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Make Your Amazon Kindle Fire HDX More Android-Like without Root

The Kindle Fire HDX 7 is pretty awesome. With a 3DMark score of 16581, it has some serious CPU and GPU power behind it. In fact, it’s a rather amazing gaming tablet, but Amazon doesn’t advertise it that way.

The current ROM version has not been rooted yet, so this blog post focuses on ways to make the HDX work more like a stock Android without the need for root. That said, as soon as I can root this sucker I will because I want to install AdAway and remove some other bloat I don’t use.

The biggest things to do are:

-Get some bling for your HDX to keep it safe
-Unsubscribe from “Special Offers”
-Enable side-loading of apps
-Install ES File Explorer from Amazon AppStore
-Install F-Droid (and/or other markets, like 1Market)
-Install Vire Launcher (home screen replacement), BS Player, and WiFi On/Off
-Install FireFox and AdBlock Plus
-Install Google Login Services APK to permit use of Earth, Voice, GMail, etc

My Kindle Fire HDX Home Screen

I recommend this bumper and case, and the price is right:
Cosmos ® S-shape Flexible TPU Back Cover Case for Amazon Ebook Reader Kindle Fire HDX 7″ inch Tablet

V7 Ultra Protective Sleeve for iPad mini and 8-Inch Tablets

While you’re on Amazon getting your cases, Unsubscribe From Special Offers. This gets rid of those ads on the lock screen, but it does cost $15. Yes, you can block servers in your router BUT we’re not here to rip Amazon off, as we do want to keep seeing better and better Kindles that we can afford 🙂

Next, we must change a setting to permit the loading of APKs we download, since there is no Google Play. To do this, go into Settings/Applications and turn on “Apps from Unknown Sources”. While you’re in there, turn off Usage Data collection.

Now, from the Amazon AppStore, search for and install ES File Explorer. This app is your gateway to making this tablet kick ass!!

Next, do this from your PC because it’s just easier than downloading from the Kindle itself: Google for F-Droid, download the APK, drop it into your Kindle’s Download folder via Windows Explorer, and then on your Kindle via the ES File Explorer app, install it. This is how you will install all the Apps you download in the form of APKs 🙂

You can open F-Droid and search that open source app store for FireFox, or just get the APK here, as well as other apps you might want to play with. In FireFox, you can search for AdBlock Plus add-on and install that as well.

Now, using the same method used for F-Droid, search for the APK for 1Market, and install that. 1Market gives you a pretty sizable app store as an alternative to Google Play, which doesn’t work properly without rooting the Kindle.

In 1Market or via Google searching for APKs, grab Vire Launcher (home screen replacement), BS Player, and WiFi On/Off Toggle. Vire Launcher gives you a more Android-like home screen and some options for wallpapers, BS Player allows you to play your own media files from other Windows network shares in ES File Explorer, and WiFi On/Off allows you to quickly turn WiFi on and off. Turn it off while playing most games to stop the in your face ads!

An alternative to Googling for APKs, since some of them can be pirated and/or malware, you may wish to download apps from Google Play on your ROOTED Android Phone, and then transfer the APKs from the data/app folder of your phone to your Kindle’s Downloads folder for installation 🙂

Now, if your want to send TXT messages from your Kindle, or browse the Earth and maps, and more, you need some Google stuff:

Go here and download the Google Login Service APK, and install that. Don’t bother with the other Google Play stuff since you need root for them to work properly. The Login Service allows Google apps to log into your Google account.

Now you can search for Google Earth, GMail and Google Voice APKs and use those successfully on your Kindle 🙂