16 Twitter Tricks to Tweet Like a Pro

Whether you’re starting your Twitter account or you’ve been trying to build a following for some time, the task of building followers isn’t easy.

Some people spend years with under 2,000 Twitter followers, while other people – many even unknown individuals – amass tens to hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers. How do they do it?

The simple answer is that they’ve learned to Tweet like a pro. They know the tricks that attract people and foster conversation. They know how to get people to click that Follow button.

In this article, we’ll cover the most important things you need to know to come across as a true expert on Twitter, and in effect build a massive following.

1. Be Very Active on Twitter

No one wants to follow someone boring or someone who never interacts with anyone. If there’s anything you can start doing to improve your Twitter presence, it’s interacting more with people.

This doesn’t even have to be on the topic you normally Tweet about. It could just be a quick, comical reply to anything anyone else has posted.

Let’s face it, most people spend time on Twitter not only to have serious conversations but to be entertained. 

We’ll talk about not posting Tweets too often, but when it comes to replying to other people on Twitter you should be doing this always.

2. Spread Out Twitter Posts Throughout the Day

The thing with posting Tweets is that their lives are very short. Within under 20 minutes, your Tweet is buried in a flood of other Tweets on the platform. That’s why it’s best to spread your activity on Twitter throughout the day so that you capture as much of the daily audience as possible.

You could do something as simple as posting during mid-morning, and then sometime in the mid-afternoon. Or four times, spread throughout the day; whatever schedule you prefer.

Fortunately, you don’t have to tie yourself down to Twitter at those exact times of the day. There are plenty of great apps that will let you schedule your Twitter posts whenever you want them to go out. 

Two of the most popular tools to do this include:

  • HootSuite – Schedule posts across all your social networks
  • Buffer – Schedule and analyze your social campaigns

Neither of these is free, but if you don’t need any bells and whistles, Twitter has an embedded scheduling feature. Just select the calendar with the clock icon at the bottom of your post editing window. This will open up a new window where you can tell Twitter when to schedule your tweet.

This makes scheduling tools unnecessary unless you need more advanced analytics or the ability to schedule posts to multiple social networks.

3. Tailor Future Posts Toward What Your Followers Respond To

Many people use Twitter and don’t even realize that Twitter includes a whole collection of analytics in the background. These let you see what kind of posts your followers like the most so that you can tailor future posts to be more engaging. 

To see this, just select More in the left navigation bar when you’re logged into Twitter. Then select Analytics from the pop-up menu. 

In the analytics section, you’ll see:

  • Top tweet (by number of impressions)
  • Top mention (by number of engagements)
  • Top media tweet (picture or video posts with the most impressions)
  • Top follower (by number of followers they have)

Just scroll down to see these same metrics for each month in the past.

Use this information to try and gear the topics you tweet about toward those topics you can see your followers seem to respond to more.

4. Try to Choose Trending Hashtags

If you want to get your tweets in front of more eyeballs, using trending hashtags is a very smart approach. 

How do you know a hashtag is trending? Twitter tells you! Start typing a hashtag and you’ll see a list of matching ones. If one is trending, you see a message below it saying how many tweets in the last hour have used that hashtag.

You should keep the hashtags relevant to the topic you’re posting about. But there are lots of trending hashtags across Twitter each hour so there’s usually something relevant to choose from.

5. Tweet What You Write and Ask for Thoughts

What’s the best way to get people to respond to your Tweets? Ask a simple question. This seems obvious, but most people on Twitter are so busy posting their own opinions that they don’t bother asking people for theirs.

When you do ask questions, you’ll be surprised just how many people start jumping to offer their views.

6. Follow Only Established Twitter Users

During your time on Twitter, you’re going to get followed by quite a few people, if you’re interesting and engaging. Don’t just accept any old follower. Whenever you get a notification that someone has followed you, hover over their profile to see how many followers they already have. 

If they have more than a few hundred followers, then go ahead and follow them. 

