Making Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD a Little More Usable

Posted on February 12, 2013 11:45 AM by Rob Williams

For its price and specs, Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD is a solid tablet. However, it’s best treated as a device for those who are heavily invested in Amazon’s ecosystem rather than someone who simply wants a tablet, because the company has definitely treated it as a focused-function device. What if you want to spread out, though? Play your iTunes music? Install other apps? Heck – change the default Web browser? With a little bit of elbow grease, this can all be done.

ITworld’s Sandro Villinger picked up a Kindle Fire HD and over the course of seven days found many different ways to improve the overall experience. Some “fixes” are as simple as changing the default search engine in the Silk browser or increasing the amount of e-mails the device will sync, but some are much more beneficial, such as being able to access some apps that Amazon has for some reason hidden, or installing an app that should have come with the device but didn’t: a la YouTube.


During his use, Sandro decided that to truly open up the Kindle Fire HD’s potential, he had to root it. So he did, and he wrote up some simple steps to explain to others how to do it. After rooting, you’ll be able to download apps from the regular Google Play app store rather than continue to be locked into Amazon’s – something I’ve always found odd since the Kindle Fire HD isn’t exactly budget-priced.

A great read overall for those who happen to own a Kindle Fire HD, or want to. Alternatively, the much more open Nexus 7 would be a less-painful option if Amazon’s ecosystem doesn’t much matter to you.

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