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The Amazon Kindle Fire: Benchmarked, Tested, And Reviewed

Amazon Appstore Is Not Android Market

Amazon's Appstore effectively replaces Android Market. Many news apps are available to correspond with the Kindle Fire, but often times, the apps in Appstore are missing or out of date compared to Android Market.

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Why is this the case ? Amazon's Developer FAQ clarifies: 

"For your app to work on Kindle Fire, it needs to be compatible with the device's specifications. At a high level, it must be optimized for non-Google Mobile Services (GMS), Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread), and a 7" screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600. Your manifest should specify support for large screens. Your app cannot require a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, or micro-SD to function. In addition, your app must not be a theme or wallpaper that manipulates the user interface of the device. As with any other app submission to the Amazon Appstore for Android, your app will also need to comply with our Content Guidelines.

This explains the lack of a Skype app, since you need a microphone and camera for VoIP. That doesn't mean you can't use Skype for instant messaging. But unfortunately, Amazon simply won't let you install it.

Sometimes the Kindle Fire uses older apps because newer ones aren't yet certified. For example, the latest version of Flash for Android is 11.1, but the Fire is limited to 10.3. Getting better performance necessitated installing Flash 11.1 manually.

Kindle Fire Comes With Flash 10.3

Replacing Flash

Unfortunately, getting around this obstacle could involve rooting your device. If you're not familiar with the process, it can render your tablet unusable. However, if you have a second Android device, you can generate an APK and install apps without rooting. But first, you need to enable "Allow Installation of Applications From Unknown Sources" under Settings>Device (see Appendix B).

It's both cumbersome and time consuming to back up and transfer APKs from another tablet. Plus, you can't install applications on the go. That's why I rooted and installed various Google APKs directly onto the Fire, giving me access to all of the Google apps that Amazon chose to strip out: Android Market, Books, Voice, Maps, Google+, Reader, Gmail, Street View, YouTube, and Talk.

  • JeTJL
    Should of done other comparisons with Tablets around the Kindles Price range like the Coby Kyros. I personally don't have either the Kyros or the Kindle Fire. But recently My sister bought it and she is thoroughly enjoying it. I received a Ipad2 though because of the Academy at my School that I belong to and I'm quite pleased with it, even though I'm a big android fan.
    Reply
  • How do I win a Radeon 6990?
    Reply
  • acku
    9523250 said:
    How do I win a Radeon 6990?

    Ummm.... what? :heink: This is a Kindle Fire review.....

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
    Reply
  • Goldengoose
    ackuUmmm.... what? This is a Kindle Fire review.....Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.comJust give him the 6990, the poor fellow just wants to play BF3.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    ackuUmmm.... what? This is a Kindle Fire review.....Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com
    Ever heard of bots? There're tons of those on Tom's nowadays.

    GoldengooseJust give him the 6990, the poor fellow just wants to play BF3.
    A GPU of a 560 Ti level maxes it out @ 1080p, no need for a 6990.

    Back to topic...

    Notably, it's missing a slew of features, including a GPS, front- and rear-facing cameras, and a microphone.

    ROFL, and who needs a tablet without all that? That's right, Amazon fanboys. That company is an utter POS that is not unlike Apple, designing underpowered useless products and delivering them as "innovative". The only "innovative" thing here is a complete dependency on the company's online services... oops, nevermind, Apple did it first :kaola:
    Reply
  • donovands
    Wait, what? Is there such a thing as an Amazon fanboy?
    Reply
  • donovands
    The iPad took a part of the market away from the PC, in the sense that there are folks out there who don't need the full functionality of a PC and the media consumption tablet gave them a device more suited for their needs. The same thing is happening here, if not as dramatically. The Fire may not have all the functionality of an iPad, but there's a lot of folks out there that will get the Fire *instead* of the iPad because it provides all the functionality they need. It isn't an iPad killer. But it *is* going to hurt iPad sales.
    Reply
  • SneakySnake
    I think it's hilarious how the best selling droid tab this year is completely closed off, limited, and controlled. Sounds familiar doesn't it :P

    And do not say "ya, but you can root it!!!". That's nice, people can jailbreak their iPads. You cannot include rooting and jailbreaking when you talk about something being open
    Reply
  • acku
    __-_-_-__"That rules out video conferencing using Skype or mapping out directions to the bar across town."There are some new devices called WEBCAM and bluetooth or usb GPS that would enable that. you might want to check this huge innovation. -.-
    The Fire doesn't have either of those things. Not going to work. You should check out the specs of the Fire first.
    Reply
  • BlackHawk91
    Actually this tablet surprised me, I didn't expect that much from the kindle fire.
    Reply