Why does this matter? Because if someone has built up more than a few hundred followers, they’re more likely to be around on Twitter over the long haul. There is nothing more annoying than building up several hundred or thousands of followers, only to have temporary or anonymous accounts who followed you drop off Twitter, and your follower count drops as well.

7. Fill Out Your Entire Profile

A full profile is an interesting profile. People want to know as much about you as possible before they follow you. So mention what you do for work, and include links if possible. Add where you live, your age, and as many other details as you’re willing to share as possible.

Also use a real profile image, not a cartoon or drawing. People are more likely to follow other people who are real and personable. An actual bio photo goes a long way toward getting people to trust you.

8. Add Your Opinion and Ask for Theirs When Retweeting

This is similar to why we mentioned asking questions above. Sharing information you’ve read, with your commentary attached, is interesting. But what draws the eyes of your followers is when you follow that up with a question about the story you’re retweeting.

It doesn’t have to be a direct question for an opinion. Even rhetorical questions receive some pretty funny responses from followers. But the question mark at the end at least encourages your followers to engage.

9. Mention the Authors of Articles You Retweet

This is most often a technique used by writers because they know how good it feels when someone mentions you alongside quoting something you wrote online. This isn’t just a great way to give an author some credit, but it also helps you in many ways too. 

First of all, it draws the attention of a person who may have quite a bit of Twitter clout. And if they follow you, your mention of them could draw the interest of their followers too. One single tweet could net you several followers in one shot!

10. Image Size Matters

This is a simple Twitter tip that a lot of people don’t realize. Image size matters. 

If you post an image using the wrong dimensions, the picture could get cropped, or Twitter could even reject the picture if it isn’t optimized (extra large).

So, when you do post your pictures, try to resize them to roughly 1200 x 675 pixels. Twitter recommends no smaller than 600 x 335 – but if you want the best results go with a perfectly sized photo and save it in either PNG, JPEG, or GIF format.

11. Don’t Be Formal, Be Personable

Too many people write posts like they’re writing an essay. Facts are great, but followers on Twitter look for personable and insightful content. They want to be entertained as well as informed.

If you look at how larger companies with a marketing staff tweet on the platform, you’ll note that the writing is slightly edgy with a touch of informality.

Opinions are good because they generate discussion and debate, and humor goes a long way too. Just avoid making your tweets dull and dry, and you should have people engaging with you in no time.

12. Don’t Flood Your Followers

One of the worst things you can do to drop your follower count on Twitter is to sit down at the same time every day and start posting 20 or 30 tweets all at once.

This turns into a wall of spam for your followers, and it could drive a few of them to unfollow you.

Instead, use one of the scheduler apps listed above to space your posts throughout the day to avoid this issue.

13. Capitalize on Trending Topics

In addition to trending hashtags while you’re posting, you can also capitalize on trending topics on Twitter. 

You’ll see these topics under What’s happening on the right side of your Twitter feed. 

Select one of these and scroll through the posts. You can reply to some, or post your own using the same hashtag. The fact that the topic is trending means your post will land in front of more eyeballs and has higher odds of earning you some followers.

14. Reply to Popular Twitter Accounts

Notice how most blue check accounts rarely reply to people who reply to their tweets? This isn’t always the case, it just depends on how you reply.

If you reply to them in a personable way and throw in just enough wit, you could very well get a reply from that person with thousands of followers.

And as mentioned above, more followers means more people curious about you. These are people likely to check your profile, review your posts, and potentially follow you.

15. Remember That You Can’t Edit Tweets

One of the worst things about Twitter is that there’s no edit button. The moment you submit a tweet, it’s permanent. And once people have liked or replied to it, if you try to delete it and fix it – you’ve lost those engagements.

So edit every tweet you make. It may only be a single line, but once you make that grammar or typo error, it’s going to be there forever. 

And some typos could be pretty embarrassing.

