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Summary:

Earlier this week, I grilled Amazon for attempting to control web browsing activities on its Kindle Fire as the device was blocked from browsing Google’s Android Market website. With the new Kindle Fire software update, Amazon no longer blocks access, which is the right move.

kindle-fire-android-market

Earlier this week, I grilled Amazon for attempting to control web browsing activities on its Kindle Fire. Any attempts to browse Google’s Android Market website were redirected to Amazon’s own AppStore on the tablet. I understand why Amazon did so: It wants to have Android apps installed on the Fire directly from its own curated application store, and it doesn’t want to field support calls when users have issues with Android Market apps on the Kindle Fire. Still, I feel the browser is sacred, and no browsing activities should be hijacked like this.

The good news is that Amazon has rethought its approach. With the new Kindle Fire software update, made available on Wednesday, you can now browse to the Google Android Market website. After I installed the software update to the Fire – we have complete instructions on the five-minute process here — I verified the browsing block was gone. I did get a security certificate warning, but was able to continue in the Fire’s browser with no other issues.

Does this mean you can now install Android Market apps to the Kindle Fire over the web? Not exactly, because there’s no simple way to associate the Kindle Fire with a Google account, which is how Google’s web-based Android Market links to devices. Regardless, this step was the right one for Amazon to take because it allows people to see which Android apps Google does offer, and it no longer hijacks the web page a user wants to view.

  1. Actually Google will automatically recognize your Kindle Fire once you root it and install the Android Market.

    http://liliputing.com/2011/11/android-market-website-now-recognizes-hp-touchpad-nook-tablet-kindle-fire.html

    1. Totally agree. I figured most folks wouldn’t do that, but who knows. :)

    2. But then can you install any app from the store or are there still restrictions?

      1. I thought Amazon was undoing root via an OTA update. Have a Fire arriving as a gift for my wife so I’m sure i will play a bit with it as well.

      2. There may be a few apps that don’t show up in the Android Market on the Kindle Fire, and Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich apps won’t run. But if you’ve rooted the Kindle Fire and installed the Android Market, most apps should work.

        You can also replace the Amazon software altogether and run CyanogenMod 7 on the tablet which removes pretty much all restrictions (and also removes access to some of the Kindle Fire’s better features such as Amazon Instant Streaming video).

      3. @Jonathon: There are ways around the 6.2.1 software update. You can root the tablet right away, install TWRP custom recovery, and then install a pre-rooted version of 6.2.1. It’s kind of a PITA, but it works.

        Or for the more extreme, you can perform a hardware hack that lets you root the Kindle Fire even after it’s running 6.2.1.

        http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1405052

    3. How do you “root” it?

  2. Actually you were right in the first part of your story. Having to support other platforms is not a good idea. Sometimes having control over your product *is* the right thing to do. Also, 99.9% of people will only use Amazon’s store anyway. Its the very small but vocal nerds that think people should have every option available. For them, buy a Xoom or Samsung.

    1. Yeah, it’s not like anyone uses Firefox or Chrome to browse the web, everyone uses Internet Explorer or Safari. Oh wait …

    2. I admit I may be a nerd, still without being too nerdy and only having my fire for 2 days, I have already found at least one app in the android market not available from amazon. hopefully amazon’s selection will continue to improve.

  3. A smart move before people dumped the fire due to it’s some of the other not so good experiences …

  4. I also understand that Amazon is using the fire as a loss leader & wants to make a profit Fm the collateral sales. In the past year I have bought a goodly amount Fm Amazon & since receiving my Fire today I have already ordered $76.00 worth of extras–from amazon. So, Jeff open the pathway to Google’s app market; you will still make millions.

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