Installing Google Play on an Amazon Fire tablet is possible, but it requires some technical know-how. Amazon’s Fire tablets run a customized version of Android called Fire OS, which does not come with Google Play Services and the Google Play Store pre-installed. However, with some tweaking, you can install the Google Play Store and gain access to all of the apps in the Google Play library.
Why would you want Google Play on a Fire tablet?
Here are some of the key reasons why installing Google Play can be beneficial on an Amazon Fire tablet:
- Access to more apps – The Amazon Appstore has around 334,000 apps, while Google Play has over 1 million apps. So you’ll have many more options if you install Google Play.
- Better app selection – Some popular apps like YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps etc. are not available on the Amazon Appstore.
- Latest app updates – Apps on the Amazon Appstore tend to get updates slower than Google Play.
- Google Mobile Services – Google Play Services and Google Mobile Services let you take full advantage of apps that rely on them.
The main tradeoff is that by installing Google Play, you are modifying the Fire OS software on your device. This could potentially cause stability or compatibility issues. But for many, the benefits outweigh the risks.
Is it legal / does it void the warranty?
Installing Google Play does not technically violate Amazon’s terms of service. However, it does require circumventing some of Amazon’s software restrictions through gaining root access. This will void your tablet’s warranty since you are tampering with the Fire OS software.
So while it is not illegal per se, you do so at your own risk. The process is reversible if you wish to return the tablet back to its factory settings, but you will no longer have warranty coverage after rooting and modifying the OS.
Before you start, here are the key requirements for getting Google Play on a Fire tablet:
- A compatible Amazon Fire tablet – Most newer Fire tablets from the last few years can work, including Fire 7, Fire HD 8, Fire HD 8 Plus, Fire HD 10, Fire 7 Kids Edition etc.
- Computer – You’ll need a Windows, Mac or Chromebook with an SD card slot or adapter.
- Micro USB cable – To connect the Fire tablet to your computer.
- SD card – A 4GB or larger SD card is required.
- Patience – The process can take 30-60 minutes for someone doing it the first time.
Older Fire tablets may be more difficult or impossible to mod since Amazon restricted access starting with the Fire 5th generation in 2015. It’s also good to check if any specific issues are reported with your model before beginning.
Before installing Google Play, take these preparatory steps:
- Fully charge your Fire tablet – This ensures it doesn’t run out of battery during the process.
- Backup your data – To avoid losing anything important, copy your photos, videos, etc. to a computer.
- Free up storage space – Remove unneeded apps, media etc. so you have room for Google Play and apps.
- Unlock your tablet’s bootloader – This allows you to install custom software. You’ll need to enable ADB Debugging in Settings -> Device Options and use a command like ‘fastboot oem unlock’ (varies by model).
- Download required files – Get the latest Fire Toolbox and platform-tools from XDA Developers and Google Play Store APK.
Taking these steps first ensures your tablet is ready to go for modding and reduces risk of issues.
Here are the steps to install Google Play on a Fire tablet:
- Insert SD card into computer – Use an SD card reader or adapter. This will be used to transfer files.
- Install ADB drivers – Enable access to the tablet from your computer. For Windows, get the Amazon Fire ADB drivers.
- Connect Fire tablet to computer – Use a Micro USB cable to link them.
- Enter fastboot mode – On your Fire tablet, hold Power + Volume Down for a few seconds until the fastboot logo appears.
- Run Fire Toolbox – Open Fire Toolbox on your computer. Select your Fire tablet model and choose Install Google Play Store. This will automatically sideload Google Play Services and more onto your SD card.
- Insert SD into tablet – Disconnect from computer, turn off tablet completely, insert SD card, and reboot.
- Finish Google setup – When turned back on, a Google Play setup wizard will appear. Follow the prompts to add your Google account and configure Google Play.
- Download apps – Once setup completed, you can go to Google Play, search, and download apps.
The Fire Toolbox handles most of the heavy lifting like rooting, sideloading Google Play services, and setting permissions. But always follow on-screen instructions carefully during the process.
Using Fire Toolbox
Here are some key pointers for using Fire Toolbox to install Google Play:
- Launch Fire Toolbox and always accept any ADB authorization prompts on computer and tablet.
- Carefully select your Fire tablet’s exact model from the dropdown list when prompted.
- For Install Google Play Store option, choose the Standard Install method.
- Review all on-screen warnings and prompts as the process runs and allow any requests on the tablet.
