Kindle Fire Kids Edition for aging parent?
March 22, 2020 8:32 PM   Subscribe

I've been considering getting my dad Kindle Fire for Kids, since it comes with the protective case. He has Parkinson's and his hands shake constantly. Can we just ignore all the "Kid" stuff and treat it like a regular Fire that's easier to hold? Or: Can we get a kid's case for a regular Fire - are they the same size & shape? Does it have the same warranty against breakage?

It's hard to find information on the adult account on the kid's Fire tablet. Plenty of info about how to restrict the kid accounts, but not about what's allowed on them. It's also unclear if the adult account is a standard Kindle Fire account, with access to all the normal apps.

On the one hand: No problem with him having full access to content. On the other: how easy is it to accidentally buy things if your hand slips? Is there an easy way to set "no purchases without a password entry?"

I'm interested in Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, since we have subscriptions for those, along with YouTube and potentially something radio-ish or podcast-ish. Maybe some other TV show/movie apps. (Pluto? IMDB?) He won't care about social anything or games. (He doesn't have email and doesn't have the manual control to tap out words on a screen.) He currently listens to a lot of news radio, and I'd like him to get access to something that's less "middle of the road" than his current station. (So would he; we're far-leftist progressives. But I don't think there are any leftist talk radio channels designed for listeners over 60.)

I worry that a 7" or even 10" tablet won't be big enough; his vision's not great. (May not matter much - audio content is as important as video.) Can it be connected to a monitor to watch on a bigger screen?

Would the K'Fire for Kids probably work for him? If not, is there another tablet that's okay for someone whose hands constantly shake?

Misc other details: Stage 4 Parkinson's: Can walk on his own, but can't get from sitting to standing. Basically zero computer literacy. Almost 80 years old. Lives with me, husband, adult daughters in SF Bay Area, California.
posted by ErisLordFreedom to Technology (5 answers total)
Best answer: You can get durable silicone cases for Kindle Fires without having to deal with the kids edition of the fire stuff.

I'm not sure there's a way to connect it ot a larger screen-- my 2019-ed Fire HD 10 has only a USB port that, based on my reading. You may have to do a little hackery to side-load the Google Play Store, so you can add some apps-- I think I side-loaded Hulu, and I definitely side-loaded a few other apps of the email/browser type but since your dad won't use those, you might be fine without.

Based on what you're describing, I would suggest, instead or in addition to a tablet, a Fire TV stick installed in a television, if you think he can manage the remote. The newest versions have a version that allow you to speak to Alexa (while pressing and holding a button on the remote, rather than a passive listening device like an Echo dot) and it'll do things like "Open Netflix." Fire TV runs all the apps you mentioned. plugs into any HDMI port and is powered by USB. The remote also comes with volume control-- once the TV is set up to use it, he can do everything necessary to use the stick (power on/off, volume control, and of course navigation) on the remote itself.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:51 PM on March 22, 2020

My mom is an avid reader with increased vision issues. She was legally blind before her issues got worse and glasses stopped being able to correct her vision. She still uses the Kindle to read, she makes the font as big as it will go, there is usually one to three words on the page depending on how big the words are and she just scrolls alot!

You may want to look into a regular tablet and then load the Kindle app, but you can definately force them to load with some googling and patience but if you don't want to fiddle it's way easier to get the Kindle portion on an outside device that getting Kindle to do other stuff.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:27 AM on March 23, 2020

Best answer: There is an “adult side” on the kids’ tablet that is identical to an adult Kindle Fire. He could just ignore the child profile or maybe not even set it up. On the adult side there is an App Store where you can get many, but not all, of the apps you could buy in an Android store. The OS in many ways subtly encourages you to buy things from Amazon, but other than that it’s a mostly full fledged tablet. Plus, the kid version comes with a “break it and we’ll fix it” guarantee (or at least it used to).
posted by hungrytiger at 1:54 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Amazon and Google are fierce competitors, so some things involving both are blocked. I ran into this once, perhaps when trying to Chromecast Amazon Prime content. This probably explains things missing from the Android store.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:18 AM on March 23, 2020

Possibly better than the basic kids case, you can get third party cases that have handles or straps.
posted by Kriesa at 10:11 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

« Older Have you seen the series Trigonometry? Is it...   |   Hungry Mother Runner Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.