16. Don’t Feed the Trolls

One of the biggest mistakes people make on Twitter is replying to obvious trolls. These are either accounts created for the sole purpose of egging people into an argument, or just people who are disagreeable and enjoy arguing with everyone.

You can spot trolls easily. Most of their posts are negative or antagonistic. And because of this, if you view their profile, they have very few followers as well.

So, before you reply to someone who just said something nasty to you on Twitter, check their profile. Look for the signs. And if you’ve spotted a troll, choose to block rather than reply. 

What Is the Software Reporter Tool in Chrome and How to Disable It

Have you ever wondered how your installation of Google Chrome always seems to stay updated and patched on its own? 

This is accomplished through Google Chrome’s own embedded processes that reach out to Google servers and ensure your browser is patched and safe. However, there’s another process that Chrome kicks off regularly that isn’t quite as critical known as the Software Reporter Tool.

What Is the Software Reporter Tool?

This tool is part of the Chrome Cleanup Tool that monitors crashes, browser modifications made by malicious add-ons, or malware that may have infected the browser. The Software Reporter Tool is a component of this that reports all that information back to Google.

You can see this tool on your system (if you have Chrome installed), at the following path: 

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter\VERSION\software_reporter_tool.exe

The application drive letter on your system may be different, but the path is the same.

While the cleanup process is very useful for keeping Chrome clean of problems and running well for you, there’s no reason you can’t stop it from running if it’s causing CPU or memory performance issues on your system.

Another reason many users disable the Software Reporter Tool in Chrome is due to privacy concerns. While Google claims that the software only “scans the folders related to Chrome”, many users still don’t like the idea of a utility sending information about data stored on their computer to any servers over the internet.

If you share either of these concerns, then you’ll be pleased to know that disabling the Software Reporter Tool isn’t difficult.

How to Disable the Software Reporter Tool in Chrome

You won’t find the Software Reporter Tool configured as a scheduled task on Windows 10. This is because the scheduled triggering of the tool takes place from within the Chrome application itself. 

There are two ways to stop the Software Reporter Tool from launching or communicating with remote Google servers.

Remove Software Reporter Tool Permissions

You can remove security permissions from the executable file so that it can’t run or communicate over the internet.

To do this, open File Explorer and browse to this path:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data

1. Right-click on the SwReporter folder and select Properties.

2. Select the Security tab and select the Advanced button. 

3. On the Security Settings window, select the Disable inheritance button. 

Note: Disabling the inheritance of a folder restricts access to a specific subfolder inside a parent folder. It limits access to that folder while leaving all other Chrome folders unaffected by the security change. 

4. This will pop up a window asking what you’d like to do with the current inherited permissions. Select the option to Remove all inherited permissions for this object

After this, you will see a message in the Permission entries pane that no groups or users have access to the object (folder).

Select Apply and OK to finish. 

Note: On older versions of Windows like Windows 7, in the Properties Security tab, you’ll need to select Change Permissions instead. Then uncheck Include inheritable permissions from this objects parent, and select Remove in the pop-up window.

Disable Chrome Cleanup Using Registry Entries

Another option to disable the Software Reporter Tool in Chrome is to disable the Chrome Cleanup utility itself.

You can do this by creating a new entry in the Registry under the Chrome key.

1. Press Windows Key + R, type regedit, and press Enter. This will open the Registry Editor. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome.

2. Right-click the Chrome registry key and select New, then select Dword (32-bit) Value.

3. Name the new entry ChromeCleanupEnabled and make sure that its value is set to 0

4. Repeat the process above to create another new Dword entry, but this time name it ChromeCleanupReportingEnabled and set its value to 0 as well.

What does setting up these entries accomplish? Each entry has a different purpose. Setting ChromeCleanupEnabled to 0 will disable the Chrome Cleanup tool and it won’t ever run. Setting ChromeCleanupReportingEnabled to 0 further disables the tool’s reporting of any information to Google servers.

