How to Use Split Screen on Amazon Fire Tablet
Amazon’s Fire Tablet, originally known as the Kindle Fire Tablet, is a very situational device. Most see it as the ultimate shopping assistant for Amazon Prime members while others see it as a lesser version of a standard Android tablet.
While it is limited in terms of functionality, and in some cases may even be outclassed by the Kindle app for Android devices, there are still plenty of users that try to make full use of the Kindle Fire features. Some even try modding the tablet in order to get more out of it.
Amazon Fire Multitasking
The Amazon Fire lacks in the multitasking department. Pretty much the only feature that resembles multitasking functionality of Android tablets is the Second Screen feature. This allows you to browse the tablet and cast a movie, for example, on a secondary screen.
Here’s how it works:
- Connect your Amazon Fire and second device (TV, smart monitor, etc.) to the internet.
- Open the Prime Instant Video Store on your AmazonFire and on your secondary device.
- Find a movie or TV show you want to watch.
- Access the video detail page.
- Locate and tap on the Watch On button.
- Select your secondary device from the list of available devices.
It’s far from having a split screen feature, but it is better than nothing, at least for streaming videos.
Why Doesn’t the AmazonFire Have Split Screen Support?
Back in 2014, when split screen functionality became a mainstream thing, the Amazon Fire Tablet was a very cheap alternative to Android tablets. The fourth generation Amazon tablets, running their dedicated OS, were highly popular due to their low prices.
Even today, many choose these tablets over other more high-performance models because of the budget constraints. However, with low pricing comes not great responsibility, but rather a great lack of features that most smart device users have become accustomed to over the years.
For example, Fire OS did not support most Android apps until the 126.96.36.199 version. The majority of users had to go through the grueling process of root their devices in order to install Google Play on Fire tablets and gain access to some quality of life apps.
Since the 188.8.131.52 version was released, Fire OS has gotten better and better at supporting Android apps. It’s not exactly great right now and chances are it will never be, since Fire OS is not a 100% Android-based operating system.
How to Root an Amazon Fire Tablet to Get More out of It
If you want to get the most out of a Fire tablet, you may still want to use a tool like Amazon Fire Utility to root it.
This will let you turn off Amazon updates that may cause incompatibilities with third-party apps, remove ads and pre-loaded apps, as well as install most apps on Google Play without any issues. You will even be able to download and install split screen apps from the store after you root your device.
The process of rooting your Fire will take a while. It also requires that you already have the Amazon Utility program installed on a Windows laptop or PC. You can find the app on the XDA developer forums.
- Go to Settings (tap the gear icon).
- Locate and tap on Device Options.
- Tap the Serial Number to get the Developer Options popup.
- Tap Developer Options.
- Tap Enable ADB in order to allow debugging through a USB connection.
- Go to Settings.
- Tap Security & Privacy.
- Under the Advanced tab, enable the Apps from Unknown Sources feature.
- Connect your tablet to a Windows computer.
- Go to the folder where you saved the Amazon Fire Utility tool.
- Double click on the Updated-Tool batch file.
- Select the action you want by typing in the number associated with it, from the provided list.
- Follow all on-screen instructions.
- Close the utility tool after the confirmation message and disconnect the tablet before restarting it.
However, this tool may not work anymore if you have Fire OS 184.108.40.206 or a newer version. But, using the latest version of the utility tool, you may be able to downgrade your Fire OS to 5.4.0 and get access to additional Android apps and features.
The Kindle Fire App Still Reigns Supreme
There’s no denying that for basic browsing, streaming, and online shopping, the Kindle Fire or Amazon Fire is the cheapest tablet on the market. But, if you already own an Android tablet, you can always download the Kindle Fire app on it and enjoy the same benefits as Fire tablet users.
Given the lack of interest to develop and implement a split screen function, what do you think that Fire tablet users should expect to see in the near future? Do you think Amazon will adopt more mainstream features or stick to the very basics as it’s been doing for so long?