NOWADAYS, EVEN AUNT IDA’S barebones phone can do email and serve as a digital date book. And if you’re like most Fire owners, you probably pack an Android or iPhone that works fine as a portable secretary. Just because Amazon included these functions on the Fire doesn’t mean you have to use them. Why would you want to? Two reasons:
Bigger screen. As much as thumb-calloused BlackBerry veterans love their speedy little keypads, even they’d admit their phone’s mini screen makes tasks like attachment reading and long-term calendar browsing tough. The Fire’s jumbo display (at least in comparison) makes these tasks much more pleasurable. And the nearly adult-sized keyboard is souped up with some helpful typing aids (see The Keyboard for the full scoop).
Sharing. The Fire may earn its bread as a personal media center, but we live in a social age, right? Everywhere you swipe—in the Photos Library, the Silk web browser, while shopping—you get a chance to send digital dispatches to email pals. Amazon’s built-in email app ensures that, pretty much wherever you are, you can send off a quick note.
Amazon thankfully resisted the temptation to saddle you with yet another email account. The built-in app plays nice with big email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL. Support for Microsoft’s Exchange system—popular at big companies—is now part of the package, too. ...