Kindle Fire 1st generation is pretty cheap these days; I got mine a couple of months ago for $50. Of course, it’s not as fancy as other Android-based tablets, with Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire 1st generation being pretty limited. Still, for those of us on budget but so eager to reap the benefit of a decent 7″ tablet, Kindle Fire 1st Generation is a good solution. In this post, I’ll try my best to share my story of thriving with this gadget.

First of all, let’s review the pros and cons of Kindle Fire 1st Generation. Let’s start with …

the cons

  1. Limited number of apps on Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire 1st Gen
  2. No camera, microphone, bluetooth, GPS and other fancy stuff
  3. Running on a watered down version of Android 2.0, Kindle Fire 1st Gen is not compatible with the latest version of most apps

But the pros

  1. Cheap (again, you can get it from ebay or craigslist as low as $50 with “like new condition”–I bought mine from a lady, presumably somebody’s wife, from a well-off family driving an SUV with a 6-year old daughter, pretty much the demography of Kindle customers)
  2. It has the gorilla glass and can weather pretty much all trials of everyday usage (this crazy bulletproof test video shows you the very few stunts you can do to destroy your Kindle Fire 1st Gen–I’m telling you, there are very few ways to do so). Newer versions of Kindle Fire, as far as I’m concerned, don’t have this gorilla glass anymore, and you can find a lot of Kindle HD’s with shattered glass on eBay.
  3. It has wifi (remember the motto: “Where there is wifi, there is a way”)
  4. You can play videos from Amazon Prime Video with a separate $39 a year Amazon Prime subscription.
  5. It’s not as mainstream as iPads, so you can still look cool when spotted with it.😀

Now, let’s no longer beat around the bush. What should we do to maximize the usage of Kindle Fire 1st Gen?

Here are a few things you need to do.

  1. Make sure to allow installation of third party applications, or applications not sold on Amazon Appstore
    • Setting –> More –> Device –> Allow Installation of Applications ON
  2. Install the appropriate driver to enable you to access Kindle from your PC. Not all computers can immediately detect and allow you to access your Kindle storage. If you can’t, try this:
    • Connect your Kindle to PC
    • On your PC, Start –> Control Panel –> Devices and Printers –> Kindle –> Update Driver
      If you can access your Kindle from your PC, things will be easier, because you can transfer .pdf’s, music, movies or documents from your PC to Kindle or vice versa.
  3. Install ES File Explorer from Amazon Appstore (for free) to allow you easy access to your contents
  4. For apps that you can’t find on Amazon Appstore, google the name of the app followed with “apk download.” Chances are you can find those apps.
  5. If the apk’s that you find through google search can’t be installed and you Kindle tells you that it’s “unable to parse file,” it means the apk’s are not compatible with you Kindle, in which case you have to find an older version, a version that is compatible with Android 2.0. To take an example, the latest update of Dropbox (here) doesn’t work with Kindle Fire 1st Gen, so I had to find an older version of the file by typing “dropbox apk older version” on Google Search, after which I found this web page.
  6. Be curious and find other ways, and share with others…

With all this, now I’m thriving with my cheap wonderful gadget….

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