Is The Amazon Fire Tablet Running Android
Straight off the bat, a Fire Tablet isnt a traditional Android Device running Googles own version of Android. Google devices run the Android operating system theyre all certified and have access to the Google Play Store and Googles apps. However, theres another type of Android called AOSP . Amazon uses this as a base for its Fire OS. As an open source project, AOSP allows anyone to start with a basic version of Android before creating their own fork.
They took the code from AOSP and modified it to make their Fire operating system. Why start from nothing when you could use perfectly good code? Makes sense, right?
Thats why Amazon used AOSP, saving themselves a lot of time and money. More details on this are to follow. For now, lets discuss the reasoning behind the counter-argument.
Change Fire Tablet App Installation Permission
Google Play Store app is not available on the Amazon App store, and you cant install them from the Amazon Store. Instead, we have to depend on Android Apps APK Files to install Google Play App on Kindle Fire.
Before you start, to install APK files or any other third-party apps or Google Play Store on Amazon Fire, you have to change the permission on Android Fire Tablet. Open your Fire Tablet, head over to
Now your Amazon Fire Kindle will allow you to install third-party apps including the APK files that we are going to install in the following steps.
Which Is Better Android Or Fire Tablets
Its not possible to declare one side a winner for every single use case. However, you can identify a clear winner depending on your needs from your tablet.
Do you want something cheap? Something that can play videos, stream music, and let you browse the web without many bells and whistles? Then a Fire tablet may just be what you need. Its powerful, affordable, and does the basics very well.
If you do crave some third-party apps, it’s not too hard to download and install them onto your Fire tablet. It won’t nearly be as convenient or easy as the Google app store method, but it does mean you can install one or two special case apps that you can’t live without.
However, as soon as you introduce even a little complexity into the mix, then the Android tablet is the clear winner. Want to pick out the tablet with the perfect camera? Want the full gamut of popular apps on the app store? Need a beefy processor to play the best mobile games? Then shopping for Android tablets will give you the freedom you crave.
Also, Android devices are your best choice if youre deep in an ecosystem already. Are all of your bookmarks on Chrome? Got all your passwords saved on Bitlocker? Is your Google Calendar getting a lot of use? Then getting an Android tablet will allow you to reconnect with your data without needing to install any workarounds.
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Best Amazon Fire Tablets
Amazon makes some of the most affordable tablets you can buy. CR helps you find the right one for your needs.
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If youre looking for a tablet to use mainly to watch videos, read books, and consume other kinds of media, Amazon Fire tablets are hard to beat.
You can get a lot of value out of them, says Antonette Asedillo, who oversees CRs tablet and computer testing. The prices are budget-friendly, but the devices are reliable and work well for everyday tasks, such as watching videos or reading.
The major downside is that Amazon Fire tablets dont run Androids stock operating system but instead run a version of Android called FireOS. That means you dont get access to apps like Gmail and YouTube via the Google Play store. You have to settle for the generic alternatives in Amazons own app store.
It also means youll be funneled toward buying content from Amazon.
The display quality and performance speeds are limited, too, but Asedillo says theyre acceptable for everyday tasks such as reading, web browsing, movie streaming, and standard game play.
Understanding How Minsdkversion Affects Supported Devices
In your app manifest , the minSdkVersion attribute sets the minimum SDK level that your app needs in order to function properly.
Fire OS 5 devices are based on API level 22 . Fire OS 7 devices are based on API level 28 . By setting the minSdkVersion to 22, you’re saying that your app requires the device to have at least API level 22 for it to function properly.
However, suppose you want to take advantage of APIs in Android 9 . If you set your minSdkVersion to 22, your app will install on Fire OS 5 devices that don’t have level 28 APIs. Therefore, you must code in a defensive way to check the device level and fall back to alternatives if the device doesn’t support that API level. Your code might look something like this:
This code checks whether the device’s API level is greater than or equal to 28, and if so, runs the code. If not, it falls back on else logic.
For example, if you set your targetSdkVersion to 23 or higher , Android will apply the runtime permission checking features included in Marshmallow. But if targetSdkVersion is lower than 23 , Android will not apply this behavior to your app.
The maxSdkVersion attribute isn’t recommended, but if you wanted to make your app available only on on Fire OS 5 devices, you could set the maxSdkVersion to 22. If you wanted to make your app available only on Fire OS 7 devices, you could set your minSdkVersion to 28.
