Amazon hardware is being sold in South Africa but it still has its limitations. The Echo and Alexa enabled range of smart speakers can be purchased online or in-store, but the Alexa app is not available in our region.
I have an Echo Dot mini smart speaker, an Echo Show 10 in my kitchen, along with a Fire TV stick, plus have a bunch of Ring outdoor cameras linked to it. I can’t confirm what features don’t work here because I have the Alexa app via the US App Store.
Same with the Kindle Fire tablets, they are cheap and available readily, but it’s somewhat limited if you don’t know how to load the Google Play Store onto it. It runs on Fire OS, based on Android, with Amazon apps preloaded: Silk browser, App Store, Prime Video, Amazon Kids, Kindle, Audible, etc.
I received a Kindle Fire 7 tablet this week with press materials loaded onto it. I’ve not owned a Kindle Fire tablet before, so naturally, the first thing I did was load the Google Play Store onto it.
I found the instructions on Android Police, but for ease of use, I’m going to quickly run through the main steps here. Please refer to the original article here.
Step 1: Confirm what model your tablet is, and what version OS you’re running.
Step 2: Go to Settings> Security> Privacy and allow “apps from unknown sources” to be downloaded onto your tablet. At this stage, it will apply to the Silk browser.
Step 3: Remove any SD cards from the tablet.
Step 4: Using info from Step 1, find the right APK files and download them. NB: Don’t install it just yet. Do it in the order that you will be installing it later, which is:
- Google Account Manager
- Google Services Framework
- Google Play Services
- Google Play Store.
Step 5: Once you found the correct APK files, from this link, you can can download them only (don’t install). You may see a long list for Play Services and Play Store, it’s just different versions. Use the newest one but make sure it’s not a beta version.
Step 6: Go into the Kindle Kire’s Files folder and into Downloads. You can start installing the four files from here in the above mentioned order but only click on “done” after they install, and do not click on “open”.
Step 7: After you installed the four files, restart your Kindle Fire. Once it boots up, you will see the Play Store icon on your homescreen that you can access.
Step 8: Simply login into your Google account and start downloading your favourite apps.
Important to note, if you are doing this for tablets that you are giving to your kids, Wired reports that despite the presence of the Google Play Store, you will not be able to manage your Fire tablet through Google Family Link, which enables some parental controls. Make sure you know what access you’re giving to kids.
For everyone else, i.e. adults, enjoy!
Welcome to Wired to the Web. My name is Nafisa Akabor and I’m a technology journalist covering business and consumer tech for the last 15 years. I’m passionate about start-ups, smartphones, mobile payments, travel tech and electric cars. ✉️ firstname.lastname@example.org