Mr. Bezos, I love everything about Amazon. You have created a world where I can sit on my couch, read War and Peace, listen to Lady GaGa and order toilet paper - all from the same company and now, with the Kindle Fire, from a single device. I have raved for months on Twitter, Google+ and on my podcast, Nekkid Tech that in a few …
repeatingyour earlier assertion...
...does not increase it's voracity.
"The only thing that exists that does it all"?
Clearly it couldn't be that any tablets other than the iPad exist, that are capable of all the same things the iPad can do.
Who the fuck gives tablets as xmas gifts anyway. Are you one of these kick a granny to get the last xbox guys?
Anyway, simply put, The iPad has this exact same problem you are just blind to it. I just need to tick a box to use Grooveshark on Android, I'd need to jailbreak an iPad. The Kindle Fire is in the same position, to get Gmail you need Market, to get Market you need to cheat and flash an aftermarket OS.
Find a profession you know
Your the "Nekkid Tech". I know little about this techy stuff. "you cannot side-load or run any Google app that requires a login on the Kindle Fire". I'm signed on to my google account and get around fine. And you do what as a profession?
Are the apps installed or are you going through the built in browser.
How do it? Please tell
What on earth made you think it was yours?
Its been apparent for a long while now that some companies think you buy the name not the hardware.
This article can be reduced to 1 sentence: "Google Android programs don't run on Kindle, which will present as a hindrance & anti-competitive in long term." What a prolix whiney dissertation; get your own blog.
Except it's not Amazon blocking anything
It's not Amazon "blocking" anything -- it is a well-known issue among the Android community that certain devices ship without the core Google apps - GMail, for example -- and lack the Google Services Framework that is required to run many of the Google apps. Even CyanogenMod, one of the most-used custom ROMs for Android devices, received a C&D from Google saying "Stop bundling our apps into the ROM you distribute." (However, they do provide a separate package for the GApps.)
And Google won't allow their apps in a different app store. Again, it's not Amazon being weird, it's Google, understandably, controlling the distribution of the core apps for their operating system.
And it's actually fairly trivial to get most of the GApps running on the Fire -- all but the Android Market will install just fine without rooting the device as far as I've tried.
*Enable "Unknown Sources" (under Settings -> Device)
*Track down copies of the Google Services Framework APK as well as the APK for whatever GApps you want to install (don't try the Android Market unless you want to root the device) and place them on the Kindle Fire using the USB computer (or you can e-mail using one of the other apps, which do work pretty well, which may negate the need for a file manager. Not sure, though.)
*On the Amazon App Store, track down "Easy Installer" or a file manager.
*Using Easy Installer or the file manager, install the Google Services Framework APK first.
*Reboot the Kindle Fire.
*Install the Google Apps you want.
*A reboot may be required.
This is a LOT less painful than it could be. Trust me.
It's really not that hard to get around.
A little searching produced this:
First World problems...
It's not of any actual consequence, though, is it?
You seem to be blaming the lack of Google apps on an Amazon decision, which if true, I would agree is stupid.
But I think this is not a case of Amazon blocking them, but rather Google! In which case, Amazon can do pretty much nothing about this problem.
Amazon have "taken" Google's OS but not conformed to Google's terms, and instead made their own unique build. Hence the lack of rights to use the Android brand and the lack of access to Google apps.
Google are pretty clear about their stance on this. As Android is open source, to maintain a form of control, the Android brand and Google apps are closed.
This article is WRONG.
After having my Fire for about a day, I already have all of my Gapps on it and they all run great. Android Market, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Maps (no gps, but still useful). You have to install the Anrdoid framework apk before you install the rest of the apps. Its that simple. Also if you root your device you lose access to Amazon prime streaming. To solve this problem all you do is root and get your device the way you want then unroot and your golden. This is a solid device, I just wish the author of this article would have spent more the 15 minutes with his device before posting such an ignorant article.
Here is a link for info on how to do this.
Have fun all!
Thank you so much for your research and for this article. I was about to buy Kindle Fire, but I am mostly a Google user, and gmail is my primary email account/gateway of communication. Most probably I will go with Nook Tablet now. Thanks again for your information.
