Fire Toolbox is a free utility that makes it easy to hack Amazon Fire tablets by doing things like installing the Google Play Store, disabling pre-installed apps from Amazon, and loading third-party launchers, keyboards, and other apps, among other things.
Developer Datastream33 continually pushes updates that add new functionality, bug fixes, and support for Amazon’s latest devices. And now that Amazon’s 2022 Fire 7 tablet is available, Datastream33 has released a patch that adds support for the first tablet to ship with Fire OS 8.
Fire OS is basically Amazon’s fork of Google Android. It has a custom user interface that puts Amazon’s apps and services front and center, and it comes with the Amazon Appstore and Amazon’s Kindle, Prime Video, and other apps pre-installed rather than Google’s apps.
8/25/2022 Update: While Fire Toolbox has been updated to work with the 12th-gen Amazon Fire tablet running Fire OS 8, some features don’t work as well with the latest version of Amazon’s operating system. If, for example, you do manage to install the Google Play Store as described below, you may find that you cannot login to a Google account, Google’s app store may not launch reliably, or some apps from the Play Store may not run properly.
It’s unclear whether this is due to Amazon intentionally taking steps to break compatibility with the Play Store or if it’s a side effect of the fact that Fire OS 8 is based on Android 11, while Fire OS 7 was based on Android 9. Either way, the Fire 7 (2022) tablet may be one of the cheapest Android-like tablets available, but it may not be the best choice if you’re looking for a device that’s compatible with Google apps and services.
But there are several good reasons you might want to install the Google Play Store. First, while there are tens of thousands of Android apps available in the Amazon Appstore, there are millions in the Play Store. So it’s a lot easier to find the apps and games you may be looking for. Second, you may already have purchased paid apps from Google Play and you don’t want to have to pay for them again on an Amazon tablet that uses a different store. Or third, you may want to be able to sync data between apps and services running on your phone and tablet, and using the same app store and services frameworks makes that a lot easier.
While it’s typically been pretty easy to sideload the Google Play Store, things get a little trickier when Amazon pushes a major update, as it did with Fire OS 8. While the previous version of Amazon’s tablet operating system was based on Android 9, Fire OS 8 is based on Android 11. And that means that the steps for installing the Google Play Store are largely the same… but the files you need to download are a little different.
When I wrote a guide for installing Google Play on the 2022 Fire 7 tablet last week, several people told me they ran into the kind of problems that typically arrive when you use one or more of the wrong app installer files. And that’s where Fire Toolbox comes in handy: it automates the process for you, automatically selecting and installing the correct files for your tablet.
Starting with Fire Toolbox 28.6, the utility supports most recent Fire tablets including the 12th-gen, 2022 Fire 7 tablet with Fire OS 8.
Installing the Google Play Store and other Google Services basically involves these steps:
- Download and install Fire Toolbox 28.6 on a Windows PC (or use the built-in Fire Toolbox updater if you’ve already installed an older version of the software).
- Enable USB debugging on your Fire tablet (Settings -> Device Options -> Tap the serial number 7 times to enable developer options -> return to the previous screen -> Device Options -> enable USB Debugging)
- Plug your Fire tablet into the PC with a USB cable.
- Run Fire Toolbox
- A pop-up should appear on your Fire tablet. Click OK to allow it to connect to your PC.
- Select the “Google Services” option in Fire Toolbox.
- On the following screen, choose whether to install Contact and Calendar Sync or leave them blank, then click “Execute Tool.”
At this point, Fire Toolbox should download the correct files for your device and install them on your Fire tablet. It may take a few minutes for this to complete, but once the process is finished you should see a Google Play Store icon on your tablet.
Datastream33 recommends waiting around 10 minutes before actually tapping that icon and logging in with your Google account information, as it gives the tablet a chance to download and install any necessary updates to Google Services in the background.
Keep in mind that Amazon’s tablets were not designed to run Google’s apps and services though. So while you can install the Play Store, there’s no guarantee that all apps and games downloaded from it will run properly on an Amazon Fire tablet.
You’ll also probably want to block Google Play from trying to automatically update Amazon’s apps or apps that you’ve already installed from the Amazon Appstore, as it can cause problems when an Amazon app on an Amazon tablet is updated through the Google Play Store. To do that, open the Play Store, go to the “My apps & games” menu, find all Amazon apps, tap on them one by one, and from the details page, tap the 3 dots in the upper right corner and uncheck the box that says “Enable auto update.”
Alternately, you could disable automatic updates for all apps through the Play Store by opening the Google Play Store Settings menu, choose the Network Preferences item, and then tapping “Auto-update apps” and checking the box that says not to install automatic updates.
If at any point you want to uninstall Google services from your tablet, you can run Fire Toolbox again, but this time when you click the “Google Services” menu item, you should see options to uninstall play services, clear data, or manage your Google accounts.
Alternately, you could open the Settings app on your Fire tablet, select the Apps & Notifications item, and then choose the “See All Apps” option. Then scroll down until you see the four Google apps you’ve installed. You can tap on them one-by-one and then follow the prompts to uninstall those files.