Amazon Fire Max 11 is the first “premium” model of the Fire tablet product family after Amazon discontinued the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and HDX 8.9 in 2015, although it only costs less than $230 (usually on sale for as low as $150). There are some interesting features, for example, fingerprint ID, active pen support, and an official keyboard case, as explained in this post. However, at the same time, there are some limitations and missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11.
This Fire tablet guide explains the top 7 limitations and missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11, including no DisplayPort Alt Mode, no wireless charging, no fast charging, no headphone jack, lack of Google Play store support, limited multitasking capabilities, and outdated Android version.
Now, let's go through these 7 limitations and missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11 one by one.
1. No USB-C Alt Mode support
USB-C Alt Mode allows USB-C ports to transfer data (e.g., video) via multiple interfaces, including the DisplayPort video interface. So, with USB-C Alt Mode support, you can instantly connect your tablet to a monitor or projector with a USB-C to HDMI cable to share the screen or work on the large screen.
Unfortunately, Amazon Fire Max 11 does NOT support USB-C Alt Mode. This means you cannot easily hook the tablet to a big screen.
This is one of the most disappointing missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11 if you need to share the screen or want to work on a big screen with the tablet.
Amazon TV stick or Chromecast (or any Android TV) can be used if you need to hand over the video to the TV. Of course, if you want to use Chromecast on Fire Max 11, you need to sideload the Google Play store and install the Home app.
2. No 25W fast charging
Amazon started to adopt the USB-C port in the 9th gen of Fire HD 10 (2019). The standard 15W USB-C fast charging has been supported on all Fire tablets with a USB-C port, although the bundled charger is only 9W (or 5W).
Given the relatively large battery in Fire Max 11, a 4-hour charging time is apparently too slow by today's standard. In 2023, more and more mobile devices support 25W or even 65-100W fast charging through the USB-C connection. But Amazon Fire Max still can only charge up to 15W.
Some owners may feel that the lack of 25W fast charging is one of the significant missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11.
3. No wireless charging
However, due to the all-metal build of the back and frame, Fire Max 11 cannot support wireless charging. Wireless charging requires plastic or glass material to cover the charging coil region. So, this missing feature of Amazon Fire Max 11 is due to the limitation of the material used for the back cover.
4. No headphone jack
Amazon did not explain why the headphone jack was removed. It is one of the most frustrating missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11. Of course, there is no USB-C to 3.5mm dongle in the box.
We do believe this is the most stupid decision Amazon made for Fire Max 11.
Apple removed the headphone jack to sell AirPods (e.g., AirPods Pro, AirPods Pro 2, and AirPods 3). Other Android manufacturers, like Samsung, Google, and Motorola, also removed it from the flagship models and hoped to sell wireless earbuds (e.g., Galaxy Buds and Pixel Buds). Of course, none of them, except Apple, succeeded.
Fire Max 11 will not push the sales of Amazon Echo Buds. The wireless earbuds market is oversaturated. Most Fire Tablet owners will not buy it.
The sad truth is that all wireless earbuds, including AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM4/5, sacks due to limited bandwidth in Bluetooth (including the LDAC codec and Samsung Seamless Codec), compared to cheap wired headphones with an “ordinary” DAC.
5. Google Play store support through sideloading
It is not a secret that Amazon does not want Fire tablet owners to use the Google Play store. In some old versions, Amazon even worked very hard to make it extremely hard to use any Google services.
But without the Google Play store, the value of a Fire tablet would reduce by at least half. Most Fire tablet owners know the Fire OS is just Android, and they know how to sideload APK files, including Google Play Store.
Fire OS 8, which runs on Fire Max 11, initially attempted to block Google services, maybe inadvertently. Anyway, now there are no issues with sideloading and using the Google Play Store on Fire Max 11.
6. Limited multitasking capabilities
Amazon Fire Max 11 was designed as a “productivity” tablet, not just a content-consuming device. Amazon also worked hard to create a well-designed keyboard cover tailored for the Fire Max 11. Active pen (stylus) support was also introduced.
Also, for the first time, Amazon added the fingerprint ID to help you unlock the tablet.
However, one crucial feature is severely limited on Amazon Fire Max 11: multitasking.
The 5:3 aspect ratio of the display actually slightly adds more screen area compared to 16:9 (or 16:10) in the mainstream Android tablet. It should potentially help multitasking.
Since the split-screen view multiwindow feature was introduced in Fire HD 10 2021 (11th Gen) and HD 10 Plus, Amazon did not improve it. There is no pop-up view mode yet. You still cannot directly share content between two apps.
The limited multitasking capability is one of the major limitations and missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11.
7. Outdated Android version
If you are within the Amazon ecosystem, you may not feel the need. The tablet was optimized for Amazon services.
But if you need any third-party apps, you will feel the pain. Most apps in Amazon Appstore have not been updated for a few years at least. In other words, you are running an outdated OS with outdated apps. Besides the new features and functions, you should also be concerned about security.
After sideloading the Google Play Store, you can surely get far more updated apps. But you may notice a few apps may not work well on Fire Max 11 as they require a newer version of Android.
The outdated Android version inside the Fire OS 8 is probably one of the most disappointing limitations and missing features of Amazon Fire Max 11.
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Detailed information on how to use the Google Play Store on Fire tablets can be found here.
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