Using BridgeTab on Amazon Fire Tablets

by Matthew Kidd

Electronic scoring for bridge games has been available since 2000 when Bridge Systems BV introduced the first Bridgemate scoring system in The Netherlands. Though BridgePad provides some competition, low production custom hardware has always meant high prices. Bridgemate II units are running at $148 each for quantities under 20, a cost that can be prohibitive for clubs that hold one or two games per week or ACBL units that hold one or two unit games per month. The arrival of cheap commodity Android based tablets, notably the Amazon Fire, has introduced a cheaper option, currently best supported by the BridgeTab app from Jannersten Forlag.

This guide documents how to purchase and configure Amazon Fires tablets for use with BridgeTab software. Some information is applicable to other Android based devices but the configuration details will vary. Information about running games using the BridgeTab app and BOS package can be found on the BridgeTab website. Some readers may find the BridgeTab User Guide helpful. It documents the La Jolla unit’s procedure for using BridgeTab on Amazon Fires with ACBLscore and the BOS package.

Chapters

  1. Advantages of electronic scoring
  2. BridgeTab vs. Bridgemate / BridgePad

    advantages, drawbacks, advantages in detail, drawbacks in detail

  3. What to purchase

    Amazon Fire models, purchase options, support-hardware

  4. Configuring Amazon Fire tablets

    Amazon account, initial setup, registration, updating Fire OS, main profile setup, child profile setup, profile pictures

  5. Using the tablets

Advantages of electronic scoring

All electronic bridge scoring systems provide the following benefits:

  1. Significant reduction of scoring errors
  2. Entry of player numbers at the start of a session and the presentation of player names at start of each round
  3. Record of the contract
  4. Optional record of the opening lead
  5. Optional presentation of other results for the board
  6. Optional presentation of pair’s ranking
  7. Much easier for a director to play in order to avoid a half table

I estimate that the introduction of electronic scoring reduces the scoring error rate at least 80% by eliminating director typos and mistakes due to poor handwriting. The error rate drops even further after east-west players are reminded of their obligation to sign off on the scores and warned that incorrect results due carelessness on their part may be allowed to stand.

The presentation of the player names at the start of each round can reduce the occasional incorrect seating in a Howell movement or a pair’s failure to skip during a skip round of Mitchell movement.

When results are manually entered into ACBLscore, only the scores are entered. Electronically capturing the contracts, and optionally the opening leads, allows a rich presentation of results, both during the session through the scoring devices, and later when results are posted using programs and systems such as ACBLmerge, Bridge Results, ACBL Live, ACBL Club Results, and BridgeComposer.

A director relieved of data entry can usually easily play in a game in order to prevent a half table. The ACBL guideline, perhaps even rule, is that a director should only fill-in for a one session event. But with electronic scoring and experienced players who do not make a lot of director calls, a director can fill in even in a 20 table event.

BridgeTab vs. Bridgemate / BridgePad

This documentation advocates using the BridgeTab scoring system, specifically on Amazon Fire tablets. This approach has many advantages but also some important drawbacks.

Advantages

  1. Much cheaper price per unit
  2. Much larger secondary market
  3. Beautiful full color presentation of results, deals, and double dummy analysis on a large screen
  4. Players appreciate the detailed feedback / makes bridge more fun
  5. Deals can be entered by the players when the board is first played if your club does not have a dealing machine or the option to pay someone to make predealt hands.
  6. Tablet use standard Wifi connection (doesn’t need separate Bridgemate server)
  7. Each tablet is a full computer that can be used for other purposes, including using BBO robots to fill-in a half table.