Only one of these entries is needed, but setting them both to zero ensures that the tool will never run or communicate externally to Google.

However, if you still want the cleanup tool to run as a way to protect Chrome from malware and adware, you can set ChromeCleanupEnabled to 1 and leave ChromeCleanupReportingEnabled to 0, so at least it’ll block any communications with Google servers.

Disable Google Cleanup Reporting from Inside Chrome

There is one more option available to prevent external reporting of your data from the Software Reporter Tool. You can disable this from inside Chrome itself.

This is the best option if you want to avoid making any significant changes to your system and just trust Chrome itself to do the job.

1. With Chrome open, select the three dots icon to open the Chrome menu and select Settings.

2. Scroll down to the System section. Select Advanced if you need to expand the menu. Make sure the toggle to the right of Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed is disabled.

3. Scroll further down to the Reset and clean up section, and select Clean up computer.

4. On the next menu, deselect the checkbox next to Report details to Google….

Now, restart Chrome and all your new settings should be activated. 

This last option is the easiest way to turn off reporting from the Software Reporter Tool. However, it does require that you trust Google enough to not communicate information to Google servers just with this selection disabled.

Which Option Should You Choose?

The choice to disable the Software Reporter Tool in Chrome is up to you, but any of these options will work. 

Just make sure you choose the appropriate settings so that the Google Chrome Cleanup utility can regularly scan Chrome and keep it clean for you. 

How to Cast to Roku TV from PC or Mobile

Many people buy a Roku TV device and only use it as a way to stream content on the device using the included Roku remote. What many people don’t realize is that you can also cast to Roku TV from a PC or mobile device.

Why buy another casting device like a Chromecast when this feature is already embedded with the Roku TV streaming device

In this article, we’ll show you what you need to do to prepare your Roku TV and how to cast to Roku TV whatever you like. This feature works from a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone.

Prepare Your Roku TV for Casting

If you have a Roku TV connected to your TV, you’re ready to start casting right away. However there are a few things you can do to ensure that you can cast from more websites and services.

  • Make sure your Roku TV is connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
  • Add the services you usually cast from as new Roku channels using the Roku TV menu.
  • Make sure your PC or mobile device is connected to the same home Wi-Fi network.

Adding channels isn’t critical for many of the services that support Roku TV casting, but it can enable additional apps on your phone that normally wouldn’t work without the channel added.

How to Cast to Roku TV From Your Computer

You have a few options if you want to cast to your Roku TV from your computer. 

Casting to your Roku TV works almost identically to how you’d cast to a Chromecast. You’ll use the same casting icon, but choose a different device from the cast list.

This doesn’t work everywhere automatically as it does with Chromecast. For example if you are using a Chrome browser and select Cast from the menu, you’ll see that Roku TV is listed but not enabled.

This is because Roku TV isn’t supported by every single video streaming site out there. For the most part, if you stick to the services that have channels on Roku TV, you’ll be able to cast from its website as well.

For example if you use YouTube TV or Youtube and select the cast icon displayed on the video, you’ll see Roku TV listed and active as an available device to cast to. 

Just select the Roku TV device you want to cast to and the video will start displaying there. 

How to Mirror Your Computer Display to Roku TV

Another option you have is to mirror your computer display to your Roku TV device. This is made possible by the Miracast protocol supported by both Windows computers and Roku TV.

Note: This only works on Windows computers, not Mac or Linux.

To do this, select the notifications icon at the lower right corner of your Windows 10 computer.

Choose Project from the list of icons. On the list of project orientations, select Connect to a wireless display at the bottom. 

The Roku TV device essentially converts the television it’s connected to into a wireless display that supports Miracast.

Select the Roku TV device from the list of options. 

Your TV will now show your computer’s display. This is a great way to provide demonstrations or give presentations to others who are in the room but can’t see your computer display.

How to Cast to Roku TV from Your Mobile Device

You can also cast to your Roku TV device from your smartphone or tablet. It actually works even better from your mobile.

