Another year has come and gone… and people are still trying to figure out how to install the Google Play Store on Amazon Fire tablets.

My updated guides for doing that with the latest Fire HD 8 and Fire HD 10 were two of the most read articles on Liliputing this year… and last year… and in previous years.

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020) with the Google Play Store installed

But Fire tablet hacks weren’t the only things people were interested in while stuck at home during a global pandemic. Other popular articles this year include news about single-board computers (including one with a Ryzen Embedded processor), a cheap alternative to Fitbit’s pricy activity trackers, a couple of mini-desktop reviews, and an explainer that covers the difference between the Thunderbolt 4, USB 4, Thunderbolt 3, and USB 3 standards.

2020 was also the year I launched a new spin-off website, LinuxSmartphones, which is tracing the progress of an exciting new niche at the intersection of mobile devices and free and open source software and hardware development. Part of the impetus was that I noticed some articles about Linux phones and smartphone operating systems managed to get a lot of page views, including one which made its way into this list of the year’s most popular posts.

PinePhone smartphone running Mobian Linux (via LinuxSmartphones.com)

One thing to keep in mind is that the articles listed below were the top posts by page views… which is something that’s largely beyond my control. I try to find topics that will be interesting to my audience, but sometimes Google will drive a lot of traffic by showing the articles in the Discovery feeds of people who don’t normally visit this site. And sometimes a post will get a lot of referral traffic from social media, reddit, Hacker News, or other sources.

But it’s a lot easier to compile a list of posts with the highest page views than it is for me to look back at several thousand articles published this year in order to find the ones I put the most work into. So I’m glad that a few reviews made the list (they typically take the most time to create, but often don’t bring in a lot of page views). But I’m sure there’s some stuff that regular readers may have found interesting which didn’t make it into this post. If you have a favorite, feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Now, here are some of the most read Liliputing articles from 2020:

  • I replaced my Fitbit with a $35 Mi Band (mini-review)
    Back in January, before I realized how little walking outdoors I would be doing, I replaced my old Fitbit with an inexpensive activity tracker from Xiaomi. I’ve probably charged the battery around 12-15 times since then. 

  • Crowdfunded NexDock 2 laptop dock for smartphones (or Raspberry Pis) ships to backers
    A few years ago NexDock was one of several companies promising accessories that could turn your smartphone into a laptop. Now there’s less competition in this space, but I can’t help but wonder if the growing (but still tiny) Linux phone space could create a bit more demand for this sort of laptop dock. 
  • Jailbreak for Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (current-gen)
    It’s not just Amazon’s tablets that are hackable. You can tweak features and even install alternate eBook readers (for reading EPUB files, among other things) on the company’s Kindle devices. Despite being only a few weeks old, this article was viewed tens of thousands of times, earning it a spot on this list. 

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  1. Happy New Year everyone!

    Are you getting a OneGX1 Pro LTE to review for the new year? I hope it supports Linux as well as the previous non-Pro version (LTE, HDMI, USB Type-C video out, touchscreen, etc.). Not interested in the gaming aspects (there’ll be enough of those kinds of reviews anyway).

    1. Hoping to see some Linux reviews of the OneGX1 Pro LTE too.

      I gave up on the Win 3 because of the capacitive touch keyboard. 90% of the time I use my Win 2 for non-gaming stuff which involves typing. The OneGX1 Pro isn’t really a handheld UMPC but it’s still pretty small. Plus, it has LTE which is something I’ve been wanting on UMPCs.

  2. I hopped on the LarkBox form-factor trend. The idea was the kids can use it for homeschool, but so far it hasn’t been necessary. I made a Neverware Cloudready thumb drive for it so they could have their own Chromebook experience. It’s a good back-up for me and my wife if our computers break down and we need to order a laptop from somewhere.

    1. I got a Larkbox during the campaign but in my case, my kids are using my Acer Predator because I don’t have a dedicated camera that they can use. The Larkbox is setting in my bedroom connected to the TV but almost never on because I do most of my watching and gaming on the living room.

        1. I still have a Pavilion with GTX 1050 and i5 8th gen so I am OK with keeping the laptop for educational purposes. It came in handy when my wife had to drop the kids with her sister because I had a VM setup with on of the girls’ account while the other account was on the main machine. I wouldn’t be able to do that with the larkbox.