The Amazon Fire Phone is a smartphone with a 4.7 inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera, and up to 64GB of storage. It also has an unusual set of features called Dynamic Perspective which uses eye-tracking and gesture detection to provide a 3D-like experience on a 2D screen.
But one thing the Fire Phone doesn’t have is access to the full Google Play Store… at least not officially. But now there’s an unofficial way to install it on some Fire Phone models.
The phone ships with Amazon’s Fire OS, which is a custom version of Android with Amazon’s custom user interface, digital content and app stores, and cloud storage. The Amazon Appstore features tens of thousands of apps, but the Google Play Store which is available for most other Android-based smartphones offers over a million apps and many developers make app updates available through the Play Store much sooner than they’re available from the Amazon Appstore.
Since the Fire Phone runs a fork of Android, it’s not certified to use Google Mobile Services, which means it doesn’t include the Play Store, Gmail, or other official Google apps such as YouTube and Google Maps.
But GadgetsXray has posted a video showing how you can install the Play Store yourself.
Before you try this, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- It currently only works on unlocked Fire Phones, not carrier-locked models
- You’ll need a device running Fire OS 3.6.8 (or maybe a later version)
It’s possible that’s just one caveat, not two: right now Fire OS 3.6.8 only seems to be available for unlocked devices. It’s also not clear if Amazon will issue an update in the future that breaks the Play Store.
That said, if you want to give things a try, you can download a series of files that you’ll need to sideload on the Fire phone including Google Account Manager, Google Play Services, Google Play Store, and Google Services Framework.
Install them in the same order as shown in the video and you should be able to install Play Store apps on the Fire Phone.
The good news is you don’t even need to root your phone to install the Play Store.
If you managed to pick up a Fire Phone when it was on sale for $220 or less this holiday season (before Amazon’s sale ended and the price returned to $449), this could make your phone a lot more useful. I suppose it also makes your phone more useful even if you paid full price… but I’m not sure why you would have done that.
via xda-developers and /r/Android
everything worked, except the actual play store. 1Mobile has most all of the google play apps, but can’t seem to get the play store to open, says no connection. wondering if there is a newer version of the apk
The video shows sideloading ES file explorer from the Play Store. Can’t you just download ES file explorer from the Amazon App Store and simplify that part?
I just got my first fire OS device, the fire HDX 8.9, and I am really liking the interface over my regular android devices. In the beginning I felt devastated at the lack of the ability to use Google Docs, but I have found apps (like WPS Office) that work with all of my cloud drives and it is far superior to Google Docs in its abilities in my opinion. I may try to side load sone Google apps just to try it out since I don’t even have to root it, but I don’t even think it necessary anymore.
its a good start. i won’t buy the phone until I can get rid of FireOS, which requires an unlocked bootloader. I don’t expect that to ever happen. I like FireOS on the Fire TV, I dislike it on the tablets, I hate it on the phone.
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