- After writing to SD card finishes, close Fire Toolbox before disconnecting tablet.
Following Fire Toolbox’s instructions closely is important for avoiding issues. You may also need to rerun certain steps if there are any failures.
Manual installation steps
Alternatively, you can install Google Play manually without using a toolbox. Here is an overview:
- Unlock bootloader and enable ADB as described earlier.
- Use ADB to install TWRP custom recovery.
- Boot into TWRP recovery.
- Use TWRP to install Magisk rooting toolkit.
- Reboot back into recovery and install Phh’s SuperUser from Magisk.
- Copy Google Play Services and Google Play Store APKs onto tablet internal storage or SD card.
- Reboot system and install APKs.
- Follow prompts to add Google account and configure Play Store.
Doing it manually gives you more control but requires using ADB and recovery tools. So Fire Toolbox offers a quicker and easier process for most users.
Adding Google Apps
After getting Google Play working on your Amazon Fire tablet, you’ll likely want to install Google apps like these:
YouTube is not available on Amazon Appstore, so installing it through Google Play is essential. It provides access to millions of videos.
Get Google’s popular email app for convenient access to Gmail on your Fire tablet. It offers notification syncing and customization options.
The Chrome browser will provide better performance and syncing with your Google account than Silk Browser. You can import bookmarks and enable desktop syncing.
Google Docs, Sheets, Slides
Install this suite of office apps to create, edit and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Use Google Calendar to view and manage your schedules. It integrates with Gmail and is handy on a Fire tablet’s larger screen.
Google Maps provides better mapping and navigation than Amazon’s preloaded navigation app. It offers features like offline maps, traffic data, location sharing and more.
There are many other great Google apps to install like Google Drive, Translate, Photos, Duo, News, Assistant, Podcasts and more. The Google Play Store makes these all easily accessible.
Tips for using Google Play on Fire tablet
Here are some helpful tips for using Google Play after you’ve installed it on your Fire tablet:
- Use a Google account – Sign into your Google account so that all your apps sync properly.
- Update Google Play Services – Check for and install any updates to ensure stability.
- Disable auto-updates – Turn off auto-updates in Settings to avoid unwanted updates impacting modded software.
- Check app compatibility – Some apps may not work properly due to Amazon’s Android modifications.
- Revert changes if needed – If issues arise, you can uninstall updates, do a factory reset, or remove Google Play.
Following these tips will help you avoid potential issues and have the best experience using Google Play. Be prepared to troubleshoot problems if apps crash or features don’t work.
Common problems and solutions
Here are some frequently encountered issues and fixes when installing Google Play on Fire tablets:
Google Play Store crashing
- Clear cache and data for Play Store app
- Uninstall updates and reupdate Play Store
- Disable auto-updates for Play Store
- Check that Play Services is up-to-date
Apps won’t download or install
- Free up storage space on tablet
- Check for Corrupted data, wipe cache partition
- Factory reset tablet
Google Play Services won’t install
- Use a different source for Play Services APK
- Disable/re-enable ADB Debugging
- Ensure bootloader is unlocked
Tablet stuck in bootloop
- Factory reset tablet using hardware keys
- Flash stock firmware image
- Check for TWRP bugs, upgrade recovery
Fixing issues requires some technical knowledge. Search for solutions online or post on forums. Reverting to factory firmware clears any installed mods.
Alternatives to installing Google Play
If you’re unable to get Google Play working on your Fire tablet, here are some alternative options:
- Use only Amazon Appstore – Stick with the default Appstore, albeit with fewer apps.
- Access web apps – Use Gmail, YouTube etc. via Silk browser in web interface.
- Install individual APKs – Download and install APKs for apps unavailable in Appstore.
- Use third-party app stores – Install stores like GetJar or Aptoide to expand your app selection.
- Switch launchers – Install a custom Android launcher for a more stock experience.
These alternatives give you some added functionality, but lack the full capabilities of Google Play and services integration. Weigh their pros and cons vs. trying to install Google Play.
Installing Google Play on Amazon Fire tablets takes some effort but can greatly expand their capabilities. With access to Google Play Store and apps, you can transform a Fire tablet into more of a full-fledged Android tablet. Just keep in mind that rooting and modding requires technical skill and carries some risks. Backups and being prepared to troubleshoot issues are a must. But with the right approach, you can enjoy the best of both worlds with Google Play on your Amazon Fire tablet.