My Experience So Far with the Amazon Fire HD 10

I have had a Galaxy Tab A for 2 years, but keep running out of storage space for apps on the internal memory of 16GB (it supports a MicroSD card. I’ll cover the issue regarding that a bit later in this post). Beyond the Samsung and Android system files and built-in apps, it doesn’t leave much left for my apps and their data, never mind photos or videos.

During the holidays, I noticed that the Amazon Fire HD 10 was on sale for $199 for the 64GB model. After doing some research, I discovered that aside from the camera, the Fire HD is very similar to the Tab A. So I bought one. It arrived, and I am so far very happy with it.

The Amazon Fire HD 10 is made by, well, Amazon, so obviously they want you to use Amazon apps and services. However, they based Fire OS on Android. And it was surprisingly easy to install the Google Play Store and apps. A HUGE thank you to TechJunkie.com’s incredibly helpful step by step article (I’ll go a little more in depth on that in a moment) on how to do that! Now Amazon and Google Play peacefully co-exist on my tablet!

As you can see above, the Tab A only comes with 16GB of internal storage. Android OS files, Samsung files and apps, and just a few commonly used apps and their data take up a whopping 10.4GB of that! You’ll also notice that the MicroSD card is hardly being used, because most apps, and/or the Tab A itself, don’t allow for apps to be moved to the MicroSD card. So unless you want to put photos, videos, and other files on it, it sits mostly unused.

Case in point: Facebook. It’s one of a handful of apps that actually allow you to move it’s files to the MicroSD card.

As you can see, Google Play can certainly be installed on the Fire HD 10. It’s a pretty straightforward process, too. Just follow the step by step instructions here. They recommend downloading and using File Commander (free, ad supported) to navigate to the 4 files (should be in the ‘Downloads’ folder) you need to download and install. I recommend that as well.

You can find File Commander in the Amazon app store.

Next, you’ll need to allow “installation of apps from unknown sources”. Don’t let that scare you. You’ll be prompted every in the future to approve (or not) any apps that you (hopefully) want to install. In this case, we’re installing trusted services and apps from Google, so you’ll be fine. You can also disable this after you install Google Play on the Fire HD 10, along with any Google Play apps you want. I would just leave it alone, though.

Once you have downloaded the 4 Google Play-related APK files to your Fire HD 10, simple tap them *in order*, as indicated above and below (Manager, Framework, Services, Store). The Fire HD 10 will indicate what you are about to install before you do it, so don’t worry too much.

After you install those 4 items, restart your Fire HD for good measure. Turn it off (hold down the power/sleep button on the top). Wait ten seconds, then press and hol the button again for a few seconds to turn it back on.

You will now see the Google Play Store icon on your Home Screen. If you don’t, swipe up on the screen to see all apps.

When you open the Google Play Store for the first time, you’ll be prompted to login to your Google account. After that, it will send you to the Play Store, and you’re done. You can start installing apps.

I’m a heavy user of Firefox, so that was one the Google Play apps I installed.

Another thing worth mentioning is that I found out you can’t add web page “shortcuts” to the Fire HD Home Screen, like you can on many other Android devices. No idea why, but you can’t. So the quickest workaround is to create Firefox Bookmarks. Tap the Address Bar and tap ‘Bookmarks’, or tap the three dots in the upper right hand corner and tap ‘Bookmarks’. So, a couple of extra taps, but it gets the job done.

I strongly recommend setting up a Lock Screen Passcode as well, just for the sake of general security.

That’s my experience and thoughts regarding the Amazon Fire HD 10 up to this point. I’ll update this post as I think of more. Thanks for reading. 🙂