Kindle Fire vs. iPad 2 Tablet Report

Kindle Fire vs. iPad 2 Tablet Report

Summary

  • The Kindle Fire is cheaper but is plagued with many more issues than the iPad 2
  • Personal security issues are rampant on the Kindle Fire (mostly due to lack of password protection)
  • There is a greater ability for the user to customize their experience on the iPad 2
  • The Fire's ability to make oneAclick purchases is either great, or could drive you mad due to inadvertent purchases.
  • Both devices experience WiAFi issues, although the iPad's browser is much more reliable

Data Set

  • Gathered consumer complaints for both the iPad 2 and Kindle Fire on Fixya.com; Broke these down by specific issue (i.e. WiAFi, battery, etc.)
  • Pooled the most prominent solutions for each specific issue, creating a definitive "howAto" guide to utilize when troubleshooting their product issues

Top 5 Kindle Fire Problems

Top Kindle Fire Problems

Issue #1: No password required to purchase from online store.

Amazon has made online shopping an absolute breeze with the Kindle Fire, but for many Fixya Experts the only fire they're experiencing is the one burning a hole in their pocketbooks.

Since the Kindle stores your credit card payment information, shopping on Amazon is a case of point and click in order to make a purchase. While this feature reduces buyer's remorse (the enemy of all online retailers) and improves the ease at which consumers can purchase items, the lack of even a password popup or some other safeguard is an oversight that has caused major issues. Issues with theft, children purchasing items, and accidental purchases being charged to your account are things that have hurt the user experience.

The Fix: As of right now there is very little one can do to get around 1 Step Payment. Setting up a WiFi password (issue #1) is the best route to keep unauthorized users like children making purchases on your device. For authorized users such as yourself you can either deregister your device after each purchase you make, which is certainly frustrating, or practice a little thing people like to call self control. A bit antiquated yes, but nonetheless important considering the Kindle's purchase system.

Issue #2: Difficulty connecting to the Internet.

The Kindle Fire doesn't have a 3G connection which means you're going to be required to locate a WiFi outlet to do your browsing. For most users this means a coffee shop or home will be where they do their browsing and online shopping - and for those users, that means their ability to connect will be plagued with issues.

The Fire's WiFi has been plagued with significant issues from the start, with numerous Fixya users complaining of faulty connections, getting kicked off in the middle of browsing, and being unable to connect to the internet at all. Considering the fact that WiFi is the only way users can access the internet on the Kindle, this problem is a significant one for anyone who wants to spend a lot of time online.

The Fix: There's a couple fixes that work in this situation that, while time consuming, always seem to solve the issue. The first is to upgrade to Version 6.1 or 6.2 of the Kindle, which worked for about 1/3 of Fixya users. Your second option is to always reset your home router before logging online. The third and final solution is to set a static IP address for your Kindle. You can do this by going to your settings page, clicking on "Wireless", and clicking into the "Advanced settings" page.

Issue #3: The lack of parental settings.

A common issue Fixya users had with the Kindle Fire was the lack of parental controls that were available for them to put into place when handing the device over to their children. This proposes two sets of problems—the first is that children are able to access content that parents don't want them to see, and the second is that parents have to be careful about leaving the device around for the family to use.

The Fix: While not a fix to the parental controls, there is a worthy workaround that can help with smaller children. By creating a password to log in via WiFi users will be able to make sure anyone who doesn't know the password is able to get online. This allows parents to download family friendly games and movies, turn off the WiFi connection, and hand the device over to their children for safe browsing. Unfortunately, parents who want to allow their children to browse the internet but restrict certain content are out of luck.

Issue #4: Computer Not Recognizing the Fire

Some Fixya users encountered an issue when they were attempting to connect their Kindle Fire to their computer in order to transfer files and share content. With so many purchases from Amazon being done from the Fire, and storage space at a minimum on the device (about 6 GB for downloaded content), being able to seamlessly transfer your materials from computer to Fire and back again is an important asset that needs to be addressed.

