Top Kindle Fire Apps to Sideload

The Kindle Fire is an excellent tablet for consuming Amazon’s content from videos, to music, to books.  But there are some limitations – one of the most frustrating is the inability to use any android apps, as mentioned in this review

Fortunately, you can install some applications that are not available for the Kindle Fire in the Amazon App store by sideloading them. If you need help getting started, read this tutorial on how to sideload apps from an Android phone.

These are my top sideloaded apps that enhance the functionality of your Kindle Fire

Alternative Launcher Apps: If you do not like the stock Amazon launcher and would like a classic Android-like homescreen, as you would find on any other Android tablet, then try out GO Launcher EX.

Google applications: not all Google applications will work on the Kindle Fire, but these two work pretty well given the limitation of the Kindle Fire.  Google voice will allow you to get your voicemails and send and receive texts from your google voice number.  Note: the latest version of Google Voice broke functionality with the original Kindle Fire, however, older versions, such as work well. You can find version here. The Kindle Fire does not have GPS, so the Google Maps application will not be able to determine your location, but it works for directions or looking up addresses.

Cloud storage services: Dropbox is very popular, but unfortunately is not officially supported on the Kindle Fire.  But, the sideloaded apps works perfectly!  Dropbox makes it very easy to sideload – you can get the installation file directly from their site by going to, downloading the .apk file, and installing it.

Browsers: One of the best alternative browsers, if you do not like the stock, silk browser, is Dolphin Browser HD.  It works perfectly on the Kindle Fire.  Also, you can try Opera, if you prefer.

Screen Filter: If you read on your Kindle Fire at night, you may notice that even at the lowest brightness setting the screen is still too bright. Screen Filter is a free app that allows you to dim your screen as much as you want. An alternative that does not have to be side-loaded (is available in the Amazon App Store for the Kindle Fire) is called ScreenDim Full and it costs $1.