Drawbacks

  1. Tablets need to be configured, ideally in a manner that locks bridge players out of doing certain things.
  2. Tablets need to be charged for 1-2 hrs at least every two sessions, and probably before every session if only used once per week. By contrast BridgeMate asserts that the BridgeMate II unit can last up to 500 sessions on a pair of AA batteries.
  3. Multi-port USB chargers are needed to conveniently charge a lot of tablets. The cost is about $5 / charging port.
  4. The BridgeTab server has a $6 / table annual licensing fee or $45 / table for an unlimited license.
  5. Wifi contention is sometimes an issue.
  6. Amazon Fires have ads on the lock screen.
  7. There are more ways for a bridge player to go wrong using a tablet than using a dedicated device such as Bridgemate or BridgePad.
  8. Each tablet is a full computer that is in principle subject to viruses, system updates at inopportune moments, and similar issues experienced with desktops and laptops.

Advantages in Detail

New Bridgemates II units are $148 each for quantities under 20, with $80 being a typical resale price if you can find a someone selling them. At the time of this writing, Amazon is selling a new 7-inch low-end Fire tablet (8 GB, low resolution screen) for $49. When the La Jolla unit purchased used Amazon Fire tablets a year ago, our average price was $32 per unit, inclusive of shipping, taxes, and a California electronic recycling fee (see financial statement). More information about purchasing Amazon Fires, is presented in the next chapter.

Players love the instant feedback of the BridgeTab display. In all but the largest games the full set of board results is visible without the need to scroll. Moreover, the BridgeTab app can display the deal and double dummy results. Education researchers know that quick feedback results in much better learning than delayed feedback and inexperienced players know this instinctively. At the same time the better players often find something interesting about a deal, whether it is subtleties of matchpoint bidding decisions, a particular suit combination, the lines of play that yield a double dummy result, or whatnot. Instant feedback makes the game more fun, a key to success for club owners.

It’s hard to measure whether instant feedback increases game attendance but my sense it that is has increased our average unit game table count by one half to one table in a game that averages about 17 tables. Because some big game costs—rent and directors—are fixed; extra pairs are almost entirely profit. Even a small attendance boost can make a low cost electronic scoring system pay off in a short amount of time.

If your club or unit does not use predealt hands, you can have your players enter the hand using the tablets the first time the hand is played. Brian Atkinson is doing this for his club in Nanaimo, British Columbia. I asked him to send me some screenshots which convinced me that the procedure is convenient and easy for players to master.

Tablets use a standard Wifi connection. Your club may already have a wireless router and if it doesn’t you can pick one up cheaply. Bridgemates use a custom wireless server, currently priced at $288, at least five times the cost of decent wireless router.

Each tablet is a general purpose computer. This offers many possibilities. For example, you can install Bridge Base Online (BBO) and setup teaching tables, using random or prepared deals as part of a bridge teaching class or setup bidding practice for certain types of hands. You can browse the web or display PDF content, perhaps lesson material. Or do something totally unrelated to bridge.

Note: Amazon Fire tablet runs Fire OS which is based on the Android OS but isn’t the same. As shipped, you can only install apps from the Amazon App Store. However, it is possible to put the tablet in developer mode and install the Google Play Store which allows access to the full range of Android apps, including John Goacher’s excellent Bridge Solver double dummy analyzer.

Drawbacks in Detail

The biggest drawback of using BridgeTab on Amazon Fires is that some setup is required. In short, for each tablet you must go through the initial Amazon Fire setup, including adding a wireless connection, install the BridgeTab app, and ideally sandbox the bridge players in a child profile (user account) where they cannot mess with the system configuration. These steps only need to be done once per device and can be done in 10-15 minutes per device. The primary purpose of this guide is to detail these steps.

The big color screen of a tablet draws far more power than the highly efficient LCD screens of the Bridgemate and BridgePad devices. Fully charged tablets will last only two sessions and it takes two hours to fully charge a completely drained tablet. Conveniently charging so many devices requires auxiliary USB charging hardware. But do not worry about a device shutting down during a game. It is easy to swap in a replacement.

Although the BridgeTab app is free, the server software that runs on the same computer as ACBLscore or similar, is not free. There is a $6 / table annual licensing fee or $48 / table unlimited license fee. The license limits how many scoring devices can report scores in one event. So if your largest game is expected to be 25 tables, you must pay $150 / year and a small foreign currency transaction fee. If your game exceeds your license capacity or the number of tablets available, the director can still enter the scores manually for the extra tables.

