Friday, December 23, 2011

How to Side Load Android Apps onto the Amazon Kindle Fire

Yeah, I know this isn't a craft tutorial or anything but I just got a Kindle Fire and I was all hyped up about it until I realized that when I tried to go to the Android Market for apps not available on Amazon's app store, I kept getting redirected back to the Amazon app store. Grrrr!

So a friend of mine turned me on to a way around it. Without having to jailbreak or otherwise hack the Kindle, I am now able to get any apps I want and put them onto the Fire successfully.

What you need:
A Kindle Fire
An Android Phone
A Computer
A USB cable to hook your Kindle Fire to your computer. The Kindle didn't come with one, but the one for your phone should probably work. Try it before you go buying one.
A free account at

What to do:

1.PREP THE KINDLE Go to the settings on your Kindle Fire (the quick drop down at top right of screen that looks like a gear). Choose "More...", then select Device. Scroll down until you see "Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources". Turn that to ON. Now your Kindle Fire is all set to install apps. The trick is getting the apk file onto the kindle. Go to the Amazon App Store. Search for “file manager” and take your pick of the choices. I used ES File Explorer. Install this so you can navigate your file folders on the Kindle.

2. PREP YOUR PHONE From your android phone, you need to go to the android market and get a file manager app. Astro is the one I use. Install that on your phone. After you have it installed, open it up and go to Menu > Tools > Application Manager/Backup. Select the apps you want to transfer and check them. Then click "Backup" at the top. This will put the apk for the app in a folder on your phone called "Backup".

3. PHONE AND COMPUTER: Next you'll need a way to get them off the phone and onto your computer easily. There's an app called "Dropbox" that works beautifully for this purpose and you need to have an account (free) at What this does is give you online storage that will sync to any computer or device on which you have dropbox installed. Once installed, it's just a file sharing system of folders.

Get the program for your computer at the website. Get the app by searching Android Market for Dropbox. Install them accordingly.

4. GETTING THE APP TO THE KINDLE Once you have Dropbox on your computer and on your phone, go into Dropbox on your phone and select "Upload" at the top. In order to get to your backups folder you may have to select the "other files" button at bottom right of screen.Once in the "backups" folder, select the apps you saved in step 2.

Now time to put them on the Kindle. Plug your Kindle Fire into your computer via a USB cable. Go open the Kindle on the computer (It is one of your USB drives now and it should say "Kindle"). Make a new folder called "My Android Apps" or whatever you like. Open that folder. With your Dropbox folder open on the computer (where you just uploaded the apps off your phone), simply drag and drop from the Dropbox folder to the Kindle folder any apps you want to install.

Go back to your Kindle now and open your ES File Explorer. You should be able to see your newly created folder and the apk files inside.

Select one and click to install. You're done.

After I was done, I also installed Dropbox on my Kindle. That makes the final step about plugging your Kindle to the computer unnecessary.

Now, I back up the apps on my phone using Dropbox, then go into the Dropbox on my Kindle and it shows up there due to the magic of syncing. All I have to do is click the apk I want from the dropbox window on the Kindle and it starts to install.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to leave your thoughts about my blog post. Your comment will show after I have given it the once over checking for spam. Spam adds nothing to the conversation, nor does it add anything to a gourmet meal.

Once I'm certain it's spam free, it'll go live and your words will live in infamy. :)

Thanks for playing along.