Amazon’s new Fire HD 8 tablet went up for pre-order about a month ago and started shipping today… and of course the first thing some folks did was try to figure out if you could install the Google Play Store on the tablet.

You can.

While Amazon’s tablets ship with an operating system called Fire OS and an app store called… the Amazon Appstore, they’re basically running a modified version of Android. That makes it fairly easy to load a few apps to enable Google services that wouldn’t otherwise be available — including Google’s Play Store which has millions of apps and games that aren’t available in the Amazon Appstore.

It could also save you from having to pay for the same apps twice if you have a Fire tablet and an Android phone.

The 2018 Fire HD 8 is available from Amazon for $80 and up.

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7 replies on “Lilbits 341: You can still install Google Play on the latest Fire Tablets”

  1. A good idea in theory, but mi 7 inch Fire tablet from a couple years ago was sooo slow from day 1. Slow at anything but playing videos or games. Navigation and web browsing, using regular apps was pretty much impossible. 2 minutes to open chrome just to have it be barely responsive after. Maybe I just got a really old one.
    Something wrong with mine? Did they get faster? Seems like the 2017/2018 model has the same SoC as 2015

    1. Sometimes Fire tablets just require a reboot, but I had the same sort of issues with the original Nexus 7 that rebooting never solved. It was particularly bad after the first or second OS update, and then got better for a time. But even after I rooted it and installed a new Rom the problems eventually popped back up.

    2. It’s worth noting that the Fire 10 SoC is significantly faster than the ones used in the 7 and 8 inchers. I found the 10″ Fire to be fast enough to meet my needs, but like you I found the others to be too slow for actual use.

  2. Isn’t anyone tired of having to “hack” things to make them work? Why can’t they just “work”? (rhetorical) For me the lack of a proper youtube app and casting really gets me. In my case, my ecosystem is tied to both companies, Google and Amazon. If they have another spat and decide to block something else, well, I don’t want to end up with two tablets, two streaming devices, a living room TV that casts and a bedroom PC that doesn’t. it’s just crazy.

    1. they’re different software ecosystems. Like, my Android Phone can’t run iOS apps or play nice with their ecosystem. So I don’t buy an Apple TV, iPad, or Mac, for my primary devices. Still doesn’t mean I have to buy all Google stuff. I have a Samsung Smart TV in one room and a Roku stick in another. Both have Google Play Movies/TV and Youtube apps, and play nice with basic casting abilities.

  3. I’m happy my Kindle Fire tablet doesn’t run Google Apps. That way Google can’t spy on me (as much).

  4. You can, but the new Google app, Voice Access doesn’t work well on Fire tablets. Works great on a phone in the car though!

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