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Obtaining Google Play Apps for the Fire HDX

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Initial post: Nov 15, 2013 6:21:35 AM PST
Danny says:
I am considering buying the Fire HDX and have a question regarding the use of non-Amazon apps. I understand that applications from the Google play store can be used on a Kindle by side-loading. However, how does one actually obtain the applications?

Looking at the Google website, it appears that one needs to connect with a tablet before applications can be downloaded. On the other hand, discussions in this forum seem to suggest that the Kindle will not connect to the Google play store at all. Therefore, I am confused as to how to obtain applications from Google in order to do the side-load on the Fire.

Thanks for any help you can offer,


Posted on Nov 15, 2013 6:58:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 15, 2013 6:59:12 AM PST
You can't get full access to Google Play from a Kindle Fire without rooting it, which I don't recommend on a new, in-warranty device. However, there are many Android apps which are available from third party websites, such as 1mobile market and getjar, and can be sideloaded fairly easily. Here's a good step by step tutorial:

And, here's another article about how to get many Google Play apps without rooting:

In my opinion, if you want Google Play apps, you're better off buying a Nexus or other stock Android device, or even a B&N Nook HD or HD+, all of which have native access to Google Play.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 15, 2013 9:16:55 AM PST
Danny says:
James - good points, but I am still sort of on the fence regarding the apps question, in part because I am having difficulty defining the full spectrum of what I want to use a tablet to do. -- Thanks, Danny.

Posted on Nov 15, 2013 9:40:06 AM PST
L. Hill says:
Danny - therein is the need to establish what you NEED to do, then what you WANT to do...what are your main "goals" for your tablet? That might help you "fall" on one side or the other...and now is a good time to do that! Was visiting Best Buy yesterday - LOTS of tablets are on sale...

For instance - do you plan on "working" on your tablet? Or will you be "consuming" (books, video). Are you looking for something to read, check email on, play games on, watch videos on...or are you looking for some to do extensive work on? My experience - I use a 8.9" Fire extensively for work - but to teach and preach from, to read and hold documents and files on, to keep an active calendar on, and to keep up to date with emails on. I don't "produce" much on my Fire - ie - I create documents and workbooks on a laptop in Word, then send them to my Fire. I do have a Bluetooth keyboard, coupled with OfficeSuite Pro, which gives me the ability to "create" from scratch documents or notes...I use this in travel and in locations where having my laptop wouldn't work. Also, I use handwrite pro with a stylus to take short notes. So, there is a "work" component for a Fire...but truly, it is not optimized for that. There are a few apps that Amazon has not had ported to their environment - for those, I sideload (Adobe Reader immediately comes to mind - there is a native PDF reader on the Fire, but it doesn't open the markups like highlighting or side notes you might have on a PDF document). Sideloading is not complicated - but you do have to find somewhere that has the .apk file and is "safe" - such as the locations James mentions above. have some evaluating to I am chatting with you - next to me at the coffee shop is a young college student who is simultaneously using his laptop to make notes, a Fire to read text, and his phone as a calculator to work's the "modern" world!!! hahaha...

Posted on Nov 15, 2013 10:18:07 AM PST
Not sure why people always make this more complicated than it is. It's as simple as pointing your HDX's browser to and downloading the 1mobile app store. Between the Amazon App Store and 1Mobile, nearly every app you'll want will be there for EASY download and installation.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2013 12:53:08 AM PST
Danny says:
My thanks to L Hill and Richard as I do agree with most of what you say; my thanks even if I were disagree! As a former IT manager I probably do over complicate the analysis. However, I am now generally home-bound due to medical issues, so my pure needs have changed although my general attitude towards IT has not. Like you, I do most of my "creation" work on a desktop or notebook but travel is rarely an issue for me.

With that in mind, I would say my critical issues are as follows: I need to do web browsing, various content consumption, probably occasional light word processing or note-taking, perhaps check occasional e-mail, access content on my home LAN, and make use of some specialized applications such as those for amateur radio and probably photography display. In addition, it would be nice to have access to applications such as maps, YouTube, etcetera. Whatever tablet I get will be sole my portable music player, and it would be nice to use it in conjunction with a large screen TV for occasional display purposes (I was a bit disappointed when Amazon removed the HDMI port from the HDX).

I have pretty much narrowed my choices to the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, and the full-size iPad and Google tablets; of the three, I am focusing mostly on the Kindle somewhat on the Google, while the iPad is in third place because of the cost. But, even with that in mind, I still wonder if the larger size iPad and Google devices might have an advantage purely on the basis of screen size. As noted above, I expect to use the tablet mostly at home so I have ruled out a need for anything but Wi-Fi access. I have read many online reviews and I understand what everyone is saying about the choice coming down to content environments, however, I suppose my greatest difficulty is predicting just which content environment I will truly need in the future. There are some specific newspapers and magazines I will wish to access but so far the results are mixed as to which tablets they will run on, a problem that appears to be solvable through side-loading. I am also cautious because I am not in a position to become a multiple device owner like some have; this is going to be my sole significant IT purchase of the year and I need it to be useful for several years to come.