On video streaming sites or apps that support streaming to Roku TV, whenever you tap the cast icon you’ll see the Roku TV device listed in the list of available casting devices.

However, on any apps, services, or websites that don’t support streaming to Roku TV, you’ll notice that your Roku TV streaming device isn’t listed.

That doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. For example, when you try to cast from your Spotify app, you’ll notice that Roku TV isn’t included in the list of streaming devices.

However, if you install the Roku app, you can add the Spotify channel and casting will work. To do this, select the Channels icon at the bottom of the main page. Select Channel Store and browse Music & Podcasts. Select Add next to Spotify.

Once you launch the Spotify app, your Spotify account will display on Roku TV and you can use the mobile remote to select, play, and control your music. 

You can also use the app to cast media from your mobile device to Roku TV, including music, photos, and videos. 

But what about video sites that don’t support Roku TV casting? Unlike on your desktop, you actually have a workaround to still cast those videos to your Roku TV from your mobile device. We’ll cover that workaround below. 

How to Cast Unsupported Videos to Roku TV

If you want to cast videos from any website or streaming service from your mobile device, there’s an app called Web Video Cast that’ll let you do just that. 

Web Video Cast is available for Android phones and tablets as well as Apple devices.

Here’s how it works. Once installed, you can open the app and use the built-in browser to visit the video site that hosts the video you want to play.

When you tap the video to open it, Web Video Cast will ask where you’d like to cast the video stream. Select the Connect cast icon to choose your device.

You may not see your Roku TV device included the first time you do this. To add it, just tap the gear icon at the upper right corner of the list and you’ll see a list of supported devices. Scroll down to the Roku device, select the checkbox on the right, and then select Done

Now you’ll see available Roku devices in your list of devices you can cast to. If this doesn’t work, you may need to look up your Roku IP address using your router.

When you select the Roku device, Web Video Cast will stream it to your Roku TV. This works even if the underlying video service doesn’t support casting to Roku!

What Is Venmo and Why Is It Better Than PayPal?

If you want to send someone money quickly, you have many choices. But the two most popular services more people use than any other is PayPal and Venmo.

The main purpose of both is the same: to get money out of your bank account into someone else’s (or the other way around). However, the process of doing so is slightly different between Venmo and PayPal.

Even if you already know everything there is to know about PayPal, you may be wondering: What is Venmo, and is it a better option than PayPal?

What Is Venmo?

Venmo lets you send someone money instantly using either a credit card, a debit card, or your bank account. Many people don’t realize that PayPal actually owns Venmo. Venmo is essentially a simpler, alternative payment service offered by the same company.

Adding Payment Details

Once you sign up for a Venmo account, you’ll just need to add payment methods to start sending or receiving money. You’ll find this in the app menu under Payment Methods.

Just select Add bank or card and fill out the account details in the payment method form.

Once you have a payment added, you’re ready to start using the app. 

Sending or Requesting Payments

From the main app screen you can tap the blue Send Payment icon to create a new payment to someone, or request a payment. 

The other user will need a Venmo account so that you can search for their name or Venmo user ID to send payment.

You’ll simply need to:

  1. Select the user you want to send money to
  2. Enter the amount
  3. Enter the reason you’re sending the money (optional)
  4. Set the privacy of the transaction (Prive, Friends, or Public)
  5. Select Pay (or Request) to request the amount from that person

You’ll see this transaction appear on the main page of the app. You can tap that transaction at any time in the history to view the payment details.

Transfer Money to Your Bank Account

Whenever someone sends you money, you’ll see that appear in your Venmo balance. At any time you like you can tap the Transfer Balance link at the top of the menu to transfer money to your bank account or credit card.

The Transfer Balance page will show your full balance available to transfer. You can do an instant transfer to your bank or credit card for a 1% fee, or allow it to take up to three days with no fee.

Get a Venmo Debit Card

You might have already heard about the Paypal debit card, which lets you access your Paypal funds instantly for payments at any offline or online store.

