Walt Mossberg

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Loading Photos Into the Kindle Fire

Q:

How do I load family pictures into the Kindle Fire that I just bought for my 94-year-old mother?

A:

One of the weaknesses of the Fire is that it is heavily tied into Amazon’s cloud services, and, unlike Google or Apple, Amazon doesn’t have a cloud-based photo service. There are a number of work-arounds for getting photos into the Fire. Here are two. In my tests of the Kindle Fire, I found that the simplest method was to plug it into a laptop using a special USB cable (not included) and drag photos onto the Fire from the laptop. You also can save photos to the Fire that are attached to emails received on the device, but I found this didn’t always work.

Q:

Do you have any guidance about all-in-one touch-screen desktop PCs for the holiday buying season?

A:

I haven’t reviewed these in a long time, but take a look at Hewlett-Packard’s latest TouchSmart models, which seem well-equipped and start at $600, after various discounts. Note: I don’t know how well the touch screens on these PCs, or any others currently on the market, will work with the upcoming Windows 8, due out next year.

Q:

I have an Asus Transformer tablet and want to get Swype on it. How can I get it?

A:

Swype, which is an alternate keyboard for Android devices that works by letting you swipe your fingers across letters, typically comes preloaded on devices, rather than being installed by users like a typical app. The product’s site, at swype.com, shows how you can tell if your device came with it. If not, you can try installing a beta version by going to beta.swype.com.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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