I hope this helps clarify my needs, and if it enables you to offer any further advice, I would greatly appreciate it. As a final aside to L Hill, I would appreciate knowing just which keyboard and Adobe reader apps you are using, as those will certainly be things I want to add to the device.

Again, thank you for your assistance.


Posted on Nov 26, 2013 10:57:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2013 11:53:56 AM PST
George Leon says:
Alternative "app stores" are useless for people that have purchased apps & most like 1-mobile are filled with rubbish & are almost never scanned for malware threats.

At any rate, all of Google apps will work on the HDX with a little tweaking & there either will be, or are guides & tools available at XDA. Currently, the ONLY Google app that won't work is the Play Store, which is to say that Amazon, for the first time ever, is actively BLOCKING the Play Store by using an intent proxy. It really is kind of sad, Amazon most certainly takes advantage of Google's framework & source code, then they limit choice by failing to keep Kindle version apps updated, or by even acquiring some of the top apps from developers. I wouldn't mind so much if Amazon really gave a crap & actually tried to make their App Store better, but they don't, they themselves treat it like a red-headed stepchild, so why should any developer think any better of it?

Also, you mention keyboards, but the selection of SIP's is really limited & most will not work properly on the HDX. In fact, they have modified the Android Settings so that it makes selecting any other KB nearly impossible for the technologically challenged.

Aside from those few issues I have, which do so irk me, The HDX is a nice tablet. It is almost perfect. Performance-wise, it is what the Nexus 10 should have been, great processor (SD 800), coupled with the venerable Adreno 330 GPU. I'm sure the flaming will begin, but it bothers me, using open source products that were created to offer more choice & then locking them down. I seriously wouldn't even care if I could purchase my Android apps again, even though I don't think I really should have to, but nonetheless I cannot, because the Amazon App Store is so poorly curated. Really, I use some pretty standard Android apps & 90% of them are not in Amazon's offering.

Greader Pro? Nope.
ANF - Air Navy Fighters? Nope.
Allworx Mobile? Nope.
AMEX? Nope.
AnyConnect VPN? Nope.
CBS? Nope.
Dead Trigger 1 or 2? Nope.
Dropbox? Nope. (Even tho DB offers a KF version on their website!?!?)
Madden 25? Nope.
MX Player? Nope.
Sony Media Remote? Nope.
COD Strike Team? Nope.
Paypal? Nope.

And many of the apps they do have, are several versions behind the latest updated version in the Play Store. Even some of the most popular, like Netflix & Hulu+, they are several versions behind.

If Amazon would fix this gaping issue, this would be the greatest tablet to date. Even if they just opened up Play Store access. Don't get me wrong, it is a great device, but they did away with too many useful things from the HD 8.9, like HDMI out (since the screen mirroring is only supported by a small number of TV's & media players) & the Play Store work around, which is simple to institute on the HD 8.9 model.

Listen, the bottom line is that if you don't care about app selection, or if you only care about watching videos or playing a few games (particularly if you haven't experienced the delight that Google's Play Store has become), then this tablet is probably going to be a 5-star experience for you. However, if you have had a solid Android tablet & you are the type that likes to modify things, to customize & personalize, then this will at best be a 3-star or 4-star experience.

Personally, I wouldn't even own a KF if Android hadn't gone & killed the AOSP webkit & replaced it with Chromium. Or if Amazon would step into 2013 & utilize HTML5. But we are stuck choosing between Flash, which is dead for Android (not even sideloaded after 4.3 since Chromium is device-wide) or the equally dead Silverlight. However, I am a Prime Member & I want to be able to take advantage of that, just like iOS users can, but for some reason Android has been excluded from this by Amazon, even though the Fire OS is Android. So, I am not knocking the tablet hardware, in fact I praise it thoroughly, but the decision to start ACTIVELY blocking the Play Store, to start limiting consumer choice (there is no choice since Amazon doesn't even offer many of the apps), that is what I don't like about the tablet. Amazon was quick to get their apps into Google's Play Store & even the iOS market has Google's apps for the most part, but Amazon, nope.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2013 11:03:05 AM PST
Really? This one works just fine:

Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 for PCs, Tablets, Smartphones - Black

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2013 11:34:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2013 11:36:21 AM PST
George Leon says:
lol... You think hardware, I think software... I am talking about a better SIP keyboard. Like Swiftkey...& very, very few work & those that do, are not very intuitive to figure out how to even activate it since Amazon stripped down the languages & input settings from the source code.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2013 12:21:03 PM PST
scoutyjones says:
I went to the App store and found most of the apps you are looking for...