Wireless internet is one of the transformational technologies of the last twenty years. However, in contrast to wired internet with each device wired directly to an internet switch, wireless performance degrades rapidly when there are many communicators even if they do not communicate much. Any device may attempt to communicate at any time. When they realize they are talking over one another (a “collision”), each one waits a random amount before attempting to communicate again. If they detect a collision a second time the average random wait time doubles and so forth, in a process called exponential backoff.

Sometimes the BridgePad application is unable to receive the feedback, i.e. the results from the other boards, presumably due to wireless contention. Careful analysis of network traffic captured using Wireshark is so far inclusive. Some dropped or significantly delayed packets sent from the server occur during Multicast DNS (mDNS) packet storms generated by the Amazon Fires but presumably unrelated to the BridgeTab app. But in other cases the dropped packets seem entirely due TCP contention generated solely from multiple BridgeTab clients communicating with the server. Details will be provided in a separate article.

The Bridgemate and BridgePad scoring systems do not seem prone to this problem. These systems almost certainly have no mDNS traffic and they minimize the network communication. They need only send a table #, board #, contract, and result, particularly when use for ACBL tournaments where feedback is not provided during the tournament. Moreover, standard internet communication involves some overhead that the BridgeTab and BridgePad vendors may have minimized with their custom wireless protocols.

Amazon may not be selling low end Amazon Fires at a loss but their margin must be very low. In part they hope to profit by selling paid apps, books, music, and video for the tablet, products where they take a cut. They also plug products via advertisements on the lock screen of the tablet. These advertisements are never visible when the BridgeTab app is open. And they are mostly childish touts for games like Candy Crush or stupid movies. It is unlikely that any player will be offended by these ads should they even see one.

It is difficult for players to go wrong using a Bridgemate or BridgePad device. But there are many ways to go wrong on a tablet. Players might accidentally exit the BridgeTab app, start another app, or might turn off the device and not know how to turn it on or be unable to get past a passcode protected lock screen. The chapter Configuring Amazon Fire Tablets discusses how to minimize these issues. After a few sessions, players learn how to deal with the issues that can not be eliminated.

Each tablet is a full computer. This means they are in principle subject to viruses but proper configuration and player lockdown makes this very unlikely. System updates at inopportune moments are also possible. The Amazon Fires periodically check for updates but are smart enough to not to all update at once immediately after each Fire OS update is released. Still, downloads of system updates during a game may increase the wireless contention discussed above. Leaving the devices plugged when not in use will minimize this problem because system updates will be likely to occur when the device is not in use.

What to Purchase

Amazon Fire models

The BridgeTab application can run on any Android based operating systems. This covers many smartphones and tablets with many different screen sizes and screen resolutions.

I highly recommend standardizing on the 7" (diagonal measurement) screen form factor. This is the Goldilocks size. Our local Adventures in Bridge club experimented with some smartphone sized devices but even I often fat fingered their touch screens and figured it must be even worse for the people twenty or thirty years older than me. Anything bigger the 7" takes up too much room on the card table. It is also much easier to stack and store device if they all have the same form factor.

Amazon sells a bewildering range of tablets and e-readers. Amazon Kindle initially referred to a dedicated e-reader that used e-ink to display pages in black and white, a very efficient technique that allowed the device to go weeks between charging. For electronic scoring we want the Amazon (Kindle) Fire, a tablet computer with a color display. Amazon has produced several generations of the product, named for the last digit of the year the product was released, i.e. first gen (2011), second gen (2012), third gen (2013), fourth gen (2014), fifth gen (2015), seventh gen (2017). There is no sixth generation. With the introduction of the fourth generation, Amazon dropped Kindle from the name, so Amazon Fire is now the most general name for the product. Some models have the suffix HD or HDX, as in Fire HD, primarily indicating a higher resolution display. The final number, e.g. the 7 in Fire HD 7 refers to the screen size, 7" in this case. Do not confuse this number with the generation which is generally written out as “fifth generation”, “fifth gen”, or “5th gen”.

