By Trae Jacobs,
When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Tablets are becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons. Modern tablets, like the Amazon Fire HD 8, come with some very impressive capabilities. But, does the Fire HD 8 also include a GPS navigation system?
The Fire HD8 does not currently include a GPS chip, meaning there’s no direct way to use it as a navigation system. The tablet is powered by wifi and Bluetooth but does not come with the option to include a data plan.
However, it does feature location services, and you can access things like Google Maps to use your tablet to get directions. Below, we will discuss more information on using your Fire HD 8 on your next road trip. Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks!
The Fire HD 8 is part of Amazon’s line of Fire tablets. It comes in your choice of 32 or 64 GB capacity, features an 8” HD screen display, and holds a battery charge for an impressive 12 hours.
The Fire HD 8 works similarly to other tablets in its class. You can download and use all your favorite apps, check your email, make video calls in 720p HD quality, and more! It features two 2MP cameras, one front-facing, and one rear-facing, and is compatible with Alexa voice control technology.
This tablet features both wifi and Bluetooth capabilities. However, Amazon does not currently offer the option to purchase the device with a cellular data plan. For this reason, you can only access apps and features that use the internet if you’re connected to a wireless network.
The Fire HD 8 does feature location services, meaning you can visit websites like Google Maps to get directions to different points of interest from your current location, as long as you are connected to a wifi network.
However, the Fire HD 8 does not include a built-in GPS chip. Because of this, it cannot independently function as a GPS navigation system or direct you to your tablet if you ever lose it.
As mentioned, the Fire HD 8 is currently not available for purchase with a data plan included. But, there are still a couple of ways to access map features on your tablet, even when you’re out of range of a wifi network! These include:
- Connect to a mobile wifi hotspot
- Connect to an external GPS receiver
Let’s discuss what each of these options entails.
If you have a cellular data plan, you could set up your smartphone to work as a personal wifi hotspot and access internet-connected features, such as maps, on the go. However, unlike a smartphone, this will still not give you turn-by-turn directions as you drive.
Before you connect your tablet to your phone’s wifi hotspot, keep in mind that this could use a significant amount of data, especially if you’re using data-heavy features like maps for long periods of time. If you have a limited data plan, be sure to keep an eye on your data usage throughout the trip.
- Open your iPhone’s settings from the home screen, then select Cellular.
- From the Cellular settings screen, choose “Set Up Personal Hotspot.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions, then connect your Fire HD 8 to the hotspot through its wifi settings.
- Open your phone’s settings screen, then navigate to “Connections,” “Network & Internet,” or “Wireless & Networks,” depending on what you see listed on your phone.
- Choose “Mobile Hotspot and Tethering,” “Hotspot & Tethering,” or “Tethering & Portable Hotspot.”
- Set up your hotspot by following the on-screen instructions, then connect your Fire HD 8 to your personal mobile network.
If you’re truly committed to using your Fire HD 8 as a GPS navigation system, you could connect it to an external GPS receiver. These are available in both wireless and wired formats. The wireless models work through your tablet’s Bluetooth, while the wired models connect via a micro USB cable.
While these will give you complete GPS capabilities on your Fire HD 8, they are quite complicated to set up. External GPS receivers are not directly compatible with your tablet, so the process is time-consuming and tedious. Only use an external GPS receiver if you’re comfortable with the setup process.
Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet offers some impressive modern features. It works with Alexa voice control, includes two cameras to take photos or videos, and allows you to download and access all your favorite apps.
However, while you can use the internet on your tablet to get step-by-step directions to different locations and points of interest, the Fire HD 8 does not include a GPS chip, and there’s no option to purchase it with a data plan.
For this reason, it will not give you real-time directions as you drive down the road. It needs to be connected to some kind of network in order to access internet-connected features, such as Google Maps.