If you haven’t checked out Liliputing’s Black Friday 2020 Mobile Tech Deals page in a while, now’s a pretty good time to do that. We’ve added deals on w whole bunch of laptops, tablets, smartphones, storage products as well as streaming services and downloadable apps, games, and digital media.
After offering its Fire HD 10 tablet for $80 all week, Amazon also introduced deep discounts on its other Fire tablets today, offering some of the best prices of the year on its already-pretty-cheap tablet lineup.
And that makes now a pretty good time to remind you that Amazon’s tablets ship with a modified version of Android called Fire OS. It’s fine for accessing Amazon content including Kindle eBooks, Amazon Prime movies & TV shows, and much more. But the app store leaves a bit to be desired.
Fortunately it’s pretty easy to install the Google Play Store on Amazon’s tablets, and we’ve got a few guides to help you do that.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of sideloading the Google Play Store, you can just enable installation of apps from unknown sources and install apps from one of the many alternate app stores out there. But most won’t provide automatic updates, in-app payments, and other features that you get when using the Amazon Appstore or Google Play Store.
Here’s a roundup of recent (and recently relevant) tech news from around the web.
- How to install Google Play on the Amazon Fire HD 10 (9th-gen) [Liliputing]
With Amazon’s Fire tablets on sale for as little as $40 for the 7 inch model, $55 for the Fire HD 8, or $80 for the Fire HD 10 (the fastest of the bunch), here’s your regular reminder that they ship without access to Google Play. But it’s easy to add. You can find instructions on using the unofficial Fire Toolbox to do that in this article, as well as a brief overview of a manual method (which you can do without plugging the tablet into a computer).
- How to install Google Play on the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) [Liliputing]
This summer I did the same thing with a current-gen Fire HD 8 tablet, and in this article I highlight the manual method, which involves downloading and installing four files. If you don’t want to futz with installing and running an app on your computer, this may be the simpler way to go (although Fire Toolbox has a bunch of other features worth checking out if you want to continue hacking your Amazon tablet).
- F(x)Tec Pro 1 X Android/Linux smartphone [Indiegogo]
With 16 days left to go, the crowdfunding campaign for the F(x)Tec Pro 1 X smartphone that will be available with LineageOS (Android) or Ubuntu Touch has crossed the $500K line. New perks have been added to the campaign & Sailfish OS will be downloadable.
- Another line of laptops with 2560 x 1440, 165 Hz displays [XMG]
XMG joins Eluktronics in offering a line of premium laptops with 1440p, 165 Hz displays. For example, the XMG Neo 15 features an Intel Comet Lake-H processor, NVIDIA graphics, and a 15.6 inch version of the aforementioned high-res, high-refresh display.
- Google Hangouts group video calls are dead, with users now pushed to Meet [Android Police]
Google kills Hangouts group video calls. Try to start one and you’ll end up using Google Meet instead.
- Rockchip RK3588 specifications revealed [CNX Software]
First revealed in a roadmap last year, Rockchip’s RK3588 processor probably won’t ship until 2021 at this point. But the company is revealing more details about the upcoming 8-core chip with 8K video support and an AI accelerator for 6 TOPs of performance.
- Microsoft’s upcoming Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop 4 show up in leaked images [Windows Central]
The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 and Surface Pro 8 show up in a pair of leaked images, apparently from Korean wireless certification listings. They’re expected to be modest updates, with Tiger lake chips for some models, and a Ryzen option for the laptop.
- More GPD Win 3 handheld gaming PC pictures [@softwincn]
The GPD Win 3 handheld gaming PC with a Nintendo Switch-like design (screen surrounded by controllers), but a slide-up display (that reveals a hidden keyboard) is coming next year. But here are some new photos showing the ports, shoulder buttons, and size.
- The Hacked Nintendo Game & Watch Now Plays Pokémon and Zelda Too [Gizmodo]
DOOM was just the beginning. The hacked Nintendo Game & Watch can also run Super Mario Bros 3, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon, among other games. It can only hold one game at a time though, and it’s not easy to flash them to the device.
- Video: Megi’s multi-boot image for the PinePhone (with 17 Linux distros) [Linux Smartphones]
One of the neat things about the PinePhone is that not only is it designed to run Linux-based operating operating systems installed to internal storage, but it can also boot from a microSD card. This disk image has a bootloader and 17 different Linux distros crammed into a 6GB download, allowing you to try out a bunch of different operating systems and user interfaces before picking one to install on the phone. Some are kind of buggy, but you can get an idea of how they work. I highlight a few in the video below.