An entirely google free Android tablet? I believe I've just chosen the Kindle Fire as my next must-have device.
Personally I just don't understand this rant, if you want Google there are countless other tablets on the market right now which are loaded with their apps. It's like writing an angry letter to 'Linux Pre-loaded' because you really want a Windows machine instead ...
Google and Apple are the ogliopolies in the market, between them they've created a toxic environment for consumers that is every bit as bad as a monopoly. Amazon are trying to force a wedge, to create space for themselves and other newcomers. As ironic as it might seem, the way to break the stranglehold is to exclude the competitor from your device otherwise you're just subsidising another platform for their business. Consumers just won't see the alternatives otherwise and that is bad for everyone, even those who given a choice would still choose Google.
being Google-free is actually a plus!
Thanks for the article, I've just chosen a Christmas gift for myself
same business plan as Google, with even more lock in
<<Amazon are trying to force a wedge, to create space for themselves and other newcomers.>>
No. Amazon are creating a sales channel for Amazon services, one meant to be more tightly restricted than Googles similar Android business plan. This does fsck all for any other newcomer, unless you count giving sellers another choice of middleman to bend over for.
Frankly Amazon must be laughing at Googles no-compete restrictions, they *want* Google cut out of the deal and the Android licence requirement does exactly that! Laughing because they get the benefit of Googles investment but still get to lock them out of the sales channel.
Just because Amazon is a newcomer doesn't make them any less toxic.
A Yahoo Mail App - Cool I'm in!
Still don't need Google. This rocks.
Thank you for your letter. You just saved me from the exact same experience. I was about to order a Kindle fire for for each member of my family, including myself, but now I won't. It seems to be like buying a t-shirt to advertise someone's product and paying them for the privilege. Something else I refuse to do. Thank you again for saving me a lot of money, but more importantly a lot of disappointment.
Well, there's a good (sorta) reason for it. Because Google gives its operating system away, but still wants some say in the user experience of the device, Google needs a bargaining chip, and that bargaining chip is the Google Apps (including the Market and GMail). That is to say, unless you (a device manufacturer) coordinate with Google, your device *cannot* have the Google Apps. Evidently, Amazon did not do this coordination with Google. I don't know what the reason is, but it's possible that Google doesn't /want/ to cooperate with Amazon because Amazon has created its own appstore and is thus undermining Google somewhat (perhaps?). Further, the Google Apps don't really fit into Bezos' raison d'être for the device, which is to enable consumption of Amazon's media. The Fire is not really *for* checking your email or your documents -- you wouldn't do that on your old Kindle, would you?
Still, I'll admit as well that having Gmail and Maps would be great additions to the Fire device.
I don't get it; aren't google services available as web apps?
[disclosure: I work for Amazon]
Re: Web Apps
If you want your Google Talk messages to appear in the notification screen as they arrive so you can use it as a free SMS replacement, the web app isn't much use.
Yeah, real bummer, huh? But never fear, a root for the K-Fire is already out there! Amazon brought this on themselves by releasing such a restricted device. Oh, I realize there may be business reasons for doing so, but people just like you are gonna be disappointed.
Here's the kicker. Probably 95% (conservative estimate) of the folks who buy the K-Fire will not be geeky enough to accomplish the root, so now there's a new market for thousands of teen-geeks that will be glad to root your K-fire for you. I heard there are already many inspiring entrepreneurs advertising their K-Fire rooting service ($39.95 US) in newspapers across the US! Gotta love free enterprise, huh? ;)
When the headline of this article appeared on my google news page, my spirits rose in anticipation, thinking that the author just might be a techie with a social conscience, about to lampoon Amazon for its abominable labor practices at its warehouses. What better use of an open letter to Jeff Bezos than addressing that issue? But I was wrong, and so I am left to mull the issue on my own, how to make my displeasure felt in the tiniest manner, perhaps by buying only from their second-hand book dealers who are my favorite suppliers anyway.
That is bizarre, and I have warned my facebook friends...
The Fire has promise. Here's hoping they open it up a little.
have to troll yahoo?
add 249.999.990 to the number you got, that's the number of active yahoo users. check some professional stat reports before you get published in a pro IT portal, this isn't your blog.