The Fix: The first step is to unplug the Kindle from the USB port and try to connect it to a different one directly connected to the computer. Keyboard ports are unreliable and often times don't have the power to recognize a device like a tablet or certain smart phones. If that doesn't work, reset your Kindle Fire and reconnect it to your computer via your trusty USB cable. If your computer still isn't registering the Fire it's time to restart the computer with the Kindle still attached via USB. This should do the trick, as a computer reset will recognize the Fire during loading.

Still having issues? It's time for the hard reset, which closes any programs currently running which may be interfering with your computer's operating system recognizing the device. To perform a hard reset, hold down the "Power" button for at least 20 seconds and then remove your finger from the button. Give the device about a minute to rest before turning your Fire on again.

Top 5 iPad 2 Problems

Top 5 iPad 2 Problems

Issue #1: Unable to Connect to Wi-Fi.

Some iPad owners have had some pretty significant issues with their WiAFi connections and are unable to either connect to the internet via WiAFi or get booted off soon after they log on. This was a widespread issue for many Fixya users and presents an interesting dilemma for users who need to log on to the internet via their device but either do not have 3G or are concerned about going over their allowed data usage for the month (resulting in a hefty fee from their service provider).

The good news is that Fixya Experts have come up with a few fixes that have helped our users up and running in no time.

The Fix: First turn WiFi on and off again. You'd be surprised at how many times that helped users connect back to their Wi-Fi. After that, start by renewing your DHCP lease. This is done by opening settings, selecting WiFi, choosing the configuration for the network you are currently connected to and clicking on the "Renew Lease" button. This keeps all of your existing network settings intact, which is a positive for users who have forgotten or cant find what those are.

If that doesn't work, go back into Settings select WiFi and click on "Forget this Network". What this does is remove the network you're currently on and allows you start anew.

If that doesn't work it's time to bring out the big guns. Reset all of your network settings and configurations from all established wireless network connections (even ones that aren't around). This is done by going into the Settings App, selecting General>Reset, and clicking on the "Reset Network Settings" button. In order to connect again you should reconfigure your settings and then restart the device.

Issue #2: Backlight Bleeding.

Backlight bleeding describes how the iPad's screen will display what looks like splotchy light patches light patches in the corners and around the edge of the display. This occurs when the screen turns black or dark in color (usually when you're watching some type of media content on your screen) and is distracting because it tends to catch your eye and distract you from what you want to be looking at.

Although it is a general eyesore, backlight bleeding does not result in any performance issues. With that being said, when you're putting a significant chunk of change into a product like this, even aesthetic issues like backlight bleeding can make the difference in the purchase decision.

The Fix: Although a hardware issue (which reduces the amount of fixes a consumer can reasonably expect), backlight bleeding can be reduced with a good old common sense solution. Go into your settings and adjust the brightness of your screen, turning it down until the "bleeding" effect becomes less noticeable. This issue also becomes much more prominent in the dark, so if you want to avoid seeing the issues use your iPad in a well lit room as much as possible.

Issue #3: Computer not recognizing the iPad.

Just like the Kindle Fire, sometimes your Apple iPad 2 will not be recognized by your computer. In this case, iTunes doesn't recognize the device which makes transferring files between computer and tablet impossible. Just like the Kindle, this poses some issues if you're looking to transfer movies, shows, music, and other large files in between your two devices (although the iPad does have much more space than the Kindle).

The Fix: The first step is to make sure you have the most recent version of iTunes installed on your computer. In the midst of product problem frustration you'd be surprised at how many times a simple fix like this ends up working.

After updating iTunes, unplug all USB devices that are connected to your computer and then connect your iPad to a different USB port than you did in the first place. Make sure this USB port is connected directly to your computer—keyboard connections are typically less reliable. If that doesn't solve your issue it's time for a hard reset for your iPad. Hold down the sleep button, power off with the red slider, and then restart your device by holding down the Sleep button. Before reconnecting, restart your computer as well.

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