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.