This story was originally published 2020/03/18
4:41pm PDTon Mar 18, 2020 and last updated 2020/04/25
8:48am PDTApr 25, 2020.
Amazon’s Fire tablets are incredibly popular, mostly because they’re incredibly cheap. However, none of them come with access to the Google Play Store, which is how most Android devices download and install applications. Instead, Fire tablets come bundled with the Amazon Appstore, which has a much smaller library and lacks any Google-made apps and services. No YouTube, no Chrome, and so on.
The good news is that it’s not incredibly difficult to install the Play Store on a Fire tablet, and the whole process can take as little time as 10 minutes. This complete guide for installing the Play Store on Fire tablets has detailed instructions for every model produced since 2014, with added troubleshooting steps if you run into issues.
- Remove your tablet’s microSD card if you have one installed. If you don’t, the Play Store and its required may be automatically installed to the microSD card, which can cause issues. You can put the card back in once you’re done.
- There is no way to manage a Fire tablet through Google Family Link, even after the Play Store is installed.
- Apps installed through the Play Store might not work with Amazon FreeTime app management. I haven’t personally tested this, but that’s what many people have reported in the comment section.
- Some apps hide themselves from the Play Store on Fire tablets, because Fire tablets are not SafetyNet-certified by Google (more info here). Netflix is one app that does this. For those applications, you can try finding them on the Amazon Appstore or downloading them on APKMirror.
Enable installation from unknown sources
The first step in this process is to enable apps to be installed from outside the Amazon Appstore. This allows you to open and install applications from downloaded APK files, which is how we’ll get the Play Store running.
First, go to the main ‘Home’ page on your home screen and open the Settings app. If you just got your tablet, it’s probably near the bottom of the list. Then tap the ‘Security & Privacy category (older models might just say ‘Security’), find the switch for ‘Apps from Unknown Sources,’ and turn it on.
This process is slightly different on newer Fire tablets. If tapping ‘Apps from Unknown Sources’ brings up a list of apps, find the Documents app on the list and slide the switch to ON for ‘Allow from this source’.
Now you’re ready to download and install the APKs needed to get the Google Play Store running.
Install the Play Store
The next step is to download the proper APK files for the Play Store. You technically have to install four different applications — Google Account Manager, Google Services Framework, Google Play Services, and finally the Google Play Store. The first three apps handle basic account services and add APIs, while the last app is the store itself.
Because different Fire tablets run different versions of Android with varying hardware, the exact APKs you have to install depend on what Fire tablet you have. If you’re not sure which model you have, open the Settings app again, tap on ‘Device Options & System’ (it might also just be called ‘Device Options’), and look at what is listed under ‘Device Model.
For the Google Account Manager and Google Services Framework applications, find the appropriate links for your device from the table below, and tap the main ‘Download APK’ button on the linked page. Don’t open the downloaded files yet, we’ll do that later.
For these last two applications, click the link for your device, then select the version closest to the top of the list which doesn’t have “beta” in the name. Again, don’t open the files yet, just download them.
Now it’s time to install the apps. Find the Documents app on your tablet (it might also be called ‘Docs’) and open it. Then, find your device’s Downloads folder. For example, on the Fire HD 8, downloaded files can be found by tapping ‘Download’ in the side menu, or by selecting the ‘Local Storage’ tab and tapping the Download folder.
Finding downloaded APKs on a Fire HD 8
You should see all four APK files — if not, go back and see which one you missed (or just download all of them for good measure). Open the apps in the below order, and when the installation is complete, press ‘Done’ and not ‘Open’. Installing the apps out of order will cause the Play Store to not work. Also, if you have an SD card, make sure to take it out during these installations.
Once you have installed all four apps, hold down the power button, and tap ‘Restart’ to restart your tablet. Older tablets might only have the option to power off — if so, let the tablet shut down, then hold down on the power button to turn it back on.
Restart (or power off, and back on again) after you finish installing the Play Store.
After your Fire tablet has booted back up, open the new Play Store app from the home screen. From there, the Play Store should ask you to login with your Google account, and then finally allow you to download and install apps.
Fixes for common problems
If the Play Store or other Google apps aren’t working correctly, here are some fixes for common issues.
“This account already exists on your device”
If you get the error “This account already exists on your device” when signing into Chrome or another Google app, or if the app won’t detect your Google account at all, follow these steps:
- Completely close the app you’re having issues with (e.g. swipe it away in the Recents/multi-tasking screen).
- Open the Settings app, tap Apps & Permissions, then select ‘Manage all applications.’ These options might have different names, depending on your version of Fire OS.
- Find the app you’re having issues with in the list, tap on it, and select ‘Permissions’.
- Switch all available permissions to ‘On’. Enabling the Contacts permission alone did the trick in my testing, but you might as well enable everything for good measure.
- Open the app again.
In Chrome’s case, you also have to open the browser, tap on the Settings menu, and tap the ‘Continue as…’ blue button at the top of the screen.
If you’re having a different issue than the ones listed above, here are some generic troubleshooting tips.
