Monday, December 17, 2012

Kindle tips: Avoid Google Earth v7.0.2.x (slow). 320GB portable wireless drive. Anti-Aging book free for 2 days. Boost speaker sound. Updated 7/11/13

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, v7.0.1.8239 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: )

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,,,,, 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
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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  1. Thanks for the link to ApkNew appstore. I didn't know you could download older versions.

    1. Anonymous - glad it was usefl, and thanks for taking the time to let me know. There are sites that will keep older file versions, in case the latest update presents unforeseen problems.

  2. Thanks for the Google earth info! I was wondering what the neck was wrong with Mr kindle hd 8.9 running earth so slow and freezing up. Your article saved me alot of hair pulling troubleshooting! The old earth app is running fast and one. Thanks!

    1. William, it was truly awful when that version couldn't present anything right, and it wasn't just the Kindle Fire HD -- reports from other Android tablets were the same. Sure glad for places that keep older versions.

      Thanks for writing to let us know!

    2. William, it turns out that it's affecting Windows users as well as Android:


      but especially!msg/earth/fLnHY7I0YGk/Fv_OtlUfeEcJ where 'Ryan' from 'Google Team' writes:

      "This is a behavioral change with the default fly-to view in Google Earth 7.0 [because the person who made the change has never actually tried to do production work] (the differences in the search results stem from the new search bar introduced in 6.2 [Which was also another convention-breaking change that was utterly worthless]). We have received feedback from other users on this behavior as well, and we are currently evaluating changes [likely via /dev/null] to this behavior in an upcoming version of Google Earth [But only after we add more bugs^H^H^H^Hfeatures].

      The Google Team"

      Now,I'd think that was a joke post but it remains on the Google Product forums.

      For some, no v7.x.x works, but at least v7.0.1.8239 does, for us, and it does for a few other tablet users too. Most writing have gone back to v6 though!

  3. I would like to download Google-Earth to my Kindle Fire HD but when I go to the link and try to download the file from the IAPKnew store, nothing happens, it won't download to the Kindle Fire HD. Can you download this app directly from the IAPKnew store to the Kindle Fire HD or do you have to download it to some other device (computer) first and then to the Kindle Fire HD?


    1. Dennis, it seems they allow the non-GooglePlay download via a QR app. I've never had to use those though I downloaded one to try when I have time.

      In the meantime, you can find the file here also. Try it and let me know if you have better luck with that.,0313-35897.html

      *** IF you don't already have Easy Installer app from the Amazon appstore, download that first and install it.***

      It'll help find apk files after download that may have been downloaded to other than the "Download" folder.

    2. The Tom's Hardware link probably won't work.

      However, this one does:

      I'll change the link in the blog entry. Let me know how YOU do with it though. I was able to get it here, but it may depend a bit on where you are.

      Click on the green Download offering on the right column for better results (at least for me).

  4. I can download the app to my download folder on my Kindle but EZ File Explorer or Easy Installer do not find the download in the download folder.

    1. That's odd Anonymous. Did the webpage cause a message to say it was actually downloaded? (Did you check the Settings box first to allow the install of the download?)

      You mentioned you can download it to the download folder, but you didn't actually see it there. What app site were you downloading from? Which app are you attempting to install? Let me know so I can see what might be happening.


    2. I just realized it's probably the Earth_7.0.1.8239.apk file you were trying to download from AndroidDrawer ... I just tried the download quickly on my notebook, and it didn't download. I went back, and found that it needs to go to a 2nd page for the actual download, which requires another keypress and I hadn't waited long enough. Maybe that's what happened with you also?

      - Andrys

  5. has anyone tried to put Andropen office on their kindle?

    1. You'll get more replies at the Amazon Kindle Forums Kindle Community. I haven't tried it, as I have Office Suite but I Got it when Amazon had it for free. There are a number of possibilities for the Kindle Fire, specifically, at the Amazon appstore if this doesn't work out for you although Google reviews give Andropen app an average of 3.7 stars and it's available at

  6. To Countfifty
    Thanks for your feedback. I've not added your comment here because it recommends getting the 1mobile app elsewhere and doing some additional things that aren't necessary ..
    From my post above, use a *browser* - Amazon's Silk browser is fine (under 'Web' at top menuj) for this and, really, don't use ES File Manger to download an app.

    First, uinstall what you've done with the 1mobile app you got elsewhere and the stuff you received along with it (which shouldn't be with it). Then Use the Web browser (called by Amazon 'Silk' also, which confuses users), and go to the page I link to -- 1mobile apps, downloading the app at the right side of the page, and since you have ES File Explorer installed, it will install the app.

    That should do it. Go to 'Apps' at the upper right of your HDX and find, in either alpha order or 'recent' order, your 1mobile store app. LONG press it and choose 'Home' and then it'll be on your Home screen in the Favorites area underneath the Carousel. Swipe up when you see the Carousel, and that'll bring up your selected apps.

    I also mentioned that if you have a problem finding an app after you download it, to use Easy Installer (at the Amazon appstore) and it'll find your app. In the Settings menu for Easy Installer, make sure that you don't exclude subdirectories for any searches though.

    Let me know if this helps or if you're still having problems and needing to do extra things...

    1. Countfifty, in the 2nd paragraph, I meant to type "UNinstall" rather than 'uinstall' ... sorry to confuse.


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