I got my Amazon Fire on day one. I immediately was impressed by it. But as I began to dig deeper, I became disappointed. I setup email, but couldn’t get to my contacts. I didn’t like the email client and I could find no way to get to my Google contacts on the device without a manual import. I could not find a calendar without paying money. I tried using the Silk browser to access Google Apps. It was OK until I turned to landscape mode and watched the editing box slide up the screen where I couldn’t see what I was writing. At the end of day one, I thought that I would probably return my Fire.
On day two, I came across some posts discussing how some users had rooted their Fire and been successful installing 3rd party applications not available in the Amazon Appstore. I began to explore and discovered that I could get all of the functionality that I wanted without rooting my Fire. I now love my Kindle Fire as it’s an awesome media device and also a great tool. In this article I will share my path to liberating my Fire.
These are the steps that I took:
- The first thing that you need to do is go into settings by tapping on the gear icon in the upper right corner, select More, select Device, and turn on Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources.
- Next, you need to establish an easy way to install Android application files onto the Fire. Go to the Amazon Store on the Apps tab and install ES File Explorer. Using ES File Explorer, you can connect your Fire to a PC via a mini USB to USB cable or you can connect your Fire to a PC via shared folders over a wireless network. Either way works. Once you are connected, you can transfer files between your desktop and Fire.
- I took a slightly different approach as the first file that I transferred was Dropbox_1.1.1.apk. I created a directory on my Fire called Fire Apps and copied Dropbox into it. I then clicked on the file, agreed to the security prompts and I was looking at Dropbox running on my Fire. For the rest of my file transfers, I created a folder in Dropbox on my PC, put the files that I wanted to install on my fire in it, and opened up Dropbox on my Fire.
- Now, I have to tell you, that finding the necessary installation files is not easy as they are typically hidden by the Android Market, Amazon Appstore, or other app sources. If you go to Google and look for the apps, you will find them. Just be careful about exploits and old file versions. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you. Also, make sure that you restart your Fire before running any newly installed apps. I also want to state clearly that this worked for me. But it may not work for you. You do any or all of this at your own risk. I also do not endorse the installation of any files that are for sale. All of the files that I have installed are available at no cost or if they are for sale, I paid for them.
The files that I installed to get Google Apps running are:
- GoogleContactsSyncAdapter.apk (contacts sync)
- com.google.android.gm-2.apk (gmail)
- com.google.android.apps.reader-1.apk (reader)
- com.google.android.apps.googlevoice-1.apk (voice)
- com.google.android.youtube-2.apk (youtube)
Additional applications that I have installed are Dolphin Browser, Subsonic, Xmarks for Dolphin, and Lastpass for Dolphin. The only way that I was able to get a working calendar that syncs with Google Apps is by purchasing CalenGoo from the Amazon Appstore. It works just fine.
I now have an Amazon Fire that is just perfect. I hope that Amazon is listening and understands that a bridge is often necessary as users live in an integrated world.
If this post was helpful to you, please click on Comments below and leave one.
Contact Info: email@example.com