Google Earth: San Francisco, on KFire HD 8.9"
Google Earth: Golden Gate Bridge, on KFire HD 8.9"
Google Earth: Golden Gate Bridge, on KFire HD 7"
Earlier I'd shown images of Google Maps, Street View, and Google Earth, on my Kindle Fire HD 7" and 8.9" tablets.
That was mainly to illustrate that tech-site reviewers who lament that the Kindle Fire tablets are limited to apps from the Amazon store, are 100% wrong and just have not actually looked at normal Android settings, which include enabling installation of non-Amazon apps if needed, by just marking a checkbox to turn 'On' the ability to install apps from 'unknown sources.'
That's right - you just go to other app-stores if an app you need is not at the Amazon store. Amazon ENABLED this feature. (Barnes and Noble does not allow it.)
However, a caution on the latest version of Google Earth (v7.0.2) It is SLOW, choppy, and useless on the Kindle Fire (one wonders if Google optimized it for their Nexus instead). While the second most recent update, v184.108.40.20639 runs very smoothly on both Kindle Fire HD's, the new v7.0.2 is just ridiculous, crashing all the time.
This latest unruly Google Earth update is affecting other Android devices in the same way, you'll see from feedback at googleplay if you go there.
Since the version from the last few months has been working well on the Kindle Fire HD's, I did a google search for that now older install-file and found it (the atest link I'm using was updated July 11, 2013 for this blog) at the ApkNew appstore, and after removing this week's new Earth update and installing this older file, things are good again.
( Link: bit.ly/g-earth-7018239 )
I went there while on the Kindle Fire HD and downloaded it directly, using the green Download offer in the right column, top (which worked better for me). Download it direct to your device. Unlike Google Play store, other app stores recognize the Kindle Fire.
As before, the following steps listed may help if you want apps from elsewhere (make sure they've been up for awhile w/o problems) but are uncertain about how to do this:
One click on one settings-box is all it takes.
It's much easier than people would guess. At the Top Row Toolbar of the Kindle Fire,
Swipe down to get Settings / More / Device / and then merely CHECK the box that says:
Allow Installation of Applications from unknown sources
That's it! Then you can go to other app stores that are recommended when Amazon does not have a particular app, such as 1mobile.com, androiddrawer.com, getjar.com, iapktop.com slideme.org, handango.com, and others, to find and download the app.
To install a non-Amazon downloaded app (by clicking on that downloaded file), use either ES File Explorer or Easy Installer from Amazon's Android App store. Easy Installer hunts down your downloaded app-install files (*.apk) so it's very useful if you can't find one that you know you downloaded.
I always recommend though that people wait a few days before getting apps from any other sites, to see if anyone is having problems with malware (even at Google Play market, when Google allows access, but Google doesn't acknowledge Kindle Fire devices). Google doesn't take the time to vet apps as Amazon does, to test for both malware or incompatability.
Amazon's appstore should be supported though
Of course, if Amazon carries the app, it's definitely best to get it from Amazon because they do a strong vetting of the apps they offer and because it's the way they make revenue from tablets sold at cost. They also keep it in your Amazon Cloud area, which is useful when you are getting another Kindle tablet or if you just need to re-install the file. I think it's important to support the Amazon Android app store, but I also think it's important that Amazon make more good apps available to us at a faster pace, and maybe they should have a suggestion box for the more popular requests.
The Keys to a Long Life: An Anti Aging Guide for both Men and Women - $0.00 until December 19, 2012.
"Explore anti aging nutrition, supplementation, and exercise. Learn about the best anti aging supplements to include in your diet to slow the aging process and promote health and wellness."
Caution for when it's no longer free: This was from a press release and looked like an interesting free book. However, most of the one-name reviewers have a history of only that one product review. I also see that two others sign off by promoting their own health product.
Patriot Gauntlet 320G Portable Wireless External Drive (PCGTW320S)
Newish, this small external drive has 320GB of add'l space and streaming to several devices at a time + sharing of Internet WiFi. Already it has 10 customer reviews with an average rating of 4.8 out of 5. That's mainly a heads-up. I use the pocketable or purseable Wi-Drive
Speaker Booster has been recommended by several at the Amazon Kindle Community Forums this week, and should be useful for the original basic Kindle Fire released a year ago, which had very low volume. It could be useful for other tablets also. I've tried it on the Kindle Fire 8.9", which has output not quite as strong as the 7" model but considered by many stronger than other tablets and it definitely boosts it.
However, in my hearing you hear quite a bit more treble than anything else, which at least means that in a movie, you'd hear the speech (or sibilants) better. Note that, for a Kindle Fire HD model, it is boosting frequencies while the Dolby is doing its own adjustments for that.
The app creator recommends not boosting the sound more than 40% (the basic double adjustment is reachable via the Navigation swipe-down), to prevent injuring your speakers or your ears (very important). I have my "maximum" set for anywhere from 20-50 and it does help, but it is not the most gorgeous sound. The normal volume will take the booster into account when you adjust that volume as usual.
However, it doesn't actually noticeably distort otherwise until past 60%, and I wouldn't go any higher. It's too easy to harm your ears with unnaturally high volume (and not pleasant to hear with that big a boost) when you have earbuds on and possibly even harm more fragile speakers on a tablet.
If you access this double volume control often to adjust it while in another app (like music), it can freeze on you. I had to go into the Kindle Fire Menu/Settings/Apps to find the Speaker Booster app and then do a 'Force Stop' on it twice. But if I don't overdo the adjustments while in another app, it has been ok. Mainly just do a max setting and then use only the normal volume control.
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
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