CALL US: +44 (0)1642 309888
FREE UK DELIVERY
Loading...

Mobile Madhouse stocks an impressive range of Mobile & Tablet Cases, Covers, Screen Protectors, Car Holders, Cables & more with FREE UK DELIVERY!

Is the Amazon Kindle Fire HD capable of GPS tracking?

While most people aren't aware of it, Amazon's latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire HD, has GPS capacity - and though it's not currently enabled, it could certainly be in the future.

Below: Kindle's budget Fire HD tablet, an excellent multimedia device.

kindle fire

If you look at benchmark tests and reviews, everyone from GSMArena to the humblest blogger seem to be ignoring the existence of the GPS chip inside the Fire HD; across the board, the consensus is "the Fire HD is an excellent budget tablet, but unlike the Nexus 7, it doesn't have the capacity for GPS". But if you look at teardowns, such as the one published by the excellent iFixit, it becomes apparent that the Kindle Fire HD contains a Broadcom BCM2076 Multifunction Monolithic IC. This is responsible for several functions in the Fire HD, enabling Bluetooth, acting as an FM receiver/transmitter - and including the capacity for GPS and GLONASS AGPS. Though not active to the same capacity as it would be in, say, a phone, this functionality already exists in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, though in a somewhat humbler form.

The Fire HD is capable of using your Wi-Fi and attached IP address to form a rough estimate of where you are. Though this is not useful for navigating, ostensibly this is used for Amazon's own purposes, rather than the users - allowing them a bare-bones map of customer locations. It is definitely capable of doing more, though. In fact, some Kindle Fire HD owners have noticed that the dropdown task manager of the tablet occasionally comes up with a "searching for GPS..." notification, followed by a "Location set by GPS" notification.

kindle fire hd

Above: One of our team member's Kindle Fire HD, complete with GPS notification.

So what does this bode for the future? The most obvious answer is that Amazon intend to include GPS functionality further down the line. In 2012, Amazon signed an exclusivity deal with Nokia, to ensure that only Nokia would provide maps for Amazon's upcoming devices. This seemed a very odd choice at the time, considering that the Kindle e-book readers and tablets run a textured version of Android - which is owned by Google, proprietor of the most famous map system on the Internet. Doesn't it seem likely that Amazon planned more from their deal with Nokia?

After all, Nokia's extensive mapping system is perfectly positioned to provide GPS functionality. We wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon launching a stealth update - perhaps when they update the version of Android present on the Kindle Fire HD - to provide full GPS on their tablet. Only time will tell whether this is something the e-commerce giant is interested in; but it would certainly help them compete with other devices in the budget table market, such as Google's Nexus 7.

While your here .. Check out our great range of tablet cases for all top tablet devices.

Mobile Madhouse

While most people aren't aware of it, Amazon's latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire HD, has GPS capacity - and though it's not currently enabled, it could certainly be in the future.

Below: Kindle's budget Fire HD tablet, an excellent multimedia device.

<img src="http://www.mobilemadhous


Comment