For more information, see the following:
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Amazon Fire Does Not Go Well With Google
Other platforms, for instance, Nook, offer in their custom systems access to Google services and apps.
Amazon kicks off from the Fire OS almost everything thats related to Google. And that makes a huge difference.
On the Amazon Fire tablet, you wont be able to access and download apps from Google Play Store because there is no Google Play Store app.
Amazons App Store offers Google Keep,Google Docs, or Google Photos but they are not mobile apps developed by Google. They are web instances of these services not a good solution for a dedicated user of Google services.
If you use only the most popular Google services, like Gmail or Calendar, you can still connect these services to the Fires native mail and calendar app.
For a more advanced integration with Google services, you will need to sideload the Google Play Store to your Amazon Fire. It doesnt sound like the most convenient solution.
Register The Google Play Store To Install Android Apps
Now its time to open the Google Play Store on the Fire tablet you installed. Tap on the Google Play Store app and register with your Google Account to start with Google Play Store. Once you register onto Google Play Store, you can install any Android App you want Check our article to clean and speed up the Android phone.
We have installed a few apps that include Google Chrome, Google Maps, and Google Play on Amazon Fire Tablet directly from Google Play Store. Just to make your life easy, Google introduced Lite Apps that use fewer resources from your device. If you dont want to spare much system CPU and memory for Android Apps, you can install these Lite Apps from the Android Store.
As you can see in the screenshot below, we installed a couple of Android Apps like Google Maps, Chrome, Gborad, Waze, Gmail, Google Play on the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet through the Google Play Store.
Both Amazon Settings and Google Settings App will work on their own to handle the Amazon tab settings and Google Account Settings respectively.
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Weekend Poll: Do You Use A Tablet
From budget slates to laptop replacements, there’s something for everyone
Tablets have never really caught on in the mainstream the way laptops and smartphones did, but that doesn’t mean they’re not immensely popular. The modern concept of a tablet which kicked off with the launch of the iPad turned ten this year, making it the perfect time to revisit an old question. Are you still using a tablet, and if so, what kind?
Despite facing a bit of a slump a few years ago, I feel like tablets have made a comeback throughout the last couple of years. Some slates now pack as much power as a thin-and-light laptop, making them ideal as a laptop replacement when paired with a keyboard dock. It’s also easier than ever to find mid-range tablets at affordable prices. Just look at recent entries from Nokia and Lenovo, offering large screens and solid performance for as low as $250. And that’s to say nothing of , which undoubtedly found their way into the hands of millions of new owners yesterday morning.
Then, of course, there’s the iPad. Despite competition from Samsung, Apple owns the high-end space, offering premium experiences from the iPad Mini to the M1-powered 12.9″ iPad Pro. Android is about to get a whole lot better for larger displays with Android 12L, but it’s hard to ignore how behind the times Google has been in this regard, focusing instead on improving Chrome OS on tablets. The heyday of the Nexus 7 dominating the conversation is long behind us.
Install The Play Store
With all the downloaded APK files to your Amazon Fire Tablet, we can begin installing them one by one. Open the Files app from the home screen.
Select Downloads from the side menu and switch to the list view for the files. You should see the four files we just downloaded.
Its important to install these APKs in a specific order. For each APK, follow this process: Tap the file > select Continue> tap the Install button. After it installs, tap Done.Dont open the Play Store yet.
Install the files in this order :
With all the APKs installed, its time to reboot the tablet. Hold down the power button and select Restart.
After the tablet restarts, youll see the Play Store on the home screen. Open it and sign in with your Google account.
Once youre signed in, youll have a functional Google Play Store, just like on any other Android device. Go forth and download YouTube, Gmail, and any other app you cant find in the Amazon Appstore.
You may experience some problems when trying to use the Play Store right away. The Play Store and Google Play Services will automatically update themselves in the background, so just give it some time. This may take as much as ten minutes.
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Access Gmail And Youtube
Even with sideloading, you might still experience problems with Google apps that rely on certain bits of Android code that Fire OS doesnt have. Gmail and YouTube are perhaps two of the biggest misses on Fire HD tablets, but there are workarounds.
You can open and Gmail in the Silk Browser, or any other browser youve installed. The experience isnt quite as good as it is with a native app, but you can sign in to get at all your videos and emails, and you can save these sites as bookmarks to access them more easily .
The Email app built into Fire OS gives you another way of getting at your Gmail messages . You can add Gmail as one of your email accounts in the app using the settings here.
