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Does BANDHELPER work on a Fire Tablet?

Started by MasonJames, May 02, 2023, 10:38:17 AM

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I looked through forums and tried to find this information. My band member doesn't have a working iPad and would rather get a cheaper Fire Kindle if it works the same.

Thanks :)


A new Kindle Fire should have a new enough Android version to run the app. Of course it won't be "the same" as an iPad; cheaper hardware is usually slower, and iOS and Android have some different capabilities.


What's the main diferences between IOS and Android versions ?


The main differences are that Android doesn't have multi-route audio or inter-app audio and can't send SMF files as data, and iOS can't invert PDF colors when the app is using the dark color theme.


Are you aware of whether MIDI works with newer Fire tablets? I recall trying a few years ago with an 8 and having no luck, reverting to my iPad.

I'm back to wanting to put something cheap and dedicated on the rig, and a Fire 10 would fit the bill.


MIDI should work unless Amazon didn't implement the underlying MIDI support in the operating system. But I don't know for sure.

I almost bought a Fire to test with when this thread came up, but I got cold feet when I saw that none come with current Android versions. For example, the latest Fire 10 from 2023 uses Android 11 from 2020.


I decided to try again on my Fire HD 8 8th Gen and an OTG hub, but, despite recent OS updates, at least this tablet still doesn't seem to support MIDI.

It seems that you need to switch to "USB controlled by" to "This device" to be able to choose "MIDI" as an option for "Use USB for." However, attempts to switch to "This device" always fail. (See screenshot.)

If anyone else has had success with something later than this 2019 HD 8, I'd like to hear about it.


Does Settings > Tempo & Pitch > Send MIDI Beat Clock appear on your device? That will be hidden if the device reports that it does not support the native MIDI framework that was added in Android 6. In that case, the app will revert to its own (old) MIDI framework, which supports USB and RTP but not Bluetooth. Tips for using that are here:,739.0.html


It works.

"Send MIDI Beat Clock" does appear on both the HD 8 8th Gen and on the new Fire 10 13th Gen I just bought to test, so, based on what you said, the MIDI framework is there on both. That convinced me I was doing something wrong and I spent more time debugging.

The USB / MIDI stuff in the tablet's own settings seems not to actually matter. My big error was that I didn't realize that my "Send MIDI to Layout Actions > Song Selection" setting from the iPad wasn't migrating when I installed the app on the Fire tablets. I was picking a BandHelper Song, my Fantom wasn't changing Scenes, and I -thought- it wasn't working. Doing more testing, though, manually sending the preset worked. That led me to re-setting the "Send MIDI to Layout Actions > Song Selection," and now it is working like my iPad did.

Picking a Song in Bandhelper on either the Fire 10 or 8 is causing the proper MIDI Preset to be sent and the proper Scenes are being selected on my Fantom-08.

Thanks, Arlo!