Now Venmo offers the same feature: the Venmo debit card. 

You can sign up for one by tapping Venmo Card in the app menu.

Just work through the wizard to sign up. You can choose from 4 basic colors. It’s a Mastercard debit card so works at mostly any business. It is also a Rewards card so you can earn points every time you use it – and there’s no credit check or monthly fees associated with it.

Venmo vs. Paypal: What Are the Differences?

You may have noticed that Venmo and Paypal have a lot in common. Other than a very different user interface, the two services are very similar.

One of the main differences is Venmo is almost like a payment service and social network combined into one. You can add friends on the service, which makes it more convenient to send or receive payments from them later.

Fees and Charges

There are a number of other differences, some slight and others significant. For example, here are the differences in fees.

  • Venmo charges 3% for credit card payments; PayPal charges 2.9% plus a $0.30 fixed charge.
  • No fees for bank transfers with either service.
  • No fee for debit card payments with Venmo; Paypal charges 2.9% plus a $0.30 fixed charge.
  • Venmo has a transaction limit of $4,999.99; Paypal only limits transactions at $10,000.
  • Withdrawing money to your bank is faster with Venmo, which only takes 1-3 days. Paypal withdrawals can take from 3-5 days.

Which Is More Accessible?

You can access both services on the same platforms, including the mobile app, or both the mobile or desktop browsers. There is one big difference you’ll notice when you visit Venmo on a browser and log into your account.

You won’t see a Send or Request blue button on the lower right corner like you do in the app. This is because with Venmo, you can only send or request payments using the mobile app. 

You can still use the website to review your transaction history, update settings, or request a transfer to your bank account or credit card.

Also, Venmo is only available for use within the United States. On the other hand PayPal is available to people in over 200 countries.

Paypal is also more commonly accepted across many online and offline businesses.

Venmo being much newer, is still getting a foothold. 

Being able to pay for things directly in stores using these services means you don’t have to transfer money to your bank account before you can buy things with your balance.

Sending Money to People

Without a doubt, the process of sending money to people with Venmo is much simpler and more streamlined. Using the Venmo app, it’s really just a quick three step process without any confusing options or other choices. 

If the user has a Venmo account, you type the amount, a reason (if you want), whether to share the transaction publicly, and you’re done. Your user will have to pay a fee for receiving the money but Venmo doesn’t bother you with those details.

Paypal, on the other hand, has Send, Request, Crypto, and More buttons on the main page, mixed among all kinds of other information cluttered around the main dashboard. It’s also not very easy to find the link to transfer money to your bank or credit card.

And once you do select Send, the process isn’t a simple form. It’s a step by step wizard that changes the next options depending on your choices and who you’re sending money to.

The first step of the wizard looks simple enough.

But then after you select Continue, you’ll see details of the transaction that apparently you can change, like currency, whether you’re Sending to a friend, and what account you’re sending with.

If you choose to change the account, you’ll see you can use your Paypal account or send directly from your bank account.

Why are there so many choices with Paypal while Venmo is such an easy 3-step process?

It’s because Paypal has layered in more complicated fee structures depending on whether payments are international, and what is being paid for.

For example if you’re sending money to a friend you can choose to pay the fee or have the recipient pay it. Or you can choose to pay for goods or services, in which case the recipient has to pay the fee and have it covered by Paypal Purchase Protection.

So, on the one hand, Paypal may offer more features and choices. But Venmo simplifies the entire transaction process by standardizing fees and other details, letting you finish the payment process in just a few, simple clicks.

Other Considerations

A few other important differences to take into account before you make your choice between Venmo vs. Paypal:

  • Paypal offers Buyer Protection peace of mind when you’re purchasing from a business.
  • Paypal offers business loans.
  • You can buy or sell cryptocurrency with Paypal.

In comparing Venmo vs. Paypal, we used two full-membership accounts to examine the user interface, transaction process, features, fees, and balance transfers.

