Correction: A previous version of this article listed the Vlingo Voice Assistant as a top 10 app. However, as a reader aptly pointed out, the Kindle Fire does not have a microphone. We have replaced the Vlingo Voice Assistant app with another we believe belongs in the top 10. The story has been changed to reflect this. The error is regretted.
The highly anticipated Amazon Kindle Fire has finally been shipped. It comes as no surprise that the portable, lightweight and convenient tablet, priced at $199, is one of the hottest holiday gifts this year and a fierce competitor to the iPad 2.
The Kindle Fire gives users access to over one million books as well as newspapers and magazines. Periodicals use built-in video, audio and other interactive graphics to engage readers. Users can also borrow Kindle books from their local public library as well as the Amazon Lending Library, a new program where Amazon Prime users can borrow one title per month from a selection of books.
The Fire also comes with Whispersync, a program that allows all of your books and magazines to be synced, including annotations and highlights. You can start a book on your tablet and pick up in the place you left off on your computer.
The Fire also comes with a new web browser, called Silk, which uses a special split browser technology that should deliver faster returns and less battery strain. The hot new tablet also allows users to stream and access their music collection through the integrated Amazon Cloud Service.
Compared with the Kindle E-Readers, the newest development for the Kindle Fire is The App Store. Users can download applications ranging from games to weather reports to use directly on their tablet.
We picked the Top 10 Free Kindle Fire Apps to help you get started with your new Kindle Fire:
10. Angry Birds
The extremely popular Angry Birds game can be purchased for free in the Kindle Fire App Store. Users fling birds across the screen to try to strategically destroy structures and boundaries. This puzzle game is fun for people of all ages.
9. Movies by Flixter
Movies allows you to find show times for movies, watch trailers and purchase tickets directly from your Kindle Fire. Users can also search new and upcoming DVD selections.
The online radio is a desktop staple for music lovers. You can enjoy music on your Kindle Fire as well with this free app. The only caveat is that you will need to be connected to WiFi in order for the music to stream. You can manage your own personal stations, rate songs, skip others and leave music playing in the background while you catch up on some reading.
7. The Coupons App
This Kindle Fire App gives users access to real-time coupons for their location. You can scan coupons so long as they pop up on the tablet's screen meaning you can use coupons as soon as you find them while you're in a store. You can also add coupons to your calendar or send them to friends and family to use them at a later date.
6. Friendcaster for Facebook
An official Facebok App has not yet been released, but Friendcaster offers features typically available only on the desktop version of Facebook. You can upload photos, video, access email notifications, friends' birthdays, and see event invitations.
5. WiFi Analyzer
This useful app generates a list of all nearby WiFi signals and creates channel, time and signal graphs. The WiFi Analyzer also lets you change settings so you can use the strongest signal in your location.
4. Alarm Clock Xtreme Free
The Kindle Fire can be more than just a toy when you download the Alarm Clock XTreme. This App allows you to set an unlimited number of alarms. You can also change settings to specify the amount of time for each snooze as well as to set a maximum number of times you can hit that snooze button.
3. Amazon Price Check
This clever app from Amazon allows you to price check books and other items on your Kindle Fire. Over time, you can save significant amounts of money by double checking store prices compared to discounts offered in the Amazon Marketplace.
2. Wikidroid for Wikipedia
This free Wikipedia app means searching for information is quick, easy and always at your fingertips. The Wikidroid app pulls information from the Wikipedia site, but slightly reformats them, so the articles are easy to read on your Kindle Fire. The app also has an easy search menu, which makes finding any information you need accessible in a matter of seconds.
1. Hulu Plus and Netflix
Most importantly, the Kindle offers support for streaming from Netflix and Hulu Plus, which brings substantially more content to the tablet. Amazon Prime users will also have access to the enormous Prime library of movies and television shows. Kindle Fire users get one moth free of Amazon Prime services.