Fire Os 7 Parity With Android 9
All features implemented in FOS 7 are at feature parity with Android 9. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything in Android 9 is available in FOS 7, but for those Android 9 features implemented in FOS 7, they have parity. Some Android 9 features, such as split-Screen, notification dots, and adaptive icons, aren’t supported in FOS 7.
Also, remember that although Fire OS 7 has parity with Android 9, you can’t use Google services on Amazon Fire devices. Instead, you must use the Apps & Games Services SDKs for the services you need .
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Run Apps Side By Side
If youve gone for one of the biggest and most recent Amazon tabletsby which we mean the 11th-gen Fire HD 10 and the Fire HD 10 Plus launched in 2021then you can run two apps alongside each other. This is handy for when you want to take notes while reading something on the web, for example.
To go split screen, tap the task switcher button on the navigation bar at the bottomits the square one on the right of the home button. Your most recently used app appears first, and if you tap the app icon at the top, followed by Split screen, you can choose another app to go alongside it.
How To Sideload Android Apps On Amazon Fire Tablets
Before you can install any apps on your Kindle Fire you must give it permission to install software from outside the Kindle Store. You can do this by launching the Settings app and choosing Security & Privacy, then enabling the toggle beside Apps from unknown sources. A warning message will pop up – click Ok to continue.
From here you can launch the Silk Browser, then search for APK using the URL bar. As an example here were using Words With Friends 2 APK. You should see several options in the results, but wed advise looking for a proper app directory such as APKPure.
Look to the bottom of the screen for a new window that in essence asks if you really want to download this file, warning you that this type of file can harm your device. If youre certain that it has come from a legit source click Ok.
Once the file has downloaded youll again see a pop-up at the bottom of the screen prompting you to Open the file. If you miss this notification you can also tap on the three lines icon at the top left of the Silk Browser and choose Downloads, and youll be able to open the file from this list.
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How We Test Amazon Fire Tablets
Before we start reviewing a new Amazon Fire tablet, we send it to our lab, where it gets run through a series of tests that help us measure its capabilities.
First, we run as many benchmarks as that tablet will allow, to see how fast they are in ways that can be compared directly against competitors. We say “will allow” as Amazon’s Fire slates have trouble with side-loaded Android apps. We then use colorimeters and light meters to measure how colorful and bright these tablets screens can get. After that, we put them through our in-house battery test, which times how long it takes while surfing the web with brightness at 150 nits to drain a tablet of a charge.
After that, we do the same things you do browse the web, watch videos, play games, compose emails as we use the tablet like we own it, for a week or two at least.
There Is No Need To Buy Amazon Fire At A Regular Price
If you shop on Amazon from time to time, you know the companys devices are being offered at reduced prices a few times a year.
The biggest price cuts are offered for Prime Day and Cyber Monday, but you can buy cheaper Kindle, Fire, or Echo before Valentines or Mothers Day, or during National Reading Month.
If you can wait a few weeks for the next , do it. Saving $10, $20, or $50 on the Fire would give you the reason to buy a better case cover, a microSD card with the bigger memory, or an extra screen protector.
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The Best Amazon Fire Tablets In 2021
ByAlex Wawropublished 20 December 21
Here are the best Amazon Fire tablets you can buy, in a range of pries and sizes
Fire HD 10 Plus
Fire HD 10 Kids Pro
Fire HD 10 Kids
Choosing the best Amazon Fire tablet can be a challenging process, because Amazon sells its cheap, durable tablets in a variety of sizes and configurations.
While each offers some subtly different strengths, they all excel at allowing you to enjoy your Amazon content on the go. All Fire tablets run on Amazon’s Fire OS, a custom version of Android, and it does a great job of serving up your Kindle ebooks, Prime Video offerings, and Amazon Music playlists in an easy-to-navigate format.
However, they all share similar weaknesses, most notably the fact that all Fire tablets lack easy access to the Google Play Store. That means it’s effectively impossible to install a number of popular Android apps, including Google apps like Gmail, unless you sideload them and that’s a big ask for many Fire tablet owners.
Even so, a new Amazon Fire tablet can be well worth the investment if you need a cheap, durable slate for browsing the web and consuming media. The more invested you are in the Amazon content ecosystem, the more value you’ll get out of a Fire tablet. Here, then, are the best Amazon Fire tablets you can buy right now.