Reboot your tablet
This might be obvious, but it’s a good step to take. Hold down the power button, tap the ‘Power Off’ option, and turn your tablet back on by holding down the power button again. Once it has booted back up, open the Play Store from the home screen and see if it works.
Clear app data
When I initially wrote this guide, I wasn’t able to sign into the Play Store until I cleared the app’s local data. This will essentially reset the Play Store app to its original state, and should fix most problems you might encounter.
Open the Settings app, select the ‘Apps & Notifications’ section (or whatever else has ‘Apps’ or ‘Applications’ in the name), and tap ‘Manage All Applications.’ Find the Play Store in the list of apps and tap it.
You have to perform two steps on this info screen. First, press the ‘Force Stop’ button to stop the Play Store from running. Then press the ‘Storage’ menu option and tap ‘Clear Data’. Now return to the Play Store app and see if it works.
If that didn’t help, follow the above steps again, but restart your tablet before trying to open the Play Store. If that didn’t work either, try force-stopping and clearing data for Google Play Services in addition to the Play Store.
Reset the tablet
If you still can’t get the Play Store to work, your best option is probably to factory-reset your tablet and try again. Make sure you don’t restore from a backup when you’re setting up the tablet again, unless the backup was made before you tried to install the Play Store.
Stuff to do afterwards
Congrats, your Fire tablet now has the Google Play Store! Pat yourself on the back. Now that the hard part is over, here are some things you should do or keep in mind.
Install Google apps
Now that you have the Play Store, you can download all the Google apps you couldn’t download before! Here are some suggestions — if you’re reading this on your Fire tablet, the links will take you right to the app’s Play Store page.
Set Chrome as default browser
If you use Chrome as your main browser, you might want to install it on your Fire tablet and set it as the default browser. First, download it from the Play Store on your Fire tablet, either by searching “Chrome” on the store or by tapping the below link.
Once that’s done, open the Settings app and navigate to ‘Apps & Notifications’ > ‘Default apps’ > ‘Browser app’. Finally, select Chrome from the list. Now all links should open in Chrome by default, and Chrome Custom Tabs should work.
Install Google Play on other device profiles
Since the Play Store isn’t a system-level application on Fire tablets, the install process only applies to the device profile you’ve been using. If you want to add the Play Store for other users on the same device, the steps are a bit different, because Amazon’s Fire OS won’t let you have different versions of Play Services and the Play Store installed on each profile — thanks to Florian Wolters on Stack Overflow for pointing this out.
The easiest way to get the Play Store on another user profile is to extract the APKs already installed on the first profile and install them on the second profile. We only need to grab the files for Play Services and the Play Store.
On the user profile that already has the Play Store:
- Install ML Manager from the Play Store and open it.
- In the list of applications, find Google Play Services, and tap the ‘Extract’ button.
- Find Google Play Store in the list, and tap the ‘Extract’ button.
Now the two APKs have been saved to the ‘ML Manager’ folder in your tablet’s internal storage. Because user profiles can’t access the files from other profiles, you have to copy the two APKs somewhere else, log into the second profile, and copy them to the second profile’s files. The easiest way to do this is using Firefox Send.
- Open Firefox Send (send.firefox.com) on your tablet’s browser (Silk, Chrome, whatever).
- Tap the ‘Select files’ button, tap the menu button on the right, and select ‘Show internal storage’.
- While still in the file browser, open the left side menu and select your tablet (it should be the only item that says how much storage is remaining).
- Open the ML Manager folder, hold down on one of the files until ‘1 selected’ appears, then tap the second file. It should say ‘2 selected’ at the top.
- Tap the Upload button.
- When the files have finished uploading, you’ll get a link. You’ll need to open that link on the second profile, so write it down, email it to the other user, log into Google Keep on the web and put it in a note, whatever works best for you.
Now you have everything you need, so it’s time to switch to the other user profile.
On the user profile that doesn’t have the Play Store:
- Open the web browser and go to the link you got in the previous step.
- Download the ZIP file with the two APKs inside.
- Open the Amazon Appstore, search for ‘ES File Explorer,’ and download it.
Now, go back to the very start of this guide, and follow the instructions just like before. When you get to the steps where you have to download APKs, only download and install the first two items — Google Account Manager and Google Services Framework. Once you install those two apps, you need to install the APKs you just copied from the first profile.
- Open ES File Manager from the home screen.
- Tap on the menu button at the top-left, tap ‘Local’, and tap ‘Download’.
- Tap the ZIP file you downloaded earlier (it’s probably called ‘Send-Archive’).
- You should see two APKs. Just like before, these have to be installed in the correct order.
- Tap the one that starts with ‘com.google.android.gms’ (this one is Google Play Services), then tap ‘Install’.
- Now tap the one that starts with ‘com.android.vending’ (this one is the Play Store), then tap ‘Install’.
Now reboot your tablet again, log into the second profile, and see if the Play Store works. If you encounter issues, take a look at the Troubleshooting section above.
There you have it — the ultimate guide to installing the Google Play Store on Amazon’s Fire tablets. If you’re having troubles, leave a comment, and we’ll do our best to help. Your feedback might even help us improve this guide!
