Kindle Fire HD: Using alternate app launcher, Google Talk without root

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD hacks/tweaks keep coming. We’ve already seen that it’s possible to root Amazon’s latest tablet, install the Google Play Store, or even install some Google apps without rooting.

Now some early Kindle Fire HD users have figured out how to install an alternate home screen launcher app and get Google Talk up and running without rooting your tablet (and potentially messing up the operating system).

adw launcher ex on the kindle fire hd

Installing an alternate launcher

The Kindle Fire HD runs Android 4.0.3 — but you’d never know that by looking at the home screen or app launcher. There’s no room for widgets, no dock at the bottom, and a carousel showing large icons for recent apps.

But it is possible to replace the Kindle Fire HD launcher with a standard Android launcher… as long as you can find one that works. So far it looks like many popular options such as Nova Launcher, Apex Launcher, Go Launcher, and Zeam do not work.

But the eBook Reader reports that ADW Launcher EX does work. Unfortunately there are a few problems.

First, it’s a paid app — and you’ll have to figure out a way to get the installer file onto your Kindle Fire. The simplest method is probably to buy the app on another Android phone or tablet, backup the APK using Titanium Backup (if you have root access), and then manually copy it. OK… maybe that’s the simplest way if you already have another Android device that’s rooted…

Anyway, the other problem is that while ADW Launcher EX lets you customize your home screen with a dock, widgets, and just the icons you want, it won’t actually replace the Kindle’s default home screen. Pressing the home button will always take you back to Amazon’s home screen.

You can tap the ADW Launcher EX icon any time you want to switch to that home screen though — so if that’s really important to you, I guess that’s something.

The good news is that you don’t need to root your Kindle Fire HD to install the launcher.

Installing Google Talk 

We already knew that you could install Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and Currents on the Kindle Fire HD without root access. But it looks like you can also install Google Talk. It just takes a little more work.

That’s because in order to get Google Talk up and running you also need to install the GoogleServicesFramework utility.

Xda-developers member alkemist80 has posted download links for both. The GoogleLoginServices.apk is also included, and may come in handy.

Google Talk may log you out when the tablet goes to sleep, but as long as you log back in manually, you should be able to chat away using Amazon’s $199 tablet, no root required.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/sue.etchie Sue Etchie

    I was able to download AWD Launcher ex directly to my Fire HD from 4Shared! Now if I could just figure out a way to get downloaded pictures in gallery to size correctly/easily, I would love it.

    • Jackbo

      me too and to answer ur ? just down/sideload es file manager look up pics and long hold

      • nalyom9

        hwo do you set wallpaper that when kindle is rotated doesnt leave a black black section on the right in landscape mode?

  • taylor

    I downloaded AWD Launcher via the AndrioidPIT app, which I think I installed using one of the file explorers apps. It works great. Love having the second Launcher. I have the AWD shortcut in my favorites and in my carousel so I can easily switch back to it when needed.

  • Shannie

    you can download AWD Launcher on 4shared for free

  • Jennifer Laniado

    I have the Fire HD and have gone round and round looking for this. Here’s how I got mine to work- using the browser on your Fire HD, go to http://m.aptoide.com/installer. Install Aptoide. Them go back to the same page on your browser where you got the Aptoide installed and search ADW Launcher. Click Install. Everything should work from there :) Good luck.

  • Xedhadeaus

    It’s also possible to launch 360 pro launcher through the adw through kindle fire hd. Hold the background of adw through kindle, pick 360 for wallpaper, click more at the bottom, then all backgrounds, pick anything, then apply. Viola. Android experience.

  • Devin

    Download Titanium Backup Pro, root your device. Get on TBP. Navigate to your launcher. Hold it down. Scroll right. Scroll down. Click Convert to System App. Confirm. Exit. Choose your launcher as default.
    Done.

  • ga blASH you!

    Aldiko works too.