The BridgeTab app barely taxes the hardware. It runs fine on older Amazon Fire products. The La Jolla unit is using fifth and seventh generation Amazon Fire tablets. Anything later will work. Fourth generation products should work fine. Mixing and matching generations is not a problem.

Amazon Fire tablets come with 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of flash storage. The minimum 8 GB is fine for running BridgeTab. If you repurpose the tablet and need more memory, you can add a micro SDXC card and move all music, videos, pictures, and many (but not all) applications to the removable SDXC card. Nor do you need the HD or HDX models. However, if you plan to use a device as an e-book reader, I recommend the higher resolution screens in the HD and HDX versions. If the resale price is right, by all means purchases the higher end units.

Most Amazon Fire tablets are black but they are offered in other colors. Keep this in mind if you want all your devices to be the same color. Also there are Kid’s Edition versions that are surrounded by a thick rubber bumper. You probably don’t want these.

Used tablets

If you are purchasing used tablets, don’t worry if the charger is missing. Cracked screens can be replaced but it’s not worth the hassle even if you do it yourself. Batteries may be old and not hold a charge well. Replacing batteries is easy, much easier than replacing a battery in any Apple product. Note: you don’t need the Precision Tweezers Set ($9.99) mentioned in the online repair guide, but you do need the iFixit Opening Tools ($1.99) if you don’t already have something similar.

Purchase options

Purchasing new Amazon Fires from Amazon is the most expensive option. However, once a year on Amazon Prime Day, typically in July, Amazon offers deep discounts on some products, which usually includes their most popular electronics. If you do not have Amazon Prime, it can be worth joining for free for one month just to purchase Amazon Fire tablets.

Amazon also offers refurbished units at a discount. These generally work fine. Other companies and individuals sell used Amazon Fires through the Amazon site.

I highly recommend eBay. Search for “Amazon Fire” or perhaps “Amazon Fire tablet” which will weed out the Amazon Fire Stick, or “Amazon Fire 7”, “Amazon Fire 7 HD”, and “Amazon Fire 7 HDX” to look specifically for 7" models. Adding the search term “8GB” will narrow the list down to cheaper devices. Although eBay still runs the auctions that made it famous, many items are now sold for a fixed price or have a “Buy it Now” option. This is more convenient because you don’t want to have too many open bids lest you end up winning more auctions than you intended.

Always check the shipping price. Some sellers offer free shipping. Others sell items cheaply but make up for it with an inflated shipping price to reduce the cut of the sale price that eBay takes, though eBay now takes a cut of the shipping charges too to defeat this system gaming.

Look for sellers with many of the same item to sell. Their listing in the search results may say something like 118+ Sold and the page for the item will say something like ”More than 10 available.” Some of these sellers allow you to make an offer. Do the math to make an attractive offer. For example, if you want to purchase five tablets offered at $40 / each with free shipping you can figure that shipping will cost perhaps $6 per unit, yielding a total profit of 5 × ($40 - $6) = $170. But shipping five units to a single destination will cost perhaps $10. So offer ($170 + $10) / 5 = $36 per unit, giving the seller the same profit. Frequent sellers on eBay will do the math too and often accept, happy to only have to send out one package. Or do the math and then knock a couple of bucks off the price. The worst that can happen is that the seller will decline your offer. But they can make a counteroffer, probably one that works out to the original calculation.

Ignore the N-year protection plans offered from SquareTrade. Like all product protection plans these are a bad deal. Always self-insure up to the limit you can afford.

Craigslist is another option. I’ve found it spotty, you usually need to meet up with a seller who may live far away, and you usually don’t have the option to buy multiple units. (Craigslist is great for giving away free stuff—people will drive 30 miles to pickup an old lawn chair.)

