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February 2012
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Kindle Fire App Recommendations: Utility Apps

Last time I did a round of recommendations for the Kindle Fire was really a focus on games.  This makes sense to me given how much fun I’m having with my own.  That said, there is a fair amount that we can get out of Amazon’s tablet besides just fooling around.  I think I’ve got a couple here that you might find interesting, especially in situations where the Kindle Fire is a household or family device rather than something for a single owner.  Let me know what you think.

The Emergency App (Kindle Fire Edition)

This is one of those interesting things that could easily pass under the radar.  It is intended, at face value, to keep you ready for any emergency.  To a certain extent, it seems like it would?

Features include:

Lights (both a basic night light and assorted signal lights)

Alarm Sounds

Emergency Phone Numbers

Emergency Contact List

Medical Information List

Guide/Lists for Emergency Situations

Links to external Emergency related web resources

Most of that doesn’t strike me as useful, especially the audio alarms and sirens given the Kindle Fire’s mediocre audio capabilities, but as a thing to have around the house I would consider this one great anyway.

Parents especially should give it a look, as the medical information list is perfect for anybody with children.  You can store any special instructions, allergy information, medication needs, etc. in a convenient place that won’t be getting lost.  It is a newer app, still in development, but at $1 it would be hard to argue against buying.

All In One Remote Pro

On the side of less tragedy-related utility, we have a neat little app that will help build your Kindle Fire into your home network in a productive way.  All in One Remote lets you hook up to a PC on the network and take control of various things as an interface device rather than remote desktop management.

Using this app, you can control pretty much anything.  It works as a remote touchpad, extra keyboard, game controller, and more with varying degrees of usefulness.  You are also able to stream music through it, which is nice.  My own experience has been that you get the most out of this app with HTPCs and presentations.  The Kindle Fire isn’t particularly well suited for use as a controller for games, but it handles general interface tasks from a couch quite well and makes it much simpler to manipulate PowerPoint presentations in any setting.

Badass Battery Monitor

Not a whole lot of description necessary here.  It is an app that will keep track of your Kindle Fire’s battery life, given you an estimate of time remaining, and let you know which apps are causing the most power drain during use.  If you are regularly finding yourself in situations where the Kindle’s battery is just barely enough between charges, this will be a useful tool.  Rather than just a percentage you can get actual time estimates, both in terms of time remaining to depletion and time remaining to reach full power while charging.  Strongly recommended.

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