Saturday, December 24, 2011

Making the Fire into a Tablet

To expand the Kindle Fire into a tablet, you will need apps.     To get apps from Amazon, you will need an account.     If you bought your Kindle Fire from Amazon, that will already have been done.   If not, register by clicking on the gear icon at top right of the home screen, then "more...", then "account".

Click to read the Amazon support videos.

The Kindle Fire comes with some built-in apps, plus more that can be installed direct from Amazon once you have an account.    Most are free.   An additional number of apps can be obtained from Amazon's broader android  "Market".   Some of these will work and others will not.

The main source of apps, however is Android Market, and these apps cannot be installed to the Fire, at least not from Android Market (yet).

However, there are many other sources and ways to install apps.   Many more online "app markets" have sprung up    Note that there is no guarantee that there will not be malware; however I have found none, even using antivirus software.    (However, the AVG anti-virus apk software has warned against  Google Chrome apk from AndroidZoom.)

Apps which can be installed have the ".apk" (filetype) suffix.     When loaded direct into the Fire, clicking on them will start the installation process, if compatible.  I have found most apps compatible     Sometimes the file must first be downloaded, then located and installed

For now, apk files may be widely found by simply Googling for them, which will also turn up many sources in addition to the originator of the app.

But then, there are still some apps for which apk files cannot be found online.    Many of these do exist on cellphones.     From a cellphone these apks can be "sideloaded".  That means installed on the cell phone, then transferred to the Fire via PC.

To sideload an app, you need the app "Appmanager" on your cellphone, which will list the cellphone's apps and provide the ability to back them up on the sd drive.    Then the phone can be connected to a PC and files can be copied to the PC, where files can be, in turn, EMailed as an attachment to your own EMail address.     They will then appear as an attachment in the Kindle Fire EMail. where they may be saved and installed.

Programs like Astro, Explorer, and Documents to GO all help in locating, managing, and installing files.

Happy searching for apks!!

Some apk source links (click below):

getjar,1market.Slideme,appbrain,filecrop,4shared, pandaappandrolib,AndroidCommunity,Handango

In the worst case, here is a way to run almost ANY app on the Fire.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Firing Up for Exercise

For years I have used an mp3 player to take the monotony out of exercise.    A little $30 player holds my old LPs and CDs, 50 of each.   It is nice to have them all when I want.     But by now I have heard them hundreds of times.

Suppose I could listen to almost anything at any time, in stereo, without wires, and with the best possible sound.   Suppose I could read nearly any book with the same device.    Suppose I could do all of it...anywhere.  Suppose I could access almost any radio station in the world.

I would need wifi, which WV has supplied throughout this community.   The access points are in the ceiling in central areas such as the library and lobby.  There is also access in the Vitality Center exercise room, although it never worked for my wifi equipped cell phone

I looked at the Kindle Fire wistfully.    It has no bluetooth, but I remembered I had an old Jabra headphone bluetooth adapter I had used with an old Nokia N800, now obsolete...

If you need to make it all work, let me know in comments below.       There are a few tricks to get it all working.

The Fire makes better use of time when exercising.    I put the Fire where convenient and exercise with wifi wireless headphones.   Now all that old music comes to life again that I have not heard for so many years.

Fire away, Kindle Fire.    Does the Fire suggest the computer of the future, albeit the addition of mic, camera, and keyboard.   Do most of us need anything else than this perfect size?

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Spotify is a legitimate music service with a vast streaming music library which plays high quality sound instantly.  You need to use it to believe it.   I listen to it it all the time.

In telling others about it, I neglected to mention that I was successful installing it only by putting it on a PC before using it on iPad, Touch, or Fire    My PC is connected to a sound system.    I pay the monthly fee of $10 for the non-PC devices.

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