Ultimately, Venmo and Paypal do the same thing. They both get money out of your bank account or credit card and into someone else’s. The difference is that Paypal is a little bit more complicated to use, but offers many more features and services. 

Venmo is best for someone who doesn’t want to deal with bells and whistles, and just wants a simple app to send someone some money as quickly and easily as possible.

7 Reasons Amazon Fire 10 Is a Terrible Tablet

The Amazon Fire 10 is a useful tablet for a lot of people. It’s an excellent tablet for families since parents can easily control content on the Fire 10 and keep inappropriate materials from kids.

The specs are also fairly impressive. It has a 10.1 inch, 224ppi LCD display. It features a 2GHz Mediatek MT8183 octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM. You can get models with either 32GB or 64GB internal storage. It also supports a microSD card for extra storage of up to 512 GB.

However, there are a lot of limitations and drawbacks of using an Amazon Fire 10. We’ll cover all of these so you know what you’re getting into when you buy one of these tablets.

1. Annoying Login Ads

When you turn on your Amazon Fire 10 tablet, the very first thing you’re confronted with is a full screen ad. The ad changes every time you log in. 

To unlock, you need to drag a finger from the lock icon up.

When you’ve paid from $150 to $190 for an Amazon Fire 10 tablet, the last thing you should have to deal with are ads. And certainly not ads as in-your-face as right on the login screen.

2. Amazon Products and Services

Once you get logged in, you’ll notice that the main page doesn’t let you get very far from Amazon.

Most of the pre-installed apps are for things like Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Amazon Kids.

This is understandable considering that ultimately the tablet itself is an Amazon product, so of course they’re going to want to drive you toward using Amazon services.

Unfortunately, Amazon’s self-promotion doesn’t end there, as you’ll see below. 

3. The Silk Browser

Then one of the biggest limitations with the Amazon Fire 10 tablet is the Silk browser. It isn’t so much that the Silk browser – the default browser that comes installed on the Amazon Fire tablet – is severely lacking in features. It’s just the fact that you’re limited to use it and nothing else. 

We’ll get to that limitation in a moment, but first it’s important to review the limited features of the Silk browser itself.

As a basic browser, it does the job. It defaults to use the Bing search engine (although you can change this). It is a minimalist, fast browser that gets the job done and will let you surf the internet as well as just about any other browser out there.

However, there’s no real room for expansion with extensions or add-ons. Beyond the basic browser features, don’t expect bells and whistles at all.

The menu is where you’ll find most features, which includes bookmarks, switching dark and light themes, forcing desktop viewing of sites, and a “Private Tab” feature like Chrome’s incognito.

But you’ll also notice even the browser itself is integrated with Amazon features. The menu has a link to your Amazon Lists. It also has a quick link to Amazon for shopping, and a feature called Instant Recommendations that monitors websites you visit so the browser can offer other page recommendations and related searches.

Without a doubt, Instant Recommendations is likely a way for Amazon to also offer you ads that are more relevant to your interests – so enable this with caution.

If you want to use some other browser like Firefox or Chrome, you’re out of luck. If you try searching the Appstore for these browsers, you won’t find them.

What you will find is an unusual app called Google Search, which you may think is the equivalent of the Chrome browser. It isn’t.

4. Google Services Are Scaled-Down Alternatives

If you’re a major user of Google services, this is probably the single issue that’ll turn you off from using an Amazon Fire tablet. 

Google Search is an app that lets you use the Google search engine. Google Chrome this is not. It’s sort of like a beyond-minimalist app that lets you search Google Web and Google Images.

The menu itself is very basic and offers no real links to many other Google services or your Google account.

Search listings default to mobile view, so they don’t even fill the entire page like you would expect. It does the job, but not very well. Especially if you’re used to all of the features offered by the Chrome browser.

Other apps that seem to offer Google services you might want to use are equally scaled down. For example, Google Calendar is absolutely nothing like Google Calendar on the web, or even the Google Calendar app offered by Google for mobile devices.

