As some of you have noticed, many of the Apps on the Amazon App Store are often old. This is not to say the Amazon App Store isn't excellent. However, unlike Apple, Android is not limited to a single App Store and there are many legitimate and excellent Apps Stores out there. Luckily for Fire owners, Amazon did not restrict access to these. I know many of you are hesitant to use an App Store outside of Amazon and that is perfectly understandable and respectable. I'm not trying to sway anyone away from Amazon. I happen to use the Amazon App Store a lot and I love the free App of the Day. I check it everyday. In fact, I own two other Android tablets that do not have Android Market access and Amazon is among the top alternatives. However, for those interested in what else is out there this thread is for you.
For those new to Android, a brief history of why alternative App markets evolved and why Google let them is in order. Until recently, the Apps on the Android Market were built for smartphones, not tablets. In fact, up until recently most tablets were barred from the Android Market. Another problem is Android has multiple versions of their OS out there right now so there are often compatibility issues with Apps among them. Especially if the App was developed for a phone and you try to use it on a tablet. However, Google is now trying to unify their OS under one package for both phones and tablets. That OS is Ice Cream Sandwich. Check this out: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-57...join-the-club/
The Kindle Fire was built on top of Android 2.3, known as Gingerbread. It is a relatively older OS, but considering the design time to bring the Fire to fruition and because the Android OS changes more than some people change their underwear, this is understandable. I fully expect that the Fire will receive a major upgrade during its lifetime. At least Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) but, with a little tinkering Amazon might be able to deliver an Ice Cream Sandwich package. OK, enough talk about food. Let's get to some Apps.
Here are some articles about Alternate Android App sites:
To install Apps from these sites you have to set it up on your Fire. Touch Quick Settings, More, Device, and enable Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources.
When downloading Apps outside of the Amazon App Store, you will see a small pop-up in the Notification Area of the Status Bar at the Top of the Fire. If you touch the Notification you will see the download in progress. After the download is complete, touch it to launch the App installation package. Some of the Store Apps perform this automatically like Amazon.
A quick note about downloaded Apps. I highly recommend you download ES File Explorer from Amazon. When you download App installation packages outside of the Amazon Store, some (not all) of these downloads will be stored on your Fire and can eat up valuable storage. When you launch ES File Explorer you will find a Folder called Download.
If you touch the Folder you will see some downloaded Apps. Once the App is installed you do NOT need to keep the Install Package, unless you want a backup. To delete a downloaded App after it is installed, LONG press (press and hold) the downloaded App you want delete and a pop-up menu should appear which will allow you to delete it.
Here's a list of alternate App Stores and Market sites. Most have App Store / Market Apps which allow direct download to the Kindle Fire. Most allow you to download via PC as well. These are all legitimate alternate Android market sites. Many of them sell Android Apps in addition to offering free ones. I posted these previously under other threads, but it was suggested to start a separate consolidated thread for these sites.
Many of these sites (e.g. 1Mobile, Panda App, Android Community, Freeware Lovers, SlideMe) allow you to browse and download Apps via a PC and then you can transfer them via USB or wireless to your Fire using the procedure in post # 35 of this thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=157184&page=3
Alternate App Stores With Store / Market App:
Be sure to checkout 1Mobile's Applists: http://www.1mobile.com/applists/
1Mobile accepts PayPal.
AndroidPIT accepts PayPal.
GetJar now offers many of the best paid Apps for FREE. New Apps added every week.
SlideME accepts PayPal.
Other Great Sites for Apps:
Android Community: Android Community website syncs their App data directly from the Android Market. All of the FREE Apps available on the Android Market can be downloaded from this site. Unfortunately, the site's Search function is not working as of lately.
This is an excellent website and the owner has several Apps featured on the Google Android Market:
Freeware Lovers: One if not THE top site for free Apps. Select Android device. On Download Page touch Click here to download Apps.
Opera Mobile Store. The same company that makes Opera Mini Browser has an App Store: http://mobilestore.opera.com
I expect the Fire will be a supported device in short order and you will be able to take full advantage of everything Handango has to offer. However, until then you can visit this page and download many popular FREE Apps via a PC and sideload to the Kindle Fire.