Amazon's tablets have found a niche in the budget range, following in the footsteps of other popular tablets like Google's Nexus 7. With a price ranging from $50 to $150 for different models and screen sizes, Fire tablets are basically the cheapest way to get a perfect device for browsing the web, watching Netflix or Amazon Prime exclusives and gaming. light games on the go. They're not amazing tablets by any means, but for well under $200, they're great content-consuming devices.
The big software difference between what we've seen on the Fire tablet, versus any other Android tablet, is the custom software. Amazon tablets run Fire OS, a forked version of Android created by Amazon's internal software team. This custom operating system lets you have a better experience on tablets than Android otherwise allows, but it's also designed to push Amazon's own range of products and services as much as possible.
For the most part, this is a great way to both use your tablet and browse the services offered through Amazon, but unfortunately it also leads to a major problem: the Google Play Store isn't offered through the device. Instead, you'll have to settle for the Amazon Appstore, Amazon's own app store offering that gives you a fairly wide selection of apps and games that you would need on your tablet. Most of the major apps can be found on this platform, but you will quickly run into a problem if you search for Google apps on the Appstore, they are not there.
Luckily, Fire OS is still built on top of Android, which means you can manually add the Play Store if you want. It's actually a pretty simple process, and even on newer devices, much easier than before. Whether you're looking to add Gmail, YouTube, or just want a wider variety of apps, here's how to get the Google Play Store working on your Amazon Fire tablet.
What you will need
First of all, let's start by saying that this entire guide can be done on your Amazon Fire tablet only. Earlier Fire models required the Play Store to be pushed to your device from a Windows computer using ADB, which no longer has to be done. Instead, all you'll need now is a rudimentary knowledge of how Android installs apps outside of the standard App Store, and a bit of patience while your tablet downloads and installs. the four packages required to properly run the Google Play Store on your device.
Here is what we will use below:
- Four separate APK files from APKMirror (linked below).
- A Google account for the Play Store.
- An updated Fire tablet running Fire OS 5.X (for devices running 18.104.22.168, see Troubleshooting and tips).
- An app store file manager (may be optional, see Troubleshooting and tips); we recommend File Commander.
It's not absolutely necessary, but it's good to know which Fire tablet you have before jumping into this guide. Depending on the age of your tablet, you may need to download different apps than a device running older software. Go to the settings menu and select Device options, then find the device model at the bottom of this guide. This guide uses each tablet's launch years to guide you to the correct APK, so if you need help identifying your tablet's release year, use Amazon's tablet specs page here. Knowing which generation your device belongs to will help you a lot throughout this guide.
Enabling apps from unknown sources
Okay, this is where the real guide begins. The first thing we need to do on your Amazon Fire tablet is dive into the settings menu. Despite Amazon tweaking Android to make Fire OS, the operating system is actually incredibly similar to Google's, and that includes how third-party apps are installed outside of Amazon's own app store. Amazon. Both Amazon and Android refer to third-party apps as "unknown sources" and are blocked by default. Unlike a device running iOS, however, Android allows the user to install any app on their device as long as you have enabled the ability to do so.
To open your device's settings, swipe down from the top of your device to open the notification bar and quick actions, then tap the Settings icon. Scroll down to the bottom of your settings page and tap the option that reads "Security & Privacy," which you'll find under the "Personal" category. There aren't many options in the Security section, but under "Advanced" you'll see a toggle that says "Apps from unknown sources" along with the following explanation: "Allow installation of apps that do not not come from the Appstore. » Enable this setting, then exit the settings menu.
Downloading and installing APKs
Then that's the big part. On a standard Android tablet, installing apps outside of the Play Store would be as easy as installing the standard APK. Unfortunately, it's not that easy on an Amazon Fire tablet. Since Google Play is not installed on your device, any apps sold through the Play Store will not work on your device without Google Play Services installed, as apps such as Gmail or Google Maps verify authentication through this application.
This means that we will need to install the entire suite of Google Play Store services on your device, which represents four different applications: three utilities and the Play Store itself. Be sure to install these applications in the order listed below; we recommend downloading all four in order, then installing them one at a time. All of these files can be downloaded using the Amazon Silk browser on your device.
