

How to rotate the homescreen to landscape

On most Android phones, when you rotate the phone when on Homescreen mode, the Homescreen stays in Portrait mode. One way around this is to install a third-party Launcher Application which allows you to customise your phone in many ways.

One popular launcher is called GoLauncher. Or alternatively, open the Android Market and search for the word Launcher.

Turn off predictive text when typing

Go to Settings - Language and Keyboard - Touch Input - Text Input - Prediction. Select On or Off

How to re-download your Amazon Books to your Kindle Fire

If you have purchased some eBooks through Amazon but they are not on your Kindle Fire, then there is an easy way to send them to your Kindle.

Go to the Amazon website and sign in. Then on the right hand side at the top, click on My Account.

Then scroll down and you should see Kindle Help on the right. Click on Manage Your Kindle, under Kindle Community.

Then scroll down to Your Orders and choose the eBooks you want to re-download. On the right side of that section there should be a link saying to send to your Kindle Fire. Click that and press Go.

It should only take a few seconds to send the books.

Change the screen brightness

Go to Menu - Settings - Display - Brightness. Then choose the desired brightness setting. You can also select Automatic brightness to let the phone decide for you

If you have auto-brightness enabled, you can also press, hold and slide the top notification bar left and right. The brightness will increase and decrease accordingly.

Help, I have forgotten my unlock pattern

If you have forgotten your custom unlock pattern, then don't panic.

After 5 unsuccessful tries a button should appear saying 'Forgot pattern'. Press this and you will be asked to enter your Gmail username/password.

The phone will then ask for a new unlock pattern. If you don't have a Gmail account, then you might have to either call your carrier or factory reset your phone.

Change default download location for music

Usually when you download music from Amazon, it will ask if you want to store the music on the Cloud or on your Device.

First you need to ensure your WiFi is turned on press the Settings icon (at the top) and enable WiFi. Then to change the default save location, go back to your homescreen and press Music. Then press Menu (at the bottom) and Settings. Then press Delivery preference. Then you can choose to save purchases to your Cloud drive or your device.

Search for a word in an eBook

To search for a word inside an eBook, there are two ways:

The first is obvious. Just press the search / magnify glass icon at the bottom of the book you are reading.

The second is slightly less obvious. Open a book, then press and hold on a word in the book. A menu will appear. Then press More and Search in book. This will show all locations in the book where that word occurs.

View all emails from one sender

Open your email App and find an email from a particular sender. Instead of opening the email, press and hold on it. Then select 'More from this sender'

Delete / remove unwanted Apps

To remove apps on your Kindle Fire, simply find the App you want to remove, then press and hold on it. A menu should pop up. Select Delete to remove the App

Accents and special characters

If you want to type non-English letters (eg those with an accent), long-press on the relevant letter. A list of options will appear for you to select

Install a new keyboard on your device

If you want a different keyboard from the default one, go to the Android Market (you may have to enable this first) and install one you would like to use.

Then open the Applications Launcher. Press Settings - Language and keyboard - Input method. Then select the keyboard you would like to use

Change your bookmarks

By default, your Browser will show a list of default bookmarks that Amazon has chosen for you. If you want to change this screen, then press and hold on a bookmark and choose Delete to remove one. If you want to add a new one, then navigate to a website. Then press the Bookmark icon (at the bottom of the screen), then press the box with the + (plus) in it.

Enable auto App updates

Android has a feature allowing you to update Applications automatically. This is turned off by default, but you can turn it on.

Open the Android market, then Menu - My Apps.

Then you need to open up each installed App and tick Allow Automatic Updating at the bottom. Unfortunately you do need to do this for each App.

Copy and paste text

To copy and paste text, follow these steps:

To copy:
Press and hold on top of some text you want to copy. This will display two little sliders. Move the sliders to highlight the word/s you want to copy. Then press on the selected text and a message should say that your text was copied.

To paste:
Go to where you want to paste the text. You will need to be somewhere where you can type text, like a form field or website URL. Then long press on the location and select Paste.

Change the backlight screen timeout

Go to Menu - Settings - Display - Screen Time Out.

Then chose the screen time out duration.

Quickly view the date

Simply press the top-left corner of the screen

Show back issues of newspapers and magazines

In your Newsstand App you will usually only see the most recent issues of a publication.

To show all back issues, simply press and hold on a publication and select Show back issues.

Avoid task killers

It is best to avoid task killers such as Advanced Task Killer. Android is designed to automatically pre-load certain applications, even if you don't load them yourself. If it starts to run low on memory, it will smartly unload the oldest running apps automatically.

Manually killing tasks will only mean they get loaded in memory again. Task killers can make the phone slow, laggy, or drain battery life more quickly.

Clear your browser cache

Clearing your browser's cache every now and then is a good idea to keep the browser running fast and smooth. There are two ways:

Simply turn your device off and then turn it back on again. This clears your cache.

Or download a free App called History Eraser from the Amazon Market. This will allow you to clear your cache without restarting.

Control Music playback without unlocking

From your homescreen, press Music - Menu - Settings. Then press Lock screen controls. Ensure that a tick is in the box. Then go back to your music library and play a song.

To test it, press the Lock button on the side, then press it again to Unlock. You will need to move the slider once and this will display the music controls.

To unlock the screen properly, press Unlock at the top right of the screen.

Turn on / off keyboard sounds

From your homescreen, press Settings - More - Kindle Keyboard. Then change the Sound on keypress option to turn sounds on or off.

How to setup email

From the homescreen press Apps, then find the Email App and press it.

Choose the email account you want to create. Then enter your email address and password and press Next.

You should then be asked to create your display name. This is the name that people see when they receive an email from you.
You will also be asked to create an optional nickname. This is useful if you have multiple email accounts and want to label each one differently.

You can also tick Import Contacts which will pull Contacts from your email account onto the Contacts of the Kindle

Quickly switch between Month and Year view in the Calendar App

In the Calendar App there is no Year view along the top of the App. You can however use pinch to zoom gestures to zoom in and out of Month and Year view however.

This is useful if you want to quickly jump backwards or forwards through a few months at a time.

Change the backlight screen timeout

Go to From your homescreen, press Settings - More - Display - Screen Time Out.

Then chose the screen time out duration.

How to read Kindle Fire Books on a PC

First you need to download the Kindle for PC App which can be found here:

Install the software and then register with your Amazon account. Once it is set up, you can simple go to the Kindle Library and press 'buy with once click'. The book will then be downloaded to the Kindle software on your PC

How to unlock

Unlocking can bring many important benefits and can save you a considerable amount of money.

We provide a comprehensive phone unlocking guide which explains what unlocking means, why you should unlock, and the safest and cheapest place to get it done.

Simply go to the menu at the top of this page and select: Phone Guides - Unlock Your Phone Guide.