I have been asked If I could explain in detail how to sideload apps to Amazon’s Kindle Fire. One of the limitations of the Kindle Fire is that you can only download apps from the Amazon App Store. The way around this is to sideload the applications. Sideload means to load applications through a process other than direct download.
Here are the steps.
1. Obtain the apps
If you have another android advice, or can obtain access to one, this is the best way to get an app. Otherwise you will have to find another way to obtain the apps. You might be able to find the apps on developer websites or through other means. Just be very careful about malware.
Android apps are always name.apk
2. Copy the app file
Install and use Astro Files to backup the apps you want to use on your Kindle Fire. You can obtain this from the Google Market (Google Play.)
3. Put the apps on your computer
If you downloaded the apps to your computer, you are done with this step. If you obtained the apps by putting them on another android device, simply connect your device and move the apps over to your computer.
Astro Files puts the apps into a folder called Backup/Apps. So look for this folder on your phone once you plug it into your computer.
4. Install an app manager on your Kindle
Look in the Amazon app store for a file management app. Install it on your Kindle
Examples include Easy Installer, ESS File Explorer and Astro File Explorer. I use Easy Installer
5. Authorize installation of apps by other means on the Kindle.
This is a security feature on the Kindle that prevents installing of apps that are not directly downloaded from the Amazon app store. To handle this do the following on your Kindle:
Allow Installation of Applications – ON
6. Plug your Kindle in to your computer and move the apps onto your Kindle
7. Use the file management app to install the apps.
If you install Drop Box, you can skip plugging the Kindle into your computer and use Drop Box combined with your file management app in the future.
You cannot install the Google Marketplace (now called Google Play) app on the Kindle. That would be too easy right? You could root your Kindle, but I don’t recommend you do so. For the average person it is a complicated process. You would also lose access to some features specific to the Fire such as the ability to access instant play videos for free.
Remember, the Kindle is still limited by its hardware. Nothing that requires a microphone or a camera will work. This would include scanner apps, dictation apps, etc. In some cases, the Kindle will simply not install apps that require these types of hardware.