If you dug even a fingernail deep into the reviews before rushing off to buy one, you would have seen that (1) the Fire runs a branch off of Android 2.1- Amazon's own branch of the code- it is not an "Android" device, although apps that run on Android 2.1 would be compatible if Amazon decides to let those apps into their store, and most importantly (2) Amazon's app store is much smaller than Google's and more restrictive.
Also- the things you failed to mention: (1) the Fire is cheaper than an Android tablet, (2) if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can unlimited, commercial-free, instant streaming of movies, (3) it has games like Angry Birds, etc., (4) it can be used as a color e-reader for Amazon books, (5) Kindle has a new e-book format that will work on the Fire that will support more immersive ebooks, and (6) you mentioned that the Fire uses Amazon cloud services, but you fail to mention that this can mean nearly unlimited storage of music, etc.
It really makes me upset to see such an unintelligent editorial on the register. It really looks to be paid for by Google, and it is blatantly pointing out only well-known holes in the Kindle Fire vs. all of the strongpoints. I'm glad to say that my family bought a Fire, and we have a Kindle 3 also that we are both quite happy with.
Blame Google, not Amazon
The Google apps are not part of the open-source Android platform.
Device makers have to get in to contracts and so on with Google to get to include the Google Android Market and the Google Apps (gmail et al) on their Android products. Equally, Google would need to submit their apps to the Amazon App Store for them to be available over that channel.
Google is the one stopping you from running the official Gmail app on the Fire, not particularly Amazon.
Asking for official app support for a forked operating system is a bit much don't you think?
Perhaps the author will realise...
It's Google which has blocked its app from the Amazon Kindle and not the other way around - I don't think they want them on a device with the "Amazon Appstore" as the primary app market.
PS: I also think it's Google's default for making an OS that deals with all e-mail cept GMail in that horrible manner - lock in much?
Why are you surprised?
Amazon forked Android so they could keep the entire cake to themselves. They want to do with their tablet what Apple does with theirs - take a 30% slice of everything and exercise arbitrary and total control of what apps people may install. Why are you remotely surprised that "competing" apps are absent?
The only solace you can take is if the device does turn out to be hackable that dollars to donuts, it will have a Android 4.0 build from CyanogenMod or similar before long. Then you can install your Google apps, and if you wanted to, stick the Amazon appstore on there too.
It's not a "with google" device
Android on the fire is not a "with Google" version, which means none of the core Google apps are available. It has nothing to do with Amazon blocking the Google Alps, but rather they were too tight to pay for the Google licenses (like a lot of cheap Chinese tablets).
302 million Yahoo users last quarter, I believe. Mocking anyone who relies on a different vendor than you do is the #1 sign of fanboi-ism y'know.
Indeed. Are they still the largest email provider, slightly ahead of Hotmail?
You don't see the humour there at all? Really? 10 users and all that? <sigh>
Hotmail is still the world number one, then Yahoo, then Gmail. The author probably had a tiny inkling, I think.
The author can't really be this dim can he?
Why do you think it is Amazon blocking Google Apps? I would take a guess that the device isn't Android certified and so isn't allowed to have the Google portfolio of Apps installed on it (such as the Google market).
Would that've made more sense? Would it have more sense to spend 2 minutes researching before writing an article?
What are "Google Apps"?
Is it perhaps time to get rid of the so-called "Google apps" that apparently are ruining your internet experience?
I am online since the web was discovered and never had to use any them - in fact and in total honesty I really don't understand why people find them necessary.
"since the web was discovered"
Just wandering along one day, just out and about minding your own business, tripped over something, "Bugger me! It's the internet! I must tell mankind about this. This could make some people a little bit of money if only they can work out how, hmmmm."
Kindle Fire now rocking Android Market and the rest of the google apps:-
There, now that wasn't so hard was it?
How stupid are you?
Nope, no mention of Android.
Two mentions of Android: "curated Android app store" from the cnet review quote, and "Additional email apps are available in our Amazon Appstore for Android" which doesn't mention "sideloading" anything.