Support hardware

Purchase mutli-port USB chargers to make the charging process manageable and because these units supply more current (2.4A) to each USB port than the charging units (1.2A) shipped with the Amazon Fire, which decreases the charging time. Each Amazon Fire can draw up to 1.8A @ 5V = 9 Watts. I found that both the Unitek PowerPort 105W/2.4A Max 10-Port Fast Charger and the Anker PowerPort 60W Wall Charger, 6 USB Port charger worked well. The 10-port charger includes fan. Expect to spend about $5 / port.

The charging cable shipped with Amazon Fires is about 4 feet long, which results in a tangle of cables when charging many devices at once. You are better off with 3 ft cables with you can purchase six at a time, e.g. the Sabrent 6-pack. If you only have a few tablets the 1 ft cables may be even better. They don’t seem to make 2 ft cables. Make sure you get Micro USB; there are several USB connector types.

Configuring Kindle Fire Tablets

Club / Unit specific Amazon account

Amazon, like Apple, Google, and Facebook, tries to provide a unified experience across either all their hardware and/or all the computers on which you visit their websites. In order to keep your personal life, Amazon purchase history, media purchases, etc off of the Amazon Fire tablets used for electronic scoring, I strongly recommend creating an Amazon account just for your club or unit. This precaution will also prevent bridge players from accidentally purchasing anything using financial information stored in your personal Amazon account. You can create the new Amazon account from a web browser on a desktop or laptop. I used the account name U526 (first name) ACBL (last name)

If you have a club e-mail address, you can just use that for your Amazon account. Even better, use a separate e-mail address, e.g. amazon@yourclub.com, and set this to forward to your regular e-mail address. Tigertech, the webhosting company that the La Jolla unit uses, makes this easy. Many webhosting companies provides mailboxes and/or mail forwarding.

In order to install apps, even free ones like BridgeTab, on the Amazon Fires, you must provide Amazon with a credit card number. Some apps are restricted some countries. Amazon uses the credit card number to verify your country of residence. To avoid accidental purchases on your personal credit card, purchase a prepaid credit card at a grocery store. You’ll pay a roughly $7 convenience fee for a $20 prepaid credit card but you can then purchase $19 of gas on the card. Add the prepaid credit card to your club Amazon account. This is your fallback defense to accidental purchases; the primary defense is the account lockdown described below.

If you happen to have a credit card that is expiring soon, you can use that instead.

Initial setup on a new device or factory reset tablet

When a new Amazon Fire tablet is first powered on, it will walk you through a series of setup screens with an orange background. Most of the setup is self explanatory, e.g. language selection. You will need to connect to a wireless network. And you will need to supply the e-mail address and password of an Amazon account (see preceding section).

You will also be walked through this setup if the device is reset to the factory defaults. Vendors who sell a lot of used electronics will often do this before shipping the tablet to you. You can also do this yourself via Settings (app) → Device Options → Reset to Factory Defaults if you want a clean start. But if a used tablet is not already reset to the factory defaults, it is easier to just register the device to your Amazon account, possibly deregistered it from another Amazon account first (see next section).

On the Fire Options screen I take the security minded approach of unchecking “Enable Location Services”, “Auto-Save Photos and Videos”, and “Backup and Restore” but it makes little difference if the tablets are only used for running BridgeTab.

The more consequential question is whether check “Save Wi-Fi Password to Amazon.” A truly security minded person should not check this option. But there are benefits to checking it. You’ll always have to manually enter a wireless password for the first wireless network you connect the device to. But if say you set up the tablets at home and then take one tablet to the club and enter the club wireless into that tablet, all the other tablets registered to the same account should pickup the club password so long as they are on the home wireless once to communicate with Amazon and pick the club wireless password. This synchronization is also helpful if you are setting up a portable wireless device that you might use to run tournaments in a location without wireless.

Amazon, like Apple, Google, and eBay is large enough to attract the best computer security workers and—unlike Facebook—has a business model where a reputation for security is important for retaining customers. It is unlikely that Amazon would have a security breach that reveals your wireless passwords; a government search warrent would be a different matter.

At the “Who will use this Fire?” initial setup screen, choose your Player profile. This only applies after you have created the Player child profile on the first tablet you configured.