- Zampacto (Fire 10 2019 help),
- Trevor (Chrome login fix)
Montreal weather: A good day to stay inside with the windows open – Montreal Gazette
Isn’t that rain refreshing? Yeah, it’s putting a damper on the weekend, but it’s not like you can do much out there these days.
Today’s forecast calls for the rain to continue until the morning, then maybe come back in the mid-afternoon as we hit a reasonable high of 20 C. (Sunday will be better — sunny and 21.)
We apologize, but this video has failed to load.
Tonight: Chance of rain. Low 12.
Don’t forget to submit your photos of Montreal via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging them with #ThisMtl. We’ll feature one per day right here in the morning file. Today’s photo was posted on Instagram by @tinmarieb.
Quote of the day
The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles. — Ayn Rand
Help support our local journalism by subscribing to the Montreal Gazette.
Apple iOS 13.5.5 Can’t Come Soon Enough: Here Are 3 Reasons Why – Forbes
The next updates for Apple’s iPhone and iPad will be iOS 13.5.5 and iPadOS 13.5.5 (unless a bug appears that needs squishing quickly before then). They can’t be far off, because the first developers’ betas and public betas have appeared, but along with bug fixes there are features which are going to be highly useful.
To get new features at this stage in an OS’s cycle is pretty rare, so here are the three standouts which it’s worth looking out for.
Sure, it’s only days since the latest iOS update dropped – iOS 13.5.1, which was also when iPadOS 13.5.1 arrived. But that update had one specific purpose: to patch a vulnerability which allowed anyone to jailbreak their iPhone – and risked bad actors exploiting the weakness, too.
So, the last new features came with iOS 13.5, back in May. Here are the three headline extras of iOS 13.5.5. that we know about – or think we do.
News+ to gain audio
How do you consume your news features?
For a lot of people it’s a combination of radio, TV, online newspapers, apps and podcasts. Ah, yes, podcasts. The Apple News+ subscription service could do with some of those. The subscription price of $9.99 a month is good value for so many magazines and newspapers, but even so, shouldn’t you expect audio as well?
The iOS 13.5.5 beta shows a new tab in the Apple News app that reads “Audio”. Because it’s only in beta, there’s no actual playable content just yet, even for those signed up for the public beta.
When it’s live, it will almost certainly mean there will be audio versions of curated articles from publications available in Apple News+.
It will have an interface similar to the Podcasts app, according to Jeff Benjamin from 9to5Mac.
It seems that non-subscribers will be able to access little bits of audio but you’ll need the full subscription to hear everything.
Apple is doubtless still sorting licensing issues for this right now. Choosing the articles, employing the actors to read them and recording the audio versions will take time, so don’t expect a full library of audible goodness on day one. But it will be a big step forward for the News+ platform. After all, it’s believed that Apple News+ hasn’t taken off quite the way the company would have liked. Which brings us to the second feature I’m looking forward to.
Apple News+ and other services bundles
Forensic examination of code in iOS 13.5.5. beta by Filipe Espósito at 9to5Mac suggests that we may soon be able to buy Apple services together for a lower price.
This is something that’s been rumored since 2019, but references to a “bundle offer” and to a “bundle subscription” appearing in the code are new, apparently.
It’s not clear when this might come – some sources say not until 2021 – or which services might be included. After all, although Apple launched TV+ alongside the Apple Arcade games subscription, that wouldn’t be the best fit, perhaps. Either Apple Music ($9.99 a month) or Apple TV+ ($4.99 a month) could make a tempting combo with Apple News+, especially if the price is right.
iPad Keyboard backlighting
The third feature is something I think about, well, every time I use my iPad Pro with its spectacular Magic Keyboard. The Magic Keyboard, unlike Smart Keyboards from Apple that have preceded it, is backlit. So you can use it in a dark room without squinting crazily or tipping the iPad screen toward the keys to try and make out which key is which.
But adjusting the brightness of the keyboard isn’t quite as simple as it might be. I mean, it’s designed so it adjusts the brightness automatically based on the lighting conditions, but your idea of what’s right and the keyboard’s aren’t always the same thing.
There’s no row of function keys on the Magic Keyboard, you see, so that’s not where you go to adjust brightness as you might on a regular laptop. Instead, you need to stop what you’re doing, open the Settings app, go to General, then Keyboard and then Hardware Keyboard.
Only then do you reach a screen where you can adjust the brightness.
According to 9to5Mac, iPadOS 13.5.5 has references in the code which suggest that there will be keyboard shortcuts to offer the capabilities which would normally fall to the function keys.
It looks like the shortcuts will allow simple, quick adjustment of the Keyboard backlighting, iPad display brightness and more.
They’re not active in the software beta so it’s not clear if they will be customizable or exactly how they will work.
It’s also worth noting that it’s not clear whether, though the code is in place in iPadOS 13.5.5, if that’s when it will debut or whether we’ll have to wait for iPadOS 14. Let’s hope it’s coming soon.
The final release of the software is imminent. When it launches, I’ll report on exactly what is, and what isn’t, included.
More on Forbes:
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