So what the fuck were you expecting? We've been in the bad old days of "you can't do anything with your smartphone that we don't want you to" for years now, and people are eating that shit up, encouraging the computer companies to dump general-purpose computers for locked down bullshit like this.
Y'know, Stallman may be a bit of a wierdo and not the most photogenic of people, but he's very rarely been wrong about the state of computing.
GAPPS Requires a paid license, Google decides who gets it.
Its actually probably down to Google. The 'GAPPS' suite (i.e all Google Apps) ships as one. You cant get just Gmail, or just Maps...Google license them as all or nothing.
Given that Google also charge the hardware creator to license GAPPS, you may find this is the reason behind it. Why would Amazon want Google Marketplace (part of 'GAPPS') on the Fire? It would completely destroy the Amazon marketplace idea.
In a nutshell, yes...it sucks, but until Google are prepared to license individual apps outside of the 'GAPPS' bundle, there nothing you can do short of manually installing them yourself....its piss easy to do.
Stanza was a Kindle killer -
Until Amazon bought it and broke it. The final maintenance release (3.2) "fixed" Stanza for iOS 5
It also stuffed it completely (as in Crash to desktop) for anything other than iOS 5.
So everyone with a 1st or 2nd gen Touch or early iPhone is stuffed.
Guess what Amazon's fix is? Use the substandard Kindle software they are hawking on the app store rather than a much the much more flexible Stanza.
Sorry, just needed to vent over this.
Managed to restore v3.1 from iTunes with a bit of judicios delete and restore from trashcan.
Wow, and your surprised
The Fire always appeared to me to be a supercharged kindle, running a bastard offspring of Android. Which to my mind makes it too expensive if you want a cheap android tablet there are better alternatives if you want a better ereader there are better alternatives, so why anyone would buy one is a mystery to me?
As you say, Amazon wants to rule the world. So does Google.
The Kindle Fire therefore is a bit like Lex Luthor having to team up with the Joker.
So you do what we have always done on a desktop: use the web app. Gmail as a web app was the only way for quite some time. Come on. This makes fun reading, but not a lot of sense.
Are these people real.
Despite it stating that it curates all the APPS people seemingly buy it in order to complain.
A great buy for all who know what they are doing,
Every person that thinks that the kindle fire was an Ipad competitor is a twit, and compared to the Nook tablet the fire is out.
What an eejit
Quote "I should have carefully researched the Amazon app store before I bought the Kindle Fire. I falsely assumed that since you built the Kindle Fire to run Google’s operating system, Google apps would not be a problem to run."
You went out, bought it and just ASSUMED that because it had Android under the hood that it would be 100% compatible.
RTFM in future :)
I try to avoid them
I have a gmail address I can send and receive, but do web mail on other accounts. Mostly I use a regular Imap & PoP3 client.
When I have to use a "creepy" Google App I use a standard browser. I don't use Chrome "spyware" either.
If I was buying something especially for Google Apps, I'd make sure and buy a Google approved device. Archos and others AGES ago had devices not support by Google so no Google Apps.
You sir should not have been given space to blow your ill-informed Trumpet on El Reg.
If I bought a "kindle" anything though it would have to support technical PDFs. Or maybe I'd buy two, a big one for PDFs and paperback book sized one for novels.
However I'm happy with my laptop (1600x1200 so allows A4 PDFs) and paper novels. Maybe when price drops for an 10" to 11" approx kindle I'll buy it and a small one.
Google apps would be irrelevant. As would iPads.
The motivation is surely to create a "soup to nuts" experience, with no "bumps". How do you do that with an open market for apps? If the market is unregulated, uncontrolled and unmanaged then there will be "bad stuff". This is three kinds of "bad stuff":
1) Stuff that is just bad, not very well written, not of merchantable quality.
2) Stuff that for whatever reason doesn't work well with the Fire, maybe it need more horsepower than a $200 tablet can muster, maybe it clashes with the modifications Amazon have but in.
3) Stuff that's deliberately bad, steals your stuff, rips you off, infects the machine.
So assuming you don't want "bad stuff", then you have a curated store, products are selected and and tested.
But this means vendors have to submit the products, so if Google's apps aren't there - isn't that Google's fault?
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