At the “Connect to social networks” setup screen, click Continue without setting up any.

You can exit out of the welcome tutorial that comes next at any time.

Device deregistration and registration

If you purchased a used tablet that has not been factory reset, the lock screen PIN code should be cleared. (If it isn’t, you’ll have to do a Hard Reset). In this case you can simply register the device to your club or unit Amazon account. Navigate Settings (app) → My Account → Register, and then enter the e-mail address for the Amazon account. If the device is registered to another account, first deregister it by pressing the deregister button.

Updating Fire OS

Tablets that have external wireless connectivity and are sufficiently charged will automatically update the Fire Amazon operating system (OS). However, to reduce the likelihood of this happening during a bridge session, bring new tablets up to date via System (app) → System Updates → check now (button). A new tablet purchased directly from Amazon will need few, if any, initial updates. Used tablets may require several updates, each requiring a device restart and another check for updates as above.

System updates on an Amazon Fire

If the Fire OS version is really old, Fire OS may not automatically update. In this case you must do a manual update by downloading the update from Amazon to a Windows or Mac computer, transfer the update to the root (top) directory of the Internal storage of tablet over the USB cable, and then go to System Updates on the tablet which will then offer to update. See this example for the Kindle HD 7. Amazon’s manual Fire & Kindle Software Update page has update for all their Fire and Kindle devices.

Experts may choose to do a manual update even when a tablet is performing automatic updates because the manual update can save a lot of time by skipping over the intermediate versions of Fire OS and save a lot of network bandwidth if many tablets need to be updated at once.

Updating Fire OS is rarely essential. But keeping computers up to date tends to prevent strange issues that can waste a lot of time.

Main user profile setup

  1. Install the BridgeTab app via Appstore (app) → tap magnifying glass search icon at top right → type bridgetab in the search box and press enter. Choose the BridgeTab app by Jannersten Förlag AB.
  2. Protect the main profile via Settings (app) → Security & Privacy → Lock Screen Passcode. Choose a PIN. 4 digits is fine. Use the same PIN for all tablets. Never tell the players the PIN—they don’t need to know it.

    Setting a lock screen passcode on an Amazon Fire
  3. Change screen sleep time to 30 minutes via Settings (app) → Display → Display Sleep → 30 Minutes.
  4. While you are adjusting the sleep time, adjust the Display Brightness if appropriate to your environment. A very bright screen will drain the battery faster.
  5. Optional: disable screen rotation via Settings (app) → Display → When Device is Rotated → Stay in current orientation. We do not set this option for the La Jolla unit game but it may prevent confusion for players who are not familiar with tablets.

    Setting a lock screen passcode on an Amazon Fire
  6. Turn down the system & notification volume via Setting (app) → Sounds & Notification → System & Notification volume → move slider to about 30% of maximum volume.

    Sound and notification settings on an Amazon Fire
  7. Recommended: turn off Alexa, the voice assistant via Settings (app) → Alexa.
  8. Create the Player “child” profile if this is the first tablet you are configuring. It will automatically be available on future devices that get registered to the same Amazon account.

    Under Settings (app) → Profile & Family Library → Add a child profile, fill in the name Player. For the gender and birthdate, I used Boy and Jan 1, 1950 respectively, but it shouldn’t matter what you use. When you are done click on the add profile button.

    Adding a child profile on an Amazon Fire

Child user profile setup

My advice to tournament managers and club owners: if you assume bridge players are children, they will not disappoint you as often.

Implement this advice on the Amazon Fire tablets by creating a child profile (as above) and configuring it properly. There are three reasons to lockdown the tablets. First, it prevents the players from changing settings such as the screen timeout, brightness, or wireless connectivity. Second, you can limit the players to running only the BridgeTab app which helps when they accidentally exit the BridgeTab and need to get back to the app, which becomes easy because there is only one icon. Finally, the lockdown prevents purchases of apps, music, or other media which would get billed to you. Amazon makes accidental purchases easy. Remember that Amazon’s main goal in selling a low cost tablet is to make it easier, almost effortless, to spend more money at Amazon.

