Amazon Fire Tablet

Amazon Fire tablets have a lot to offer, but there’s one big catch. The Appstore has far fewer apps and games than you can get on an iPad or from the Google Play Store. Thankfully, we can solve that problem.

Why Would You Want to Do This?

Amazon ships Fire tablets with its own store for apps and games. While the Amazon Appstore has most of the heavy hitters (Netflix, Spotify, Instagram, etc) the selection is not nearly as good as the Google Play Store.

For reference, the Play Store has over 3 million apps and games while the Amazon Appstore has only around 500,000. But here’s the thing—those 3 million and more apps in the Play Store are compatible with your Fire tablet.

Sideloading is the method of installing apps from outside the Amazon Appstore. At their core, Fire tablets run Android, and Android supports sideloading. It works just like sideloading on an Android phone.

One thing to keep in mind about sideloading apps is they won’t be able to receive automatic updates. That process is handled by app stores, which we’re not using. You’ll need to manually re-install new versions of apps and games if you want to stay up to date.

Warning: Sideloading is disabled by default for a reason. The Amazon Appstore has security protocols to make sure the apps and games you download are safe. It’s certainly not perfect, but it’s something. Sideloading apps circumvent these protocols, so you need to be careful about where you get the apps. APK Mirror is our recommended source for sideloading.

RELATED: How to Sideload Apps on Android

How to Install APK on Amazon Tablet

The first thing we need to do is get an APK file to download. You can go to APKMirror in the Silk Browser on your Fire tablet and download the app you’d like to sideload. Make sure to opt for “APK” files, not the ones labeled “Bundle.”

Download an APK file.

After it’s done downloading, tap “Open” from the message at the bottom of the screen.

Tap "Open."

A pop-up message will inform you that you need to allow the app to “install unknown apps” before you can install the APK. Tap “Settings” to be taken there.

Tap "Settings."

Toggle the switch on to “Allow From This Source.” You only need to do this once for each app that you use to install an APK.

Toggle the switch on.

Now you can go back to the previous screen and tap “Install” to finish installing the APK.

Tap "Install" to finish.

That’s it! The app will be added to the home screen on the “Home” tab. This is a pretty simple process that will work for the majority of Android apps and games.

RELATED: How to Install the Google Play Store on an Amazon Fire Tablet

However, it can get tedious if you sideload a lot of apps, which is why installing the Play Store can be a better option.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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Profile Photo for Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Senior Smart Home Editor at How-To Geek. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at How-To Geek, Review Geek, LifeSavvy, and Lifehacker. Jason served as Lifehacker's Weekend Editor before he joined How-To Geek.
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