Download APK files
The site we will use to download these APKs is called APKMirror. It is a reliable source for free APKs from developers and Google Play, and acts as a utility for any Android user looking to manually download or install apps. APKMirror is a sister site to Android Police, a well-known source of Android news and reviews, and does not allow pirated content on its site. Every app owned on APKMirror is free from the developer with no mods or changes before being uploaded.
The first app we need to download is Google Account Manager. It's more complex than before, because Amazon has finally updated the version of Android used on its new tablets. Here are the two guides you will need to download this app:
- If you're using a Fire HD 8 purchased after October 2022, Fire 7 purchased after June 2022, or Fire HD 10 purchased November 2022 or later, your tablet is running Android 6.0 or later. As such, you'll want to use this version of Google Account Manager for your tablet. 7.2 is the latest version of the app available on APKMirror at the time of writing; if a newer version exists, be sure to download that version instead.
- If you are using a tablet purchased before these dates, your tablet is still running Android 5.0, which means you will need version 5.1-1743759. You can find this link here.
Don't worry too much if you downloaded the wrong version for your tablet. If you are not sure which version is right for you, download the older version linked above. You can always update the app after the Play Store installation is complete.
Download it to your device through your browser by pressing the green "Download APK" button. A download prompt will appear at the bottom of your screen and you can accept the prompt to begin downloading. Once the download is complete, you'll see a notification in your status bar when you swipe down from the top of your screen. For now, do not open the file. Leave the notification in your tray for easy access to the next step.
The next application is Google Services Framework. Just like with Account Manager, the version you need depends on the device you're using. However, due to how Google's application framework targets different versions of Android, we advise everyone to download version 5.1-1743759, from here. This version is designed to work on all devices with Android 5.0 or higher, which means any Fire OS tablet should run it. If you are prompted to update the app after installation, follow the on-screen prompts to update the app to your correct version.
Then we have Google Play Services. It is the app that will allow apps like YouTube to be authenticated and used on your device. Installing this app is a bit more complicated than installing the other apps on this list, as there are two separate versions of the app for different tablets. Let's start with newer devices, because it's a little easier. If you just purchased your Fire 7, Fire HD 8, or Fire HD 10, you're using a device with a 64-bit processor, so you'll want to download this APK here. Anyone with a Fire HD 8 or Fire HD 10 from 2016 or newer can also download this build.
If you own a Fire 7 tablet purchased before June 2022 (in other words, an 8th generation or older device) you should download this version here. It is the APK for 32-bit processors, which your tablet is running. Amazon replaced Fire 7 processors with 64-bit processors with the ninth generation model, but older devices will still need to download the correct APK version.
If you are not sure which version of the application you are downloading, 32-bit versions are marked with a "020300" in the file name while 64-bit versions are marked with a "020400". These two iterations of Google Play Services are identical in every way except the type of processor they are created for. If you download the wrong one, don't stress too much. We'll see what to do in a moment below.
The last of the four apps is the Google Play Store itself. This is the easiest download of the four, as all file versions work on Android 4.1 and later, and there are no separate types for different bit processors. Download the latest version here.
For Google Play Services and the Google Play Store, you should try to use the latest version of the app available. APKMirror will alert you when a new version of the app is available, which will be listed on the webpage under information. For Google Play Services, you should avoid betas of the app by looking for the most recent stable version on the list (betas are marked as such). For the Play Store itself, just download the latest version. If you don't feel comfortable determining which version listed on APKMirror is the correct version for your tablet, simply download the linked versions and Google Play will update the apps for you after a complete installation.
Installing APK files
Alright, once you've downloaded the four files listed above to your Fire tablet using the Silk Browser, swipe down to open your notifications. You should see a full list of APKs you downloaded in the last step, each with its own notification, sorted by time. If you followed the steps above and downloaded each in the correct order, the fourth download should be at the top of the list and the first at the bottom, for the order to appear as such:
- Google Play Store
- Google Play Services
- Google Framework Services
- Google Account Manager
How you install these apps is very important, so start by tapping "Google Account Manager" at the bottom of this list. The installation process will begin; press “Next” on…