How to Download and Install Apps from Google Play for Your Fire Tablet

How to Download and Install Apps from Google Play for Your Fire Tablet e-Reading Hardware Fire Tips and Tricks Amazon's Fire tablets have many things going for it, but they also have at least one shortcoming: they don't come with Google Play.

While the Amazon Appstore does have most of the apps one might want, there are some apps (like reading apps that compete with the Kindle app) that Amazon won't let us install on a Fire tablet.

Luckily there are several workarounds. The more complicated solutions involve installing Google Play on your Fire tablet (this is also the most efficient and effective) but there is also a trick that requires a lot less work.

A friend recently asked about this trick (he's a new Fire owner), so I thought it would be worth sharing with everyone.

Here's the short version.

TL;DR

After identifying the free app in Google Play you want to download, go to a site like Evozi's APK Downloader and use its download tool to get the app. Transfer it to your Fire tablet, and install it.

And here's the longer version.

How To

First things first: Turn on your Fire tablet, and go to the Amazon Appstore. Search for and install a file manager like "ES File Explorer".

Next, go to the Settings menu on your Fire tablet. Open the Security submenu, and check the option to allow installation of apps from unknown sources:

How to Download and Install Apps from Google Play for Your Fire Tablet e-Reading Hardware Fire Tips and Tricks

Nowurn back to your computer. You probably have a web browser open right now, so go ahead and open two more tabs.

The trick for getting free apps is to search for the app, copy the URL for the app listing, and then paste the URL into the Evozi APK downloader and clicking the button.

How to Download and Install Apps from Google Play for Your Fire Tablet e-Reading Hardware Fire Tips and Tricks

Evozi will get the app for you, and let you download it to your computer. (Or at least that is how it is supposed to work; sometimes the service is overloaded.)

Once you've downloaded the apps you want, you can transfer them to your Fire tablet over a USB cable. Copy the apps to a folder on your Fire tablet, and then unplug the tablet from your computer.

Installing the apps is as simple as using the file manager to open the folder with the apps, select an app, and then select the option to install the app.

Addendum

  • This trick won't work with paid apps or with apps that depend on in-app purchases (those additional sales depend on Google tech) but it's good for like 90% of the apps I have needed.
  • This won't work with all apps; some just aren't compatible and sometimes the process simply won't work. But this is the trick I use when I want to assemble a suite of apps so I can test compatibility.
  • Do let me know in the comments if this doesn't work for you or if parts are unclear.
  • And if you want to go the hard route, you can install Google Play on the Fire tablet. It's a lot more work, but it can be done.

image by trophygeek

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

22 Comments

  1. Anshuman3 October, 2015

    The Chrome extension method mentioned in in Evozi website works all the time even when the online tool is overloaded and always delivers the latest version of the app.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 October, 2015

      That has never worked for me. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t.

      Reply
  2. fjtorres3 October, 2015

    I’ve used evozi from Silk.
    Downloads directly to the tablet.
    (Also works from 1Mobile and websites that host apks.)
    I’ve also sideloaded using the browser in ES File Manager (very useful on the FireTV and Stick).

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder3 October, 2015

      I thought of that, but I don’t think this kind of activity would work well on a tablet. Copy/paste is easier with a mouse.

      But that could just be me,.

      Reply
  3. fjtorres3 October, 2015

    Copy/past works fine on my Fire Tablet.
    As long as I’m not wearing gloves… 🙂

    Reply
  4. Juli Monroe4 October, 2015

    I wrote about an approach which works for paid apps, assuming you have another Android device around which can access Google Play. It doesn’t work for all apps, but it’s worked for most that I have tried.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 October, 2015

      Thanks, Juli!

      And Robert!

      Reply
  5. Robert B.4 October, 2015

    An addendum to Juli’s backup/sideload method is to use ES File Explorer to do the backup. Look in SD storage for the “backup” folder to access the saved .apk files.

    Reply
  6. Arn B5 October, 2015

    Downloaded Google Cloud Print to my Windows PC, copied to Fire tablet and installed. When attempting to print it asks to “add an account” but produces a blank page. Anyone know how to get beyond this?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 October, 2015

      I think it wants your Google account. I’m not sure I have a solution but I do have a trick you can try.

      Here is a set of apps (ZIP file) I installed while trying to get Google Play working. I don’t have Google Play, but I do have Gmail and it is tied into my Google account.

      I think this will fix your problem.

      Reply
  7. Arn B5 October, 2015

    Thank you. I’ll give the account manager a try, hopefully it will get around the blank page. Cloud printing works for Gmail in the Fire Silk browser. I’ve tried a few other direct print and cloud apps in the Amazon store but they all fail, plus my printer (Canon Mx922) is not supported by the Mopria print service.

    My next approach is to install the Chrome browser that hopefully has the cloud printing built in like it does in Windows.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 October, 2015

      The Chrome browser would probably do it, yes.

      Reply
  8. Scott G. Lewis7 October, 2015

    The benefit of installing Google Play or a third party app store is upgrades. If you are just manually downloading APKs you need to yourself track if there’s a newer version.

    Reply
  9. […] Update: This post is originally from 2013, and it won't work with the latest models. But if you simply want to install free apps from Google Play, I have another post that will help. […]

    Reply
  10. […] Update: This post is originally from 2013, and it won't work with the latest models. But if you simply want to install free apps from Google Play, I have another post that will help. […]

    Reply
  11. lazor14 January, 2016

    excellent! this worked perfectly for me (though i thought it wasn’t for a second). i’m brand new to both kindles and android, so i’m glad there’s such an easy workaround for the limitations. thanks!

    Reply
  12. Sinead26 January, 2016

    Do you know if showbox app can be downloaded onto the Amazon Fire ? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder26 January, 2016

      I don’t know. I tried to test it for you, but the download site isn’t working right now. Why don’t you try it?

      Reply
  13. Sara Parsons22 April, 2016

    I need help. I got a tech at Amazon who connected via Mayday to my Kindle Fire HDX 10.1 and downloaded 2 APK apps directly on the tablet (all our computers were stolen or destroyed by “movers”, thieves. I want to download an APK app but now no one at Amazon will help. I have Easy Installer, but have low/no tech expertise. Can someone help. Appreciated!

    Reply
  14. Thomas22 May, 2016

    So does this mean any app with in-app purchases won’t work?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder22 May, 2016

      Correct.

      Reply

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