The child profile is configured via Settings → Profiles & Family Library → Player Manage this child’s FreeTime experience. There are many options and you must scroll to see them all though below I have combined two screenshots into one to show all the options.

Adding a child profile on an Amazon Fire

Configure the three items circled above.

  1. Disable the web browser, the second circled item.
  2. Enable Show Profile on Lock Screen, the third circled item.
  3. Assign the BridgeTab app to the Player profile via Add Content, the first circled item. After choosing Add Content choose the Games & Apps tab as shown below, tap the BridgeTab app so that a check mark appears over it, and press the done button.

    Assigning the BridgeTab app to the child Player profile

    When the tablet is switched to the player profile, only the BridgeTab app will be visible, as shown below, making it hard for players to go wrong.

    Only the BridgeTab app is assigned to the child Player profile

    Note: to switch between the main profile and the Player child profile, lock your the Amazon Fire tablet by pressing the power button. Press the power button again to show the lock screen. The current profile icon appears in the upper left corner of the screen. Tap and hold on the profile icon to see both profile icons and then select the other one.

Changing the profile pictures

Default Amazon Fire profile icon

The default Amazon Fire profile icons are unexciting, just different color variations on the example at the right. This makes it hard to distinguish between the main profile and the player profile. It is possible to change the profile icons but it involves a bit of work and unfortunately has to be done for each tablet because the icon is not assigned to the child profile at the level of the Amazon account. Here is how to change the icons:

  1. Choose your images, keeping in mind that only a circular region of the image will be used. It is best to start with square images. JPEG, PNG, and GIF images are supported and PNG and GIF images can have a transparency layer.
  2. Copy the images from your Windows or Mac computer to the Internal store → Pictures folder on the tablet over the USB cable.
  3. For the main profile: Using the main user profile, go to Settings (app) → Profile & Family Library → {Your Amazon Account Name} Manage your profile. Then tap and hold on the icon → Choose a Photo. Your can now choose one of the pictures you transferred.
  4. For the Player profile: Using the main user profile, go to Settings (app) → Profile & Family Library → Player Manage this child’s FreeTime experience → Edit Child Profile. Then tap and hold on the icon (or tap on “Choose a profile picture”) → Choose a Photo. Your can now choose one of the pictures you transferred. The La Jolla Unit uses these images:

    U526 Amazon Fire profile picture Player Amazon Fire profile picture

    I suggest using your club logo for the main profile. But feel free to use the Player profile picture which looks similar to the BridgeTab app icon, a good reminder to players of the correct user profile.

Warning: when editing the Player profile be very careful not to remove the Player profile. Remove Child Profile is directly below the Edit Child Profile. There is a confirmation but it is easy to fat finger this too. Be careful! Because the child profile is associated with the Amazon account used to register all the tablets, the removal of the child profile will eventually propagate to all the other tablets registered to the same account. This destroys a lot of work and the propagation could even happen in the middle of a bridge session with the BridgeTab app suddenly disappearing from Player profiles. You cannot recover from this problem by creating a new child profile with the same name, gender, and birthdate. The new child profile will have a different unique id; everything associated with the old child profile will get trashed eventually.

Using the tablets

It is best to power off the tablets when they are not in use. This reduces the number of times the battery is full drained, preserving battery life. When the tablets are powered up they will always start in the passcode protected main profile. Educate your players about how to switch to the Player profile, including the upward swipe on the screen. No passcode required because none is set for the Player profile. BridgeTab will be the only app for them to start and all they need to do is tap on it. Expect about 80% of the North players to get used to this fairly quickly. The remaining players may need some help from the director.

The exact procedure for running a bridge game using BridgeTab depends on the scoring program you are using. This is covered by the vendor’s BOS Package documentation (6 MB PDF) but if you are using ACBLscore, my BridgeTab User Guide may be easier to understand because it covers one scenario using ACBLscore rather than multiple national bridge organization scoring programs.