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 11:31:18 PM PST
Helen says:
Here's a great site that I use for sideloading apps to my fire:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2013 9:08:14 AM PST
Zergor says:
Thanks for this review. I was pondering an HDX, and now I'm not. The lack of Google Play kills it for me. I have a lot of content in the play store with my nexus 7 gen 1 and not interested in rooting an HDX. I would love it they supported both stores, as I'd buy from both, and in fact I do have Prime but not willing to kill my purchased content in Play to gain another walled garden.

Posted on Dec 16, 2013 11:23:17 AM PST
T. Brumwell says:
The reputed inability to access the Google Play Store is the single main reason why I have not purchased a Kindle Fire. The second reason is the reputed inability for me to upgrade the tablet's memory by purchasing a larger SD card.

If both of these were changed, I'd have one (or two) by Christmas. =)

Posted on Dec 16, 2013 11:37:34 AM PST
scoutyjones says:
What ereader/tablet, has an SD card slot, other than my Nook HD+, which has access to google play store, but not Amazon's apps? I love the Nook HD+ for the ability to increase storage with a micro SD card, but it is also "locked" from Amazon app's store. It is a great tablet at a very good price, but so is my Fire each their own, just recognize what is important to you and what is just frivolous wishes and whining...

Posted on Dec 22, 2013 6:53:08 PM PST
I went to Best Buy to look at the Kindle Fire HDX and just loved this tablet. However, I refuse to buy any Tablet without a SD Card slot for expansion. The fact that Amazon is preventing access to Google Play is another thorn in their sides when informed buyers shop for a new tablets. I think Amazon has missed a great opportunity to compete with Samsung Galaxy Tablets and other quality tablets that have a SD Card slot and can run apps from the Google Play Store. Lets face it Amazon apps store sucks!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2013 7:54:43 PM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
Amazon hasn't missed anything. They don't make money on their devices. They make it on the content they sell. How would allowing Google play make Amazon money? Amazon already outsells the Samsung tablets as well.

Posted on Dec 22, 2013 9:12:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 22, 2013 9:15:57 PM PST
If you want Google Play Apps, get a Google Tablet. It is not Amazon's job to make it's competitors more profitable by building their app purchase business. I'm an informed buyer, and have no use for either an SD card slot, or Google Play store apps. I get all I want from Amazon, and so do fine with Kindles. If Amazon does not provide what you want, forget that it even exists, and go buy a Nexus, or whatever. Why you think we care what you do / don't buy is a puzzlement to me. BTW - If you REALLY want lots of games, etc, forget about all tablets, and all apps. Get yourself a full blown computer-desktop, or laptop-and the programs to go with it. Windows 7, OSX, etc, beat the snot out of all versions of Jellybean, or whatever.

Posted on Dec 24, 2013 1:20:15 PM PST
lorigary says:
I tried to install amazon kindle app on my samsung galaxy tablet and it says 100 percent installed but nothing else. It doesn't show up in my list of apps. Is something wrong?

Posted on Dec 24, 2013 1:28:08 PM PST
scoutyjones says:

Posted on Dec 24, 2013 3:14:43 PM PST
Data says:
First off , 1mobile is not MOSTLY filled with " rubbish " and never scanned . And secondly , yes , get something else . The Kindle is not what you should consider with all your problems . Get something that lessens your problems list .

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2013 4:08:11 PM PST
lorigary: Have you synced the tablet to the account and then checked in the cloud tab and then downloaded from there?

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 9:15:46 AM PST
I'm fairly disappointed. Just got a kindle for Christmas. I was looking forward to it for a while. However, when I started playing around with it, it feels more like a Apple. It's not very customizable. No google play?

No Google play? No Firefox. Look I love the look and feel, the hardware. It's all good, but it's totally locked down. It's got the name of android, but it's an Apple! If I wanted one track tasking, I would get an I-something.

I think I am going to be returning the kindle!

If the reason you like android is because of freedom in useability, customization and control don't get kindle. If you think Apple makes good products than this is just comparing apples to apples. (Pun intended)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2013 9:44:56 AM PST
A. Dietz says:
Jeremy, Amazon has their own app store that competes with Google Play. They are also not going to give control over their device to Google, which you have to do if you want to install Google Play on a device.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2013 9:54:56 AM PST
Jazzy_Jeff says:
You can allow third party apps to be installed and get apps from markets like So the Fire is not locked down at all. Google Play isn't the only app store available. But hey, if you want to complain and return your Fire before actually trying to get the apps you want be my guest.

Posted on Dec 25, 2013 9:57:44 AM PST
Grimwinder says:
If you enjoy paying far more for equally, or lesser, specced tablets, it's still a relatively free country.
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Initial post:  Nov 15, 2013
Latest post:  18 days ago

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