What Is an Amazon Fire Tablet?

Find out more about Amazon's take on a touchscreen tablet

Amazon Fire tablets are a branch of Android tablets produced by Amazon and built-in conjunction with Taiwanese manufacturer, Quanta Computer. They run a modified version of Google's Android operating system, known as Fire OS.

What Is the Difference Between a Fire Tablet and a Regular Tablet?

There are a number of different Android tablet manufacturers and brands, and the Fire Tablet brand is one of them. In the same way that Samsung, Huawei, and Google have their own branded Android tablets, Fire Tablets are Amazon's.

While the hardware isn't drastically different from its competitors, one area where Fire Tablets do stand out from other Android tablets, is the Fire's software. Fire tablets run Fire OS, a mobile operating system based on the Android Open Source Project. It has a custom user interface and gives access to (and promotes content on) the Amazon AppStore. Their users can find bespoke applications designed for the Amazon Fire OS platform, as well as more general Android applications.

The inclusion of the Amazon AppStore means stock Fire OS tablets do not have access to the Google Play Store, nor Google proprietary API-using applications, like Google Maps. Google Play can be installed or sideloaded through APK files, but compatibility is not guaranteed.

What Is a Fire Tablet Used For?

Fire tablets are used for all the same tasks and activities as other Android tablets: working, playing games, watching streaming services, and browsing the internet.

There are specialized versions of Fire Tablets, like the Fire HD Kids tablet, which are designed for children and come with a specialized case and extra parental controls. Those are aimed at kids using them for education and entertainment purposes.

Can You Browse the Internet on a Fire Tablet?

Yes. Fire tablets come pre-equipped with Amazon's Silk browser. Alternatively, you can install the Mozilla Firefox browser, the Naked Browser, or Google Chrome. These can all be used to browse the web as you would on any other platform.

Does the Amazon Fire Tablet Have a Monthly Fee?

There are no monthly fees to use a Fire Tablet. Once you've paid for the device, it's yours, and the Fire Tablet itself does not demand any regular subscription fees.

The only exception is the Amazon Fire Kids line of tablets, which come with an Amazon Kids+ plan. After the first year, the plan year charges you $2.99 a month for access to no-additional-charge books, movies, TV shows, and education apps. This can be canceled, however, if it's no longer needed

  • How do I use an Amazon Fire tablet?

    The initial setup for an Amazon Fire tablet includes creating a security PIN and linking your Amazon account to the device. After that, you can use the Home tab to access apps, the For You tab to see recommendations, and the Library tab to see books and other items you've purchased on Amazon. Generally speaking, you'll tap items to open them and swipe the screen to navigate through different pages.

  • How do I update an Amazon Fire tablet?

    If your tablet is connected to the internet, you can check for an update by going to Settings > Device Options > System Updates > Check Now. If an update is available, you can download and install it from that screen.

Was this page helpful?