You only get a Day and Month view, no weekly view at all. There are really no other features to speak of, and the Settings menu is bare of any useful tweaks or customizations to speak of.

The Google Drive app is the same story. There are few other devices that offer a Google Drive app that’s as bare bones as the one on the Amazon Fire tablet.

Yes, if you sign into your Google account on the app, you can access all of the folders and files in your Google Drive. However, that’s all you can do.

It’s essentially a way to access your files so you can view them, edit them, or download them. That’s it.

You can’t create a new directory or file from the app. This seems like a basic feature you’d expect any app that plugs into your Google Drive account to have. But on the Amazon Fire tablet, the functionality just doesn’t exist.

This is a major drawback. Even worse, viewing or editing files doesn’t even use the Google Drive app itself. It opens the file in the Silk browser, where you can view and edit.

Essentially, the Google drive app is almost entirely useless. You’d be better off just accessing your Google Drive account using the Silk browser instead. 

5. Other Amazon Fire Apps are Equally Limited

It isn’t just Google services or apps that are severely limited in functionality. One example is the Facebook app. 

Most of the features you’re used to seeing in Facebook online or the mobile Facebook app are missing from the Amazon Fire Facebook app. It also defaults to mobile view, which looks terrible when using the tablet in wide-screen orientation.

If you tap the menu, it lacks almost everything you see in the Facebook menu on the web or mobile version as well. And again, anything you tap like a link or image will always open in the Silk browser. Like Google services, you’re better off just using the Silk browser to access the Facebook site to begin with.

Amazon Apps are Full Featured

What other apps lack in functionality, Amazon apps have in spades. For example, the Prime video app has all of the menus, categories, and most of the options you’re used to seeing on the Amazon Prime website or mobile app.

You can search for and watch content, view Channels, or select My Stuff to access your library and more.

6. There Are Useful Features But They’re Also Amazon Focused

You will find embedded features on the Amazon Fire 10 tablet that are very useful, so long as you’re an Amazon user. 

For example, the tablet has a dedicated “Device Dashboard” to access and control your smart home devices. But the entire feature is dedicated entirely to using Alexa to control those devices.

Don’t expect the same kind of easy integration if your smart home control hub is something like Google Home.

If you scroll through the tablet settings, you’ll even see Amazon focused settings here. 

The search field at the top of the main screen on the tablet is convenient, but a bit weird. If you search for anything there, it opens something that looks like a very basic web browser – with internet search results displayed in the center window. These results are powered by Bing.

Even internet results are centered primarily on Amazon’s own services. There’s always an Amazon link at the top that you can use at any time to find results for your search on Amazon.

This is clearly yet another opportunity for Amazon to push its own services, and to give you one more avenue to purchase products using Amazon.

7. Tablet Utility Apps are Not Very Useful

One last reason the Amazon Fire 10 is a terrible tablet is the pre-installed utility apps.

If you tap the Utilities icon, you’ll see a list of apps like a calendar, clock, weather, maps, and more.

These are all such bare-bones apps that they’re essentially useless. 

The Maps app does let you search for locations and build an itinerary, but it lacks even a quarter of the features you’d find on a mapping app like Google Maps.

The Calendar, Clock, and Calculator utilities are even less functional then similar apps that come standard on your smartphone.

The only somewhat useful utility is the Weather app. 

This senses your location (or lets you search for others), and shows everything you’d need to know like current weather, high/low temps, precipitation, sunrise and sunset, and a forecast at the bottom.

As you can see, the few redeeming qualities of the Amazon Fire 10 tablet hardly make up for everything it’s lacking.

If you are a very Amazon-centric customer and don’t mind everything you do online focused entirely on Amazon products and services, then none of this should bother you. But if, like most people, you use and own a variety of products and services – most of these limitations will eventually have